Migraine Diet

Hi All,

After a search on the forums for Migraine Diet there are so many threads I really do not know where to start. Is there a good thread containing foods I should not have and foods I can have. I am a terrible cook so really need to know in detail what I am allowed.

This is my last ditch attempt at getting better before I go down the meds route, thanks in advance

Hi Richy

Erika posted this link a few days ago on the Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle forum (found in the Information Vault under the General Discussion heading). It might be helpful to you (as that whole thread might be), although I’m not sure it’s exactly what you are looking for.

I seem to recall someone posting the full Bulcholz diet info some while ago but can’t find it right now. Perhaps someone else will be able to point you to that. Meanwhile I hope this helps.

Good luck trying to improve your symptoms with diet alone. I too follow that route.

Brenda

the heal your headache book has the american list of diet foods to exclude?

That’s a good point if you haven’t already got that book Richy. Not only does it have the original full and complete listing of the link above, but it also has 8 pages of menu ideas and lists of what you CAN eat and also 4 specific pages of excellent dietary tips for when you start the diet and how to get the best and most accurate results. And of course the rest is a good read too!

Brenda

Being a “terrible cook” is a particular challenge for following the migraine diet, especially if you are sensitive to MSG and all of its variations (i.e., “natural flavors”, “autolyzed” ingredients, “hydrolyzed” ingredients, etc.) that are present in most processed foods, and especially in stock used to make soups. I know that it is easier said than done, but you should try to start cooking, and you’ll be killing two birds with one stone, possibly ending up migraine free and picking up new skills to boot.

I am going to order the heal your headache book from amazon today.

In the meantime I have cut the following out from my diet (since yesterday)

Bread (over here in Switzerland they eat a lot of fresh bread, which I understand can be a real trigger)
Caffeine
Chocolate
MSG (as far as I can tell)
Citrus
Alcohol

I have no idea what to have for breakfast so I have still included Milk and from what I can tell Shredded Wheat seems to be ok as it is 100% whole wheat, not the barley additive wheat. Can anyone comment on this?

Also I had baked potato for dinner last night with baked beans and butter… is this ok?

Hi Richy

Great that you’ve ordered the book.

Some people include milk and some don’t. Personally I use rice milk. The Shredded Wheat should be fine, assuming you’re OK with wheat.

Baked potato and butter are fine but next time look at the ingredients list on the beans. Typical would be: Beans, Tomatoes, Water, Sugar, Modified Cornflour, Salt, Spirit Vinegar, Spice Extracts, Herb Extract.

Modified anything might contain MSG, produced in the processsing, and the last two ingredients could also contain MSG as those terms are also rather ‘coverall’ terms. Also spirit vinegar may be a possible trigger.

It’s all about reading ingredients on any food you don’t freshly prepare yourself. I do buy a few tinned goods now, after following the diet for a few years and starting off very conservatively, but I always read labels and buy the product with only the food item and say water or maybe a couple of other ingredients I’ve learnt for ME are OK.

So instead of baked beans to top baked potatoes for example, I now make my own ‘version’ with a tin of organic mixed beans, shallots, courgettes and organic tinned tomatoes (without citric acid). Lovely! :smiley:

Brenda

I had a thai green curry with boiled rice at lunch today at work… I have felt terrible this afternoon… the boat has been rocking much more violently and I have had pins and needles and a large amount of head pressure (which i guess is a form of migraine)… its died down slightly now but I guess that is 1 food I should not be going near!

It sure sounds like you hit a trigger, so it could have been the curry, assuming there wasn’t something else different in your lunch environment (lighting, etc.) that might have triggered you. I would put it on a list and try it again sometime when you are feeling ok. If it sends you downhill again you’ll know for sure that it is what triggered you.

The way I found my triggers was I figured out that certain environments were consistently making me sick(er) and then figured out what they had in common. Eventually I figured out they all had uncovered lights shining directly in your face when you sat at your table, vs. the more indirect or covered/diffused lighting at other places.

— Begin quote from "JamieH"

It sure sounds like you hit a trigger, so it could have been the curry, assuming there wasn’t something else different in your lunch environment (lighting, etc.) that might have triggered you. I would put it on a list and try it again sometime when you are feeling ok. If it sends you downhill again you’ll know for sure that it is what triggered you.

The way I found my triggers was I figured out that certain environments were consistently making me sick(er) and then figured out what they had in common. Eventually I figured out they all had uncovered lights shining directly in your face when you sat at your table, vs. the more indirect or covered/diffused lighting at other places.

— End quote

Thanks for the reply. Feeling totally annihilated this evening because of it. It may have been the spice in it although cant be sure.

