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Top 5 Dietary Migraine Triggers

Woman with migraine
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Taking a medication like Relpax (Eletriptan HBr) reduces recurring head pain and nausea along with light and sound sensitivities. Avoiding stress, the main migraine catalyst, may help decrease episodes of this widespread neurological disorder. But some estimates indicate that certain foods and beverages may cause up to 30 percent of these severe headaches. Because stress, hormonal changes, depression, and sleeping habits can have dietary links, the true percentage might be greater. Experts advise avoiding these dietary migraine triggers:

1. Chocolate

Chocolate could cause migraines CanadianPharmacyMeds.comTwo of chocolate’s ingredients, caffeine and phenylethylamine, may constrict your blood vessels, causing head pain. Women are susceptible to chocolate cravings during hormonal changes and stressful times, two powerful migraine triggers. But pining for chocolate could signal an oncoming migraine instead of instigating it. If you blame chocolate, try eating a small yet satisfying portion to find out if you can indulge without pain.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine could cause migraines CanadianPharmacyMeds.comWhile caffeine improves how your body absorbs some pain medicines, too much can spark migraines, warns Dr. Elizabeth Loder, M.D. Surprisingly, migraines are most likely to occur after caffeine’s stimulating effects wear off. To avoid pain, Loder advises restricting your caffeine intake to 200 daily milligrams. That allows you to drink one 8-ounce coffee or four 12-ounce cola cans. Taper your consumption gradually to reduce or give up coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Stopping abruptly can cause the nagging pain of rebound headaches.

3. Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol could cause migraines CanadianPharmacyMeds.comConsuming alcoholic beverages sets off migraines in countless people. For some, the first few sips can simulate a pounding headache. Research reveals that the phenols from red wine provoke migraines often. Additional wine, beer, and whiskey compounds that deplete your brain’s happy serotonin hormone could be triggers. Any other alcoholic beverages also may spark head pain.

4. Food Additives and Artificial Sweeteners

MSG could cause migraines CanadianPharmacyMeds.comSome food additives like nitrates from processed meats may intensify blood flow to your brain, leading to disturbing migraines. Evidence shows that monosodium glutamate (MSG), a typical Chinese food additive, can induce migraines one hour after ingestion. Many migraine sufferers also blame food colorings and the aspartame artificial sweetener for painful headaches.

5. Tyramine Amino Acid

Cheese could cause migraines CanadianPharmacyMeds.comBy affecting blood vessel dilation and reducing your brain’s serotonin levels, tyramine induces headaches. As certain foods break down proteins, this substance forms. Aging boosts foods’ tyramine content, so problematic cheeses include cheddar, mozzarella, blue, Swiss, Parmesan, processed, and feta. Also avoid pickles, olives, onions, avocados, some beans, overly ripe bananas, raisins, some processed meats, pork, canned soups, soy-based foods, nuts, seeds, red wine, beer, and chocolate.

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