Migraine Diet

They were advertising a new cheese on telly the other week, chocolate and cheese. I couldnt believe what I was seeing, oh migraine heaven :smiley:

I just go slowly downhill when I eat the wrong foods. I had 2 x chocolates the other day, no problem, had one or two more naughty biscuits in the evening, still OK.

Next day, bit of a headache, had a chocolate flake (eating my small pieces of cheddar on an oatcake that I get away with no problem most days) but then it started to get worse, its generally a slow thing. I shouldnt go near chocolate.

Its when I dont eat the foods for a long time that I get a real bad reaction. I gave up wheat for months then ate 2 x weetabix for breakfast and bad migraine 2 hours after eating, same with eggs, etc. I did the elimination diet and although it never cleared my headaches, it gave me a good idea of what I shouldnt be eating, showed up stuff like peanuts, etc.

Christine

I seem to remember the Heal Your Headache book (or perhaps it was somewhere else) talking about how hard it can be to pin-down specific dietary triggers, because of the ‘cummulative’ trigger effect.

If migraine being ‘on’ is a result of all your triggers accumulating above a certain personal ‘threshold’, you might try cheese and chocolate on a day when you also just happened to have a reasonable night’s sleep and were a little less stressed, etc, and so your trigger total just happened to stay below your migraine threshold; you may then erroneously conclude that those foods aren’t triggers for you. Then, a few days later, you try the same foods again, only this time you didn’y have quite such a wonderful night’s sleep and you are a little more stressed for whatever reason, and now - BAM - your cummulative trigger total (dietary + stress + sleep hygiene, etc) is now above your threshold. It can make identifying fodd triggers pretty tricky.

Just a thought…
Best wishes,
Tony.

Hi All,

Just finished reading the “heal your headache” book and am really going to stick at this Migraine Diet. According to the author most patients can be treated successfully with only step 1 and 2 and without meds…

Does anyone have any idea how long the diet takes to have an effect on your symptoms, days, weeks months?

RichyF - I just reposted this because yesterday when I posted it, it showed up in the “middle of the pack” for some reason, not on the end of the posts like most new ones do. I’ll delete the one from yesterday if this shows up on the “tail end” today –

Your “mid afternoon” comment struck a cord -

I haven’t noticed problems with computers for me (though I don’t have to work in front of one constantly), but I did go to a program that lasted a few days recently, and the fluorescent lights in that room were different than others somehow. I don’t know why some fluorescents bother me more than others, but those gave me a headache every day, which I started to notice by late morning, and by afternoon I was having a hard time focusing because I just felt sick. My headaches are usually in the mild to moderate range, but with the head fog that goes along with it, plus a tinge of feeling vaguely sick (on the verge of but not exactly queasy), it’s really hard to stay with whatever the task is at hand.

That’s what prompted me to get the FL-41 tinted glasses. I have noticed a reduction in frequency and intensity of my headaches. Not complete elimination, but I haven’t been very strict with the diet yet, so I have room for improvement there. But I have been pleased with the change that I’ve noticed with the FL-41 tint. I do think bright light, and definitely some fluoresent lighting (possibly some in my own home, since I do have fluorescent bulbs in some fixtures) has been a major trigger for me, so this pair of glasses has raised my migraine threshold.

I have quit caffeine, chocolate, and cheese (except cottage cheese which is supposedly OK). Most sources of MSG, but I recently figured out that I’ve been eating some things with “natural flavors” that probably have MSG (if they’d just call it MSG, it would be a lot easier): frozen dinners, turkey burgers, and chicken stock - I guess they’re out now! Well, we’re all works in progress.

As to your question today about how long it takes for the the diet to work, in my copy of the book the answer is on pg 102 - Buchholz says give it 2 months.

Hi Mary,

interesting what you mention about the lights and the tinted glasses, although today I do not feel so bad… its really strange how these things vary so much!

Have you noticed your symptoms getting better with the foods that you have already cut out so far? how long have you been doing it?

I stopped caffeine and chocolate a few months ago because of reflux and I didn’t notice any difference in my headaches. The biggest difference in my headaches came in the last 4 weeks since I got my FL-41 glasses. I got the Heal Your Headache book soon after that and cut out cheese, but that’s not something I was eating much of anyway (I would go a week or so without touching any). I know that a changing barometer is a trigger for me - can’t do anything about THAT one! I’m thinking MSG might be a trigger and if so, that’s one I can control, so I’m cutting out the frozen dinners, canned soups, pre-made turkey burgers, etc. I bought some ground turkey that doesn’t have added “natural flavors” (which is probably MSG in disguise) so I made my own turkey burgers last night - I think they were better anyway!

well I am really going to try sticking to this diet… i was a bit down heartened when i read Dr Baloh’s summaries in the “neurologists” thread. As follows:

“– re the migraine diet: if you can identify an obvious trigger, avoid it. This is common sense but do not become a fanatic where you are not able to eat anything as this will not do you any good. In most people the diet is a minor issue and people identify certain triggers but to go on a rigid extremely limited diet is not useful.”

