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Migraine Diet

Migraines are severe and chronic headaches that can last for long periods. Migraines completely drain out the person. Common migraine symptoms include pain in either side or both sides of the head, pulsation and throbbing headache, nausea, vomiting, overly sensitive to sound and light. Migraines can impair normal functioning in a person if it is very severe and does not cease. It is more common in women than in men.
Genetic factors, people under the age of 40 and hormonal changes are all factors linked to migraines. There is no single cause for migraines. However imbalance in the serotonin level plays a major role. Similarly there is no standard cure for migraines; however the doctor may prescribe different medications to temporarily relieve the pain. Lifestyle modifications and dietary changes also go a long way in soothing the pain and relieving the symptoms.

A doctor may prescribe a migraine diet plan. This plan essentially involves eliminating foods that are believed to cause the headaches such as chocolate, cheese, alcohol and peanuts. The doctor or dietician will give a migraine diet list that will have the foods that can be had and the foods that have to be avoided. It may be difficult to give up several migraine-causing foods at the same time. Therefore patients can try eliminating foods step by step. At times, just by stopping the intake of one food, the problem is resolved. Sometimes, a main ingredient in certain food items may be thought to be causing the migraine. Therefore it is important to identify migraine dietary triggers and stay away from them. These triggers are foods containing tyramine found in many foods such as bananas, avocados, peanut butter, some types of cheese and yeast. Nitrates, salt, soya sauce, aspartame and other additives added to food also cause migraines since they dilate blood vessels. Milk protein found in milk and milk products can also trigger migraines.

A migraine elimination diet will essentially eliminate potential migraine-causing foods. However, what one patient needs to eliminate may differ from what another patient must give up. Therefore it is important to try different food combinations and eliminate foods step by step to pin-point the exact migraine elimination diet foods.

A migraine diet chart can give a good idea of different migraine-causing foods, what they contain and how they can be eliminated. These diet charts also help making food journals where the patient and the doctor can make notes about the reactions caused by different foods. A migraine diet menu again will be tailored to suit each individual’s needs. However, in general foods rich in magnesium, calcium, Omega 3 fatty acids and Tryptophan may be added to the menus. Moreover, there are many migraine diet recipes that are available. There are many cookbooks especially dedicated to such kind of recipes to help the patient maintain a well-balanced diet as well as help avoiding migraine-causing foods.

Migraine juices are also common. A juice made of apples and celery is supposed to be effective in treating this problem. A carrot, spinach and cucumber juice combination may also reduce the pain. Grape juice for migraine is another home remedy followed by many. Green or purple grapes can be juiced and this should be had pure, that is, without water. Tomato juice for migraine is also used by certain people as the Vitamin C in the tomato juice is supposed to be beneficial. As for orange juice for migraine, this remedy is beneficial for some, but for others this may aggravate the headaches.

Migraine foods to eat must be rich in complex carbohydrates, low in fat, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and cereals, lean chicken and fish meats, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, sea food, turkey and duck meat, sardines, trout, olive oil and fish oil are migraine foods that help. At times doctors may also prescribe migraine food supplements such as feverfew, Vitamin C and Vitamin-B complex, calcium, fish oil supplements, butterbur and coenzyme Q10. Migraine food allergies are also common. Common allergies include allergy to eggs, peanuts, shell fish, milk and gluten. Allergy tests can be conducted to be able to find out the exact allergens. Foods causing migraines are called migraine foods triggers. Foods with Monosodium Glutamate, coffee, tea, red wine, chocolate, peanuts, cheese, processed meats such as sausages all fall under the migraine food triggers list. There is also something called the migraine food craving which is often mistaken as a trigger. However a food craving may be a first sign about the onset of a migraine episode. Often people suffering from migraine crave high carb foods.

Migraine food treatment plan is advised as it has no side effects that may otherwise occur with certain medications. More so, the plan can be changed based on the individual’s needs. It is important to have small but frequent meals. Have a diet which is abundant in “migraine-friendly” foods, that is, foods rich in tryptophan which stimulate serotonin levels in the body, which in turn reduce the headaches. Drinking plenty of water is also important as it prevents dehydration. Keep track of the foods consumed before the migraine was treated and after it was treated will give a good idea of how the final treatment plan should look like. Following the right diet will not only help in bringing down the number of migraine episodes, in bringing down the severity of the pain, but will also help the patient lead a fitter lifestyle.

Apart from following a migraine diet, patients must get adequate rest and sleep. They must practice a sport or some form of regular physical exercise. These steps can go a long way in treating migraines. Some people have also opted for alternative forms of therapy such as the traditional Chinese practices of acupressure and acupuncture, massages and yoga postures. It is important to treat and prevent a migraine as it can point out to another serious underlying health condition. It should also be prevented to avoid other complications such as rebound headaches, abdominal problems and serotonin syndrome.

Submitted on January 16, 2014