Not tonight, I have a “headache”

ache-adult-depression-expression-41253.jpegWe’ve all had headaches at one point in time, but, when a headache becomes disabling, it’s more than a headache, it’s a MIGRAINE!

The mere sound of anything above a whisper can bring you to your knees, not to mention, the light from a lamp can feel like a laser beam blasting into your eyes.  The upset stomach, the fatigue, the “wish I were dead” feeling all signs of a migraine.

There are many things that can trigger a migraine, stress and hormonal changes to weather changes.   I’m going to talk about some food triggers.

Unfortunately, there are MANY foods that we enjoy everyday that can cause a migraine to hit.  With Valentine’s day just a couple of days away, BEWARE!

If you are planning a romantic night with perfumed candles, red wine, bread and cheese.  Migraine sufferers, you might want to think twice.  All of the above are major players in triggering migraines.  Yes, even the perfumed candle.  Smells are a great trigger.

If your sweetie shows up at your door with chocolate…..say thanks but don’t eat it!  Chocolate is the top contender for bringing on migraines. So?  Now that I blew that evening out of the water, what do you want to do??

Pizza and a salad??  Oh no, the yeast in the crust can cause a migraine, salad is ok as long as you don’t use a salad dressing made of balsamic or red vinegar.

Chinese food??  Sorry, Chinese food is loaded with MSG which can lead to a super migraine.

Ok, how about, Mexican food??  No way! Unless you stay away from chili peppers, beans, sour cream, olives and avocados!

So, you decided to stay home and have hot dogs, pickles and beer?  Sorry Charlie, processed food, pickled anything and beer are big NO NO’s!!

Well then,  you decided to skip supper and go out for breakfast.  First off, skipping meals can make your blood sugar go hay wire and could trigger a migraine!  But,  you love bacon, eggs, fruit, coffee and milk.  It sounds safe enough doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, processed foods like bacon, lunchmeats, ham and fish will flare a migraine.  Whole milk is a trigger and so are fresh or dried citrus fruits.  Bananas and red plums are also a bad choice.  That coffee…if you already drink it on a regular basis, ok, just a cup or two.

The caffeine in coffee, tea, and soda will all trigger migraines.  Oh, and for the record, don’t try diet soda, the asparatame and other artificial sweeteners can reek havoc.  There are also snack foods, fatty foods, ice cream, yogurt, and food dyes that can turn your head upside down leaving you to scream for mercy.

So?  How do you figure out what food you can eat?  You can start with a Migraine Journal.  The journal should contain a detailed description of your migraine attack.  Write what you were eating before the attack, how long the migraine lasted, and the symptoms you experienced..

If you do want some good news.  When you feel a migraine coming on, make sure  you drink plenty of water.  If you like, munch on things like watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce or a baked potato (skip the sour cream!).  These all contain high levels of water.  Other things to try are whole grain cereals including oatmeal and brown rice, cherries, pumpkin and sesame seeds, brazil nuts and almonds.

Here’s to a GREAT time on Valentine’s day!!!

Happy eating!!