Holiday, cheese and meds

Hi There, I am going to Italy in a week and as a foodie, I really don’t want to be altogether restrictive about eating out…ok I wont go mad and eat plates of cheese and will refrain from having parmesan sprinkled on my food, but so many of the dishes have cheese, milk, cream etc in them and I would like to try them. Will my meds (pregabalin and propanalol) prevent me from having a migraine if I break my 6 c’s diet…what in fact do the meds do ? I am kind of unsure on my whole diagnosis to be honest despite seeing Dr Surenitheran and will post on this later. But basically before I saw him I had been misdiagnosed as having labyrinthitis and lived with this for 6 months or so, getting to the point where i was 95% better, before having a bad attack due to stress - which was when I was then diagnosed by Dr S as having MAV. But in those 6 months before I saw him I was eating normally -chocolate, cheese, chinese etc and the only thing that had any effect on me was chocolate…if I ate a big bar of it I felt a little wobbly, no headache though. so I am wondering, if Dr S’s diagnosis is correct, why I am on this diet…and if it is all for nothing (except the chocolate, which I know effects me). Which brings me back to my cheese in italy in a week… any thoughts please ?

i’ve got away with it wrt to migraines, but depends what else is going on - do you have an inner ear issue too? I sometimes get worse tinnitus after eating a cheesy meal, and i’m wondering if it is the salt content. I’ve re-introduced chocolate but occasionally get the ‘brain wobbles’, but this has never progressed to migraine.

I see Dr Surenthiran too. I’ve been following the diet too for just over a year now and sometimes wonder the same thing. I had never noticed any kind of correlation between what I ate and how I felt, and sometimes wonder how much harm a little slice of fresh bread could have! I think perhaps (and it is just what I’ve gathered- could be entirely wrong!) but those foods can cause thd blood vessels in our brains to constrict/ dilate and we avoid them, not in case we react to them, but just to give the blood vessels a bit of a break and a chance to calm down. Like I said, just my own thoughts!

For Dr Surenthiren though, I think avoiding stress is his main concern. He told me not to obsess about the diet so that it becomes a stress in itself. Being overly worried about ingredients isn’t a big concern for him. Someone else said he had said, that if you really can’t live without something, then it’s better to have a little bit than the stress of not having it.

That being said Italy is a tough one! It tortures me just being in an Italian restaurant! I’d say enjoy it but don’t go too mad. Maybe give the tiramisu a miss! Have a great holiday .

yeah, ‘tiramisu’ - chocolate, coffee, cheese (mascarpone?) and booze (‘chianti’) - 4 of the 6 in one! (at least?)

Hi Scotti …the diet makes no sense to me. Mature cheeses are there because they contain tyramine - and yet other foods thare a high in this (chicken liver, peanut butter, olives, figs, etc) are not listed. Other MAV diets I have seen do list some of these things. Last time I saw him he told me mozzarella was ok - thats is not on his ok to eat list though - Im also sure he said sheeps cheese is ok…but that can be high in tyramine. BTW, do you live in Kent Scotti

Yep, I’m in Kent. I see him on Wednesday actually and I have some cheese questions for him. You know, the important stuff eh?! I’ll let you know. Sheep and goats cheeses are fine, I’d like to know if that includes blue ones or things like pecorino, which is really aged.

I asked him about other diets last time and he says the list we have been given has the big ones on it. He says other lists are too extensive and food becomes a stress, and that’s the main thing we need to avoid.

Hi Scotti. Me too. I live nr Sittingbourne but work in Rochester. Would be very interested to hear what he says about the cheeses, and diet stuff in general - ie is it ok to have small abouts of ‘banned’ stuff ? . I was sure he told me sheeps cheese was ok, but then thought I had imagined it. I too was hoping for some pecorinio, but given that is generally an aged cheese I then questioned that in my mind…and it still doesnt make any sense, and makes me question his thoroughness (ie its not good to recommend sheeps cheese per se but not add the caveat of no pecorino, if thats what he means). Anyway good luck.-- and I would recommend taking a notepad and making notes, which is exactly what I didnt do

I have definitely noticed correlation between some foods and vestibular migraine. I have had vertigo episodes with hours of vomiting after drinkng wine, eating blue cheese, or eating warm cake with yeast. However, I am able to eat chocolate, pizza, avocado, and many other items on the migraine foods list. For me it is trial and error so that I do not have to restrict myself from eating foods that I like.
FYI, I have been suffering from vestibular migraine for over 10 years, and was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease a few years ago after several episodes of sudden hearing loss.

gosh, poor you … i think the two conditions are closely related … I have vestibular migraine, but also have obvious inner ear issues. I believe i’m getting migraine because the inner ear is sending messed up signals. I don’t get meniere’s like attacks but I do get significantly fluctuating tinnitus and very variable symptoms. I’ve noticed my tinnitus getting worse after italian food on several occasions (but that hasn’t lead to me feeling more unsteady)

I think having a little cheese would probably be ok, but it depends on what triggers you. If cheese tends to make you feel worse vertigo wise, then I would avoid it. The way it was explained to me regarding cheese is: the more aged the worse the cheese is for MAV. So cheese like ricotta, burrata, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella (in the ball shape), or cottage cheeses that are not aged long and are soft, tend to cause less issue for migraine sufferers; being considered the “safer cheeses”. There’s a complete list of all the potential migraine triggers in the book Heal Your Headache and you can also look up a list showing the different ages of cheeses, but not every trigger affects every person. I get away with eating small amounts of the softer cheeses and very small amounts of aged cheeses, but don’t limit any other dairy. It was a process for me to find out what triggers I actually had to completely avoid, and which ones my MAV was ok with in smaller amounts.