Hi everyone,

I’m not really sure where to begin??
I resently seen a E&E doc last Fri.
He diagnosed me with MAV and gave me the info for this website and
a sheet with “trigger for migraine” foods to avoid.

This brings me to the reason I’m pesently trying to reach a fellow sufferer.
The foods listed are very vauge.

Aged cheeses?? does this also include Mozzarella (ie:pizza? ) or american sliced or swiss deli cheeses etc??

Sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk on list…does this include cottage cheeses or cream cheese too?

Marinated foods…does this include mayo and mustards?

Nuts, peanut butter…does this include all nuts such as almonds etc. and peanut oils? (this one is probably a yes?)

certain fruits including citrus…all citrus such as orange juice?

Hot fresh bread, raised coffee cake and doughnuts…does this include all store bought packaged breads???
and what is in coffee cake that should be avoided?? I bake muffins and breads all the time…not sure what I’m
avoiding in coffee cake specificly???

I appoligize for all these uncertain questions.
I don’t know what else I should be avoiding…the list is to vauge!!

When I came home and reached for a sandwich…and dinner preperations…I didn’t know what to do???

Again I apoligize for this e-mail but I’m hoping someone with more experience with MAV will be better
able to inform me.
Any feed back would be deeply appreciated

I look forward to future discussions.


Do you know about the book “Heal Your Headache” by David Buccholz, M.D.?

I think this forum would agree that it’s pretty much the gold-standard when it comes to the migraine diet. Not only did it help me to understand the mechanism of migraine and how to handle it, but also how to manage this crazy migraine diet.

I highly recommend getting your hands on it. If you can’t, i would be glad to put together a watered down version of it and post it - that would help answer many of your questions.

Let me know.



It just so happens that my neurologist gave me Buchholz’s diet from when he was at Johns Hopkins. I’ve scanned and attached it below (2 pages). It is kind of fuzzy in appearance, but hopefully it will help answer some of your questions and help you get started. I echo Julie’s suggestion that you get his book. There is a lot of good information in it.

Good luck! :slight_smile:


Hey Kathleen …
It seems like the Migraine diet is “purposely vague” in my opinion because MAV is so … customized. Some people can drink coffee, some can’t. Some can handle citrus fruits, some can’t.

RE cheese - So far for me anything except for Raw Mozzarella gives me problems. Cottage cheese seems to be okay, too.

I wouldn’t think Marinated foods includes mayo & mustards, but those both probably have MSG which IS a definite trigger for lots of people, me included. All artificial sweeteners give me trouble, too.

Peanut butter doesn’t affect me, thank goodness.

Orange juice doesn’t seem to bother me but I don’t drink much of it anymore.

I’m not sure about the ‘what I’m avoiding’ in coffee cake & breads, etc., either, but thankfully I can eat any kind of bread without problems. I think when I have problems with donuts it’s because of the sugar - oh yeah, no ‘excess’ sugar like jelly beans, etc.

I can’t eat any processed meats. Made the mistake of having a slice of pizza with peperoni & sausage on it Saturday & I was ‘sick’ all day Sunday. (The pizza wasn’t even that good.)

To sum it up, just don’t eat. :mrgreen: Sorry … I’m kidding but it seems like that’s the only way to avoid food-triggered problems for me anymore. I really envy the people who have conquered this stupid diet. (Can you tell I have a headache right now?)

RE dinner prep … I’ve found that most of the time I have to eat something different than my daughter & husb eat for supper. I know it would be a lot easier if I enjoyed cooking, but I never have.

Good luck … sorry to sound so pessimistic.

Hi everyone,

Thank you all for the replies to my food questions.
I did purchase the book “Heal your headache”
I’ve stuck to the diet for a full month so far…
but…I still feel detached and confused as well as haveing a constant
Shouldn’t I have had some relief by now??
I have been diagnosed with BPPV and MAV
Does any one else wake confused, can’t concentrate…or spell
have mental blocks all the time…
feel shakey…scared and uncertain…
Have a 2yr old and feel like every task is a struggle…forget what I’m
thinking and doing sometimes instantly??? why is this so horrible??
please give any feed back if you can.
Do appreciate any help…
My best to you all :slight_smile:



Sticking to the diet is a good start, but only as a way to identify what triggers you. It did not help me to feel better at all, but did help me to find out what makes me feel worse if I add it back.

As to the way you are feeling, that sounds like typical MAV, in my experience. It is horrendous, isn’t it. Are you taking any preventatives? In my opinion, and in my case, i would never have gotten any better without them. I was so bad i was bedridden and i think i would have died in that bed for lack of even being able to eat. With my very first preventative I turned the corner. I’m on my fourth and a year later I’m able to drive short distances. Still a pretty limited life, but a far cry from a year ago. Preventatives do work!



I have found two bennifits from diet. The first is that some foods agrevate my condition and if I eat them in large quantities or long term, my symptoms slowly get worse. So slow that it is almost unnoticeble. These are foods like artificial sweetners, and nuts.

Then there are foods that are deffinite triggers. What I mean by this is that certain foods will hit me like a bag of beans and knock me onto the couch within minutes. For the most part, these foods are processed meats, like pepperoni, or foods high in MSG. Because these foods cause a reactions in less than a half hour I am able to identify when and what I ate that was wrong. In these circumstances, I am also able to flush my system with a large quantity of water and get myself back on my feet (unsteadily) in an hour or two.


Hi Kathleen -

Have you noticed any improvement at all since starting the diet ? (Even just a little?) Also, as Julie asked, are you taking any meds, supplements, etc.?

I have to agree with Joy’s post, the migraine diet is very “vague”, probably because all of us are so different, as far as what we react to. As Julie said, its a great place to start, but it definitely needs to be tweaked as we go along, and its certainly alot of work. Unfortunately, some people never find any food triggers at all.

I’m probably the biggest fan of diet, not just the “migraine diet”, but diet in general. Here’s my story in a nutshell:

Within a very short time of starting the migraine diet, I started noticing a difference in the way I felt. Not a huge difference, but a difference nonetheless. It was enough to make me keep searching, because I knew something I was eating was aggravating my symptoms. It turns out MSG was the culprit for me, and unfortunately, its in just about everything we put in our mouths. It took a very long time for me to conquer the “No MSG” thing, its a totally different way of eating (especially for me - the “ex-fast food Queen” who doesn’t like to cook very much :frowning: ). But, I can’t tell you the difference its made for me. When I slip -up (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not) there is no question at all. MSG is poison to me. I like to tell people, if they are having ANY luck at all with the migraine diet, don’t give up, keep looking (especially at MSG, because its so incredibly hard to stay away from. It literally is hidden under many names, and it takes a very long time to be able to spot it).

Keep us posted -


Kathleen - are you feeling any better yet?