Caffeine as trigger?

how many of you can drink caffeine? I have always drank iced tea for lunch - very little but now am afraid of everything. don’t even know if it’s a triggger. I also drink decaf (naturally decaffinted) milestone coffee a bit in the am i guess it has some caffeine. but as of yet can’t find it to be a trigger i seem to be sick no matter what.

I guess i could give up the tea for a while and see what happens but usually i drink all that stuff year round but am well in the winter (usually)

Hey there,

I think the difficulty for many of us is that short of going all out and doing a full on exclusion diet as recommended by the likes of Buchholz, it’s often really difficult to determine exactly what our triggers are because of the interplay between so many other factors. I think this (rightly or wrongly) is why so many doctors put so little emphasis on dietary triggers in their management of this condition and dive straight in for the drugs instead.

Whether or not they advise strict dietary control however caffeine does seem to crop up time after time from doctors and in the literature, both as a contributor to the transition from acute to chronic migraine, and as a factor in preventing prophylactic medication from being fully effective.

Impossible to say for sure whether we’re all depriving ourselves unnecessarily I suppose, but as it’s easy enough to drink decaf tea/coffee (I was advised up to 3 cups per day was ok as they do contain a small amount of caffeine still) or roibus / fruit /herbal alternatives I suppose I’ve figured carrying on with caffeine’s not a risk worth taking (though I would kill for a huge bar of chocolate :frowning: )

May be worth a shot…

I can’t touch anything with caffeine in it or all hell breaks loose. Decaf coffee is out too.

While I don;t think it applies to everyone, as you might already know Dr Nicholas silver says that anyone with a chronic migraine problem must dump caffeine from the diet no matter where it’s coming from. Painkillers are out too which I have now managed to avoid for about 5 weeks. I think I’ve improved as a result but nothing earth shattering.

Here’s the stuff I use as a coffee substitute. It tastes great but can ramp up IBS if you have too much:


I hear different things from different migraine sufferers regarding caffeine consumption. Most of the people that I know that can have some coffee/caffeine rarely got the dizziness and only consume a cup or less of caffeine after they got their migraines “under control” through food avoidance, use of OTC meds, or rescue drugs. All three of the doctors that I see minimize the need for caffeine elimination but did emphasize food triggers… go figure. Sigh.

Scott - thanks for the link for the dandelion beverage. I hope I can order it online since I live in California and doubt I can find it here locally. Does it taste like any identifiable beverage other than a plant??? Not sure how to ask that… I just want something to drink in the morning that doesn’t taste like I just mowed my lawn.

Hi Gail,

— Begin quote from ____

I just want something to drink in the morning that doesn’t taste like I just mowed my lawn.

— End quote


This one doesn’t doesn’t taste like lumps of fresh grass from the lawn mower. The best way to make your own is to grab the medium blend and brew it in one of these or similar. Then top up the cup with milk and you’ll be sorted.

my niece has horrible migraine headaches and drinks a lot of coffee it helps her she says she also has ADD.


PS I love decaf coffee i know it has some caffeine though. my dr didn’t say to stop anything foodwise

Thanks, Scott. Good to know that something else out there tastes good as a coffee substitute. I really like the Teeccino organic products but they set off the dizziness for me. I’ll try to see if I can find the Bonvit online. Or, maybe find an equivalent kind of product online or at our health food store. I didn’t know that a product like that existed.

Chris - it may be that your niece is getting a delayed reaction to caffeine and isn’t aware of it. People with ADD often do well with caffeine but would respond favorably to medication as well (the medications are stimulants anyway). However, good luck suggesting that to her. It has taken me 3 years to give up my morning coffee… even just 1/4 cup in the morning was tough to part with as well. I love the smell and the whole experience. I’m hoping it was worth it since at least I know that it it can’t be that one item on my ever-growing food triggers list. I finally noticed how it was affecting me. Even the decaf. May the migraine preventative medication Gods be with us!!

Way back, I started out drinking milk in which my parent would add a few spoonsful of coffee. This past weekend, I returned to that. I was out of town at a bat mitzva (coming of age) and a wedding reception, and the evening and subsequently, respectively, the afternoon of the party stretched lo-ong, with nothing much safe to eat or drink, really. But there was a pitcher of milk with the coffee and decaf, and I probably had a full cuppa decaf over the weekend. However, it was diluted into half a dozen cups of milk, so I escaped–without diarrhea, either, more’s the luck!

Personally, I haven’t been able to find any food or caffeine triggers at all. I seem to be very consistent…crappy most of the time with varying degrees of less crap. lol The benzos will calm my brain and give me some relief, but
from caffeine withdrawal, gluten elimination, and the whole migraine list…I didn’t see a difference at all.
Makes it tough!!
I’m sitting here after eating a pizza and drinking some red wine and wonderig why I don’t get better. But I swear…even when I’m good, it’s the exact same. Is is possible it’s coming from a different place in the brain?


Pizza and red wine


sorry…that was probably insensitive of me. It was just Domino’s, so no great shakes. LOL
Let’s figure a migraine friendly pizza we can post on here!

I still eat pizza from time to time - but do make my own (we live in the country so no fast food joints nearby) and use fresh goats cheese now rather than lovely gooey mozzarella. It’s the red wine I do miss as sadly I think it is a trigger at the moment…but hey, there’s still white wine :lol:

What’s the story on cheese? Is goat’s cheese OK? Cottage cheese? I think the “young” cheeses can be OK … the last time I had some mozzarella I lived but still not sure about it. Parmesan is a killer every time though as are any of the aged ones like blue.

I have been avoiding cheese generally, with the exception of fresh goats cheese (in olive oil) as it doesn’t cause me noticeable issues. Having said that I haven’t noticed after-effects from the occasional parmesan on pasta either…but in general I don’t eat a lot of cheese.

I have had mozzarella with no real problems either… I think it’s the ageing process that ups the tyramine therefore causing problems. I think it’s the same for aged meats is what eHow says. If I remember I’'ll look at my RPAH elimination diet book and check tonight

actually take a lok at that eHow link and see what a close resemblance it has to Bucholtz’s no-nos list…

actually take a lok at that eHow link and see what a close resemblance it has to Bucholtz’s no-nos list…

"Coffee and chocolate contain negligible amouns of tyramine. . . " yes, very well, but . . . .