Eat – Drink – and – Get a Headache?

/ / Tricks & Tips

With Thanksgiving and year end holiday parties just ahead, you may be one of those
whose migraine headaches are triggered by certain foods, alcohol and stress –
either individually or in combination.   No one wants to add a Migraine Headache to their holiday
To Do List.  The onset of one of these nasty headaches can derail our plans and sideline us
it is least convenient – and when is it ever convenient to feel awful?

What Causes Migraines?

Red wine, chocolate and rich foods are known migraine headache triggers.  During
this festive time of year we tend to indulge in more of all of these things as they
appear to temporarily help to elevate our mood.  The change of seasons,  shorter daylight
hours and therefore  less sunlight to replenish our feel good brain
chemicals (such as Serotonin) may cause us to try for a little self medication
in the form of alcohol, chocolate or other foods that may disagree with us.

Migraine Headache Triggers

In addition to red wine and chocolate, migraine trigger foods include, peanuts, aged
cheeses, MSG, highly processed foods containing sodium nitrate (such as bacon,
hot dogs and cured meats) – this is only a partial list of potential food
villains.  Keeping a food diary can be very helpful to sleuthing out the suspects in your
own migraine attacks.  As part of your journal entry, be sure to make
a note of your stress levels each day – this is all part of the picture of  your unique
migraine pattern.

Migraines often signal their arrival one or two days in advance.  As sufferers
we get to know the signs that one is coming on –  sometimes 1 or 2 days
in advance.  Constipation, depression, diarrhea, food cravings, hyperactivity and
irritability may signal an approaching headache.

While the latest findings about red wine seem to indicate that a small amount
(5 oz or less) may help with our heart health, you could be one of those people where
even a tiny amount could trigger a migraine attack – especially if you are
under a lot of stress or emotional pain at the same time.  Migraines are complicated
headaches – each person should be considered an experiment of one.  Expert help with
tracking down the possible causes of your particular migraines may be very helpful.

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