Gauging food triggers

Hi, I have a simple set of questions for you who have food triggers.

If a certain food is a trigger for you (say Chocolate):

  • What is the risk of you getting a migraine after eating it? 50%, 10%, or 100%?
  • if you have been on a diet of a specific food that is listed under ‘potential triggers list’ for a month. without increased symptoms, can you safely assume that they are not triggers for you?

For example, over the lat 3 months my diet has been heavy in eggs, yogurt, nuts and their butter, and meat (along with lots of plants and veggies). I spent 2 great months, lowest symptoms on my scale, and then a really terrible month now. Nothing changed diet wise.

I am therefore trying to understand whether those above foods could have been a cause at all, since for 2 months they were not causing anything.

Asking to see whether I need to have a diet change. So far I have not noticed an association between my food intake and migraine, it is has been mostly related to other stimulus (auditory, and visual). ’


Good questions. Its difficult for me to put it into numbers like that because life is so variable and my chronic head pressure (migraine) is mostly constant and only gets worse by about 30-40% if I trigger it. It also depends on the amount you eat. I can eat a few nuts, but a few handfuls and I usually notice increased head pressure within a few hours. I think the best thing to do is follow something like the John’s Hopkins migraine diet for 2 months and see if things are better. Its hard to follow, but not as hard as having a lot of migraines in my opinion.

Thanks for your answer. So when it does trigger it, it happens within hours, not days. Hoping to hear from others.

I think so, but hard to say. For example, it could be that I ate something 1 day before that and I just happened to feel crapy when I ate nuts. But yeah I generally get a bad feeling about eating something within 3-5 hours.

I would say ones risk is not just migraines, but increased symptoms in general. E.g increased tinnitus, fluid in ear etc.

I agree with Erik’s estimate. About 3-5 hours. I suspect though they might be cumulative over a longer period.

I don’t believe I’ve ever noticed a problem with dairy.

My biggest issue these days is with excess caffeine.

The problem with trigger identification is the condition itself morphs so much apparently spontaneously that it’s very hard to isolate triggers. You may need a couple more months to work out if it’s your diet. It might not be. There were periods in this illness when no matter what I did I’d have dreadful symptoms.

Now I’m off medication and into some level of significant remission it’s actually easier to sense triggers.

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If you’d asked me that, when I was thirteen and getting ‘sick’ headaches, I’d have said 100% guaranteed, and within hours. I think it may have been my only trigger then. I quit chocolate and the headaches stopped. Brilliant. Never eaten it since. With MAV I haven’t had headache just dizziness and all the other migraine type symptoms. Then One day a sister-in-law suggested now I was menopausal I’d most probably be OK with chocolate. I ate two chocolate bisuits on the strength of that. Wrong. Bam, headache within hours.

Triggers are difficult to establish, They are cumulative and can be delayed by days too. Difficult to pinpoint. I would imagine food triggers probably kick in quicker than some other triggers.

I’d say ‘No’. Maybe the Elimination Diet is the only way to do that. I once read somebody did it thoroughly by-the-book and it took her four years!

I can look back at my ‘chocolate’ trigger now and say was it the chocolate or was it hormone fluctuation? Cannot figure any way of working that out retrospectively.

I think sometimes the diet may help because it has possibility to reduce one hypersensitivity of the condition which can only be a good things and the condition will improve the fewer of those there are and the higher tolerance threshold become as all sensitivities reduce.

With regard to you having two good months, MAV morphs, it happens. Perhaps it’s not fod triggers, perhaps it’s environmental. Barometric pressure changes, changes in light levels. Plp with balance disorders benefit from being in consistent light. Any of this ringing any bells? Helen