I really am going to have to get on medication soon as I can’t continue like this. 11 weeks of sheer hell… Can’t believe ts been so long already and my symptoms have persisted

Yeah I know you wanted to avoid medications and I don’t blame you. But my own experience with this is that it wasn’t going to go away by itself. I was able to get it to improve with some R&R but it would always come back after a few days back on the job. Avoiding my triggers was always the best option, but in order to work I had to stare right into my #1 trigger (artificial light) all day long.

I don’t seem to have any food triggers (at least not that I have noticed) so I don’t know how likely the curry is to have set you off, but it seems likely that a bold, spicy flavor like that would be the kind of thing to do it. I think someone posted an article on here claiming that something like 25% of people with migraines have food triggers.

Richy, is there a particular reason you don’t want to go down the meds route? As you know, I myself, am using only diet to alleviate symptoms but that was after unsuccessfully trying a lot of meds. It’s just that you seem to be having such a hard time and dietary measures are by no means a quick fix, although I guess meds aren’t always either. Just wondering. :smiley:

Brenda

— Begin quote from "JamieH"

Yeah I know you wanted to avoid medications and I don’t blame you. But my own experience with this is that it wasn’t going to go away by itself. I was able to get it to improve with some R&R but it would always come back after a few days back on the job. Avoiding my triggers was always the best option, but in order to work I had to stare right into my #1 trigger (artificial light) all day long.

I don’t seem to have any food triggers (at least not that I have noticed) so I don’t know how likely the curry is to have set you off, but it seems likely that a bold, spicy flavor like that would be the kind of thing to do it. I think someone posted an article on here claiming that something like 25% of people with migraines have food triggers.

— End quote

I had a dizzy spell similar to this with the same symptoms in 2008, it lasted around 5 weeks and then disappeared. This happened on 2 separate occasions that year which is why I have been holding off the meds, because I thought it would do the same and just go away this time aswell.

I guess with all the other stresses in my life right now, new country, trying to settle in, broke up with girlfriend, this isn’t going to go away any time soon

Well without a doubt I absolutely hope for you that you manage to de-stress and it goes away for you again. For me that wasn’t possible because I couldn’t work, and not being able to work = more stress not less. :smiley:

In the mean time, if you need a little med help to get you over the hump to getting it to go away, don’t think of it as a defeat. Just think of it as a necessary step in getting yourself healthy again.

— Begin quote from "JamieH"

Well without a doubt I absolutely hope for you that you manage to de-stress and it goes away for you again. For me that wasn’t possible because I couldn’t work, and not being able to work = more stress no less. :smiley:

— End quote

I am working Jamie, but I think that work is actually making th symptoms worse, considering I am staring at a computer screen most of the day and in a bright environment.

I actually think that around mid afternoon it all gets too much and that’s when the symptoms worsen.

I don’t honestly believe I have dietary triggers but am willing to try anything at the moment to get better

I was prepared for my doctor to put me on a migraine diet since that is apparently one of the first things that some migraine docs do, but surprisingly he never even mentioned diet to me. I paid attention out of my own curiosity and I found absolutey no correlation between what I ate an how I felt. I intentionally binged on some known migraine triggers (chocolate, aged cheese) just to see if I could make things go bad and I never felt any different.

BTW, i definitely found that the problem accumulates throughout the day, with the more exposure you get to the things that are bugging you the worse it gets. So your theory that sometime mid-afternoon you hit a “breaking point” could be exactly right.

— Begin quote from "JamieH"

I was prepared for my doctor to put me on a migraine diet since that is apparently one of the first things that some migraine docs do, but surprisingly he never even mentioned diet to me. I paid attention out of my own curiosity and I found absolutey no correlation between what I ate an how I felt. I intentionally binged on some known migraine triggers (chocolate, aged cheese) just to see if I could make things go bad and I never felt any different.

BTW, i definitely found that the problem accumulates throughout the day, with the more exposure you get to the things that are bugging you the worse it gets. So your theory that sometime mid-afternoon you hit a “breaking point” could be exactly right.

— End quote

I may actually buy a load of crap and see what I does… Good thinking!

Chocolate and cheese fondue here I come

Well, I guess for the record I shouldn’t say I “binged” on them, but I pointedly didn’t avoid them—like I would order a salad with bleu cheese it in or get a double-chocolate dessert just to see if would make me feel any worse. I never found the food to be a contributing factor. Or if it is, it is so minute of a factor compared to light, sleep and anger that it gets completely lost in the wash.

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— Begin quote from "RichyF"

I may actually buy a load of crap and see what I does… Good thinking!

Chocolate and cheese fondue here I come

— End quote

Well, you’re in the right place for an orgy of cheese and chocolate - Zurich is Ground Zero for that! :lol: