Migraine: Avoid these foods that trigger attacks!

Migraine: Avoid these foods that trigger attacks!

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Stress, insomnia, light, noise, cold, odors… There are many factors that trigger migraine. For a quarter of patients, food is also the culprit! If chocolate or white wine are known, who would be wary of a tasty ice cream? With TipsForWomens, compose meals without pain.

Who has never had a headache after a gargantuan meal or a drunken evening? So imagine the situation if you are also prone to migraines…

What exactly is a migraine?

Migraine is a neurological disease ; it’s a headache (headache) specific that touches 15% of the world’s population.

A migraine can be recognized by the following symptoms:

  • Painful attacks from 4 to 72 hours between which the symptoms disappear completely;
  • Throbbing painwhich means that one has the impression that she “bat” to the rhythm of heartbeats;
  • predominates on one side of the skull ;
  • Light, noise and movement increase painpossibly accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Migraine is caused by a abnormal neuronal excitabilityof the complex genetic factors associated with environmental factorsincluding food.

Causes of migraines: foods at risk

Many foods are accused of triggering migraine attacks. This is the case, among other things, for:

  • The alcohol ;
  • The cheese ;
  • The chocolat ;
  • THE sour fruit (lemons, oranges, etc.);
  • THE ice cream ;
  • THE tomatoesetc.

Meals too fat or too rich in meat are also incriminated, as well as excess coffee or on the contrary a sudden decrease in consumption. Change such as a skipped meal can also promote an attack.

Finally, the syndrome says “from the chinese restaurant” caused a lot of ink to flow: glutamate, a flavor enhancer contained in certain Asian dishes but also in canned and frozen foods, would be involved, causing burning sensations and headaches. However, this causal relationship has not could never be confirmed by a scientific study.

To note : few migraineurs are sensitive to food factors (about 10%) except for alcohol.

Foods triggering migraines: effects to be confirmed

The role of diet in the onset of migraines is a controversial topic within the scientific community. Indeed, certain foods considered as possible triggers are not for everyone. Of course, each individual is not sensitive to the same foods. A study 2 carried out with 577 patients from the Princess Margaret migraine clinic in London, however, provides the beginning of a quantified response to the triggering factors, confirming the predominance of certain foods and especially alcohol:

  • Chocolate and cheeses are cited by 16.5% of migraine patients ;
  • For more one in four patients (28%), beer, English favorite drink, triggers pain;
  • 18% of migraine sufferers claim to be sensitive to all alcoholic beverages ;
  • 11.8% of patients are sensitive to Red wine but not white wine.

It should be noted that in this study, 40 patients suffered from tension headaches : none reported sensitivity to food, and only one cited alcoholic beverages.

In order to confirm or refute the triggering effects of certain foods, additional studies (especially double-blind) with a larger number of participants will be necessary. As recalled by Dr KIERZEK, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, “each migraine sufferer is different: keep a diary of the week with the foods consumed to identify those which have been consumed and which have triggered an attack for example!

Watch out for the ice cream headache!

Less known, the so-called ice cream headache occurs within one minute of eating ice cream or cold food. It would be due to a vasoconstriction brain vessel reflexoccurring during cooling of the palate.

A Taiwanese study of 9,000 adolescents revealed that approximately 40% of young people surveyed had already suffered from “ice cream headaches” 3with an average prevalence 15% higher in migraine-prone students.

A few simple tips can prevent a headache if you eat something frozen: eat slowly and in small portions, and if you taste an ice cream with a spoon, prevent it from touching your palate.

Migraine: treatments exist

Despite the existence of new specific drugsable to relieve the symptoms of the migraine attack, many people continue to use painkillers (against pain) classics whose effectiveness remains very uncertain.

This medicinal consumption, which takes place most often without medical adviceleads to the successive intake of two or three different substances… which can lead to the persistent headache chronic, and thus lead to the opposite of the desired effect.

It is important to talk to your doctor to try to determine the cause of migraines. You will also learn to better understand the diseasehas better understand when it occursand if necessary to track it down in your family. Such maintenance will also contribute to identifier the triggering factors et adopt a treatment much more efficient as all forms of self-medication, background and/or crisis. And on the food side, reduce the consumption of products that trigger in you migraines (chocolate, glutamate…) without eliminating them completely.