MIGRAINE HEADACHES: 5 Common (& not so common) Food Triggers
Migraine headaches sufferers know the difference between a ‘headache’ and a ‘migraine’. Over 2 million people in Australia suffer from headaches. (1) Migraines headaches are worse than tension type headaches and the following classifications can help you find out which type you’re suffering from!
1. Headache to include at least 2 of these symptoms pain on one side:
- Moderate to severe pain
- Throbbing in nature
- Worsened by movement
2. Headache to include at least 1 of these symptoms:
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
3. Headache to last between 4 to 72 hours
Migraine sufferers normally endure a severe headache and often find that they need to get away from the lights and noise of daily life, ending up locking themselves in a dark room. Days are lost, which provides a big disruption to their lives.
As if the migraine headache is not enough, they can also suffer with some of the following:
- Pins and needles
- Numbness on one side of the body
- Slurred speech
- Aura – visual disturbance that can include flashing lights, blind spots or lines in their visual field (a concentration issues
Many migraine sufferers know when a migraine is about to rear its ugly head. Some feel unwell or have visual disturbances called an ‘aura’. The reason why migraines occur is not clear. Researches regard it as neuro-vascular basis – involving the nerves and blood vessels in the brain. One of the chemicals that is generally low in migraine sufferers is serotonin. The interesting thing is that the amino acids required to make serotonin is tryptophan – what many of the ‘trigger’ foods contain. Many ‘triggers’ are known that can set a migraine off, but each sufferer will have individual triggers. Many times it is a combination of a few factors that will set off a migraine.
Here are some other triggers:
- Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)
- Contraceptive pill
- Loud noises
- Cinema screens
- Bright lights,
- Weather changes strong odours
Emotional & Physical
- Changes of sleep pattern
- Tension colds/flu and other illness neck
- Back pain
- Stiff neck and shoulder muscles
- Aged cheese
- Food Preservatives
- Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners
What can you do to find out what your possible triggers are?
We suggest to our practice members to keep a food and headache diary. Keep track of when you eat, what you eat and activities (such as exercising) completed around the time of eating. Sometimes it may be a combination of factors that trigger the migraine headache.
- Low Minerals & Vitamins iron
- B6 B12
- Omega 6
- Vitamin D
Foods containing magnesium green leafy vegetables
- nuts & seeds
Concerned your posture may be contributing to migraine headaches? Read our blog post here
Contact us to book in a consultation with one of our chiropractic doctors today!