So in his view diet is just a small trigger compared to others such as sleep, exercise etc… the thing is, I have been sleeping quite well and also at the same times. I have also been doing exercise… so i have no idea, other than diet, what else I can influence

There are no side effects to trying the diet on a very strict basis for a couple of months, so you really lose nothing by trying it. You may find that none of your triggers are dietary - that’s what Baloh was talking about. Buchholz believes most of us are affected by diet but we just don’t realize how much. If you are really strict, you will find out! Best of luck.

My advise would be to stick to the diet for 4mths - i bet you are thinking 4 months??? but i found that as each month went by i saw more improvements :slight_smile: After that period you can try adding things back in, not everyone will be affected by all the items David Buccholz lists in his book but you HAVE to start somewhere by eliminating the lot.

MSG goes by sooo many other names and even products that claim to have ‘no artificial additives’ still often contain it.
It is commonly listed as ‘modified’ something or ‘flavouring’

As you go on you will find more and more things you are ‘allowed’ and things will become easier i promise :slight_smile:

Shredded wheat is an excellent choice as it only contains wheat but i have found i can also have Sugar Puffs, some wheat free cereals, Ready Brek, Asda’s multigrain hoops and a few others, you just have to keep searching and figuring it all out.

Good luck - sticking to the diet makes a big difference to my symptoms - i still get dizzy but i can live with it much more - i hope it improves you too :slight_smile:

— Begin quote from "Deethedizzy"

My advise would be to stick to the diet for 4mths - i bet you are thinking 4 months??? but i found that as each month went by i saw more improvements :slight_smile: After that period you can try adding things back in, not everyone will be affected by all the items David Buccholz lists in his book but you HAVE to start somewhere by eliminating the lot.

MSG goes by sooo many other names and even products that claim to have ‘no artificial additives’ still often contain it.
It is commonly listed as ‘modified’ something or ‘flavouring’

As you go on you will find more and more things you are ‘allowed’ and things will become easier i promise :slight_smile:

Shredded wheat is an excellent choice as it only contains wheat but i have found i can also have Sugar Puffs, some wheat free cereals, Ready Brek, Asda’s multigrain hoops and a few others, you just have to keep searching and figuring it all out.

Good luck - sticking to the diet makes a big difference to my symptoms - i still get dizzy but i can live with it much more - i hope it improves you too :slight_smile:

— End quote

That’s so nice to hear dee. what symptoms have you found it has improved? Are you on medication aswell?

Are we allowed to eat sugary jelly sweets on the migraine diet?

Theoretically they’re ok according to the Buccholtz diet, if I remember correctly, though some candies might have citric acid, which can be a trigger for folks. Also, I know for me at least, too much sugar can be a problem - when I “crash” afterwards.

Personally I’d be reluctant to. Jelly sweets make me think they might have gelatine added (MSG) and probably colours and flavourings and as Erika says also citric acid. I think I’d pass on them for now and maybe test them later, down the line if you want to.

Brenda

Ok. Thanks for responses both :slight_smile:

5 days into the migraine diet now, not seen any improvement yet but am still hopeful :slight_smile:

Have got to wait to 26th until I see neuro anyway so may aswell try this in meantime

It’s early days yet Richy. And I know I felt worse before I felt better. And like you say you can’t do much else til the 26th anyway, so what have you to lose. Besides, I should think by then, nearly three weeks away, that you will have a much clearer idea as to whether or not dietary triggers play a part for you, so I’d say try to stick to the diet as rigidly as possible for now.

Brenda

I suffered with migraines for many years. I had to learn how to read food labels on the foods I was eating. If the label had over six ingredients on it, I did NOT buy the food to eat.

That is the fastest tip I can give you. If you want more information, try a website that offers a free health class called OneClickNutrition for lots of free information. Also, try eating raw for 24 hours and see if the migraines don’t diminish. Raw foods don’t have any ingredient lists to bother with. See the “cook with me” video section to learn how to cook simply.

I felt great the day after I ate no grains. I had entirely cooked greens and a small piece of beef, no salt or sauce, ginger and garlic and some dried herbs for flavour. I couldn’t believe the difference, like the sun finally came out and all the clouds cleared away. I replicated the experience a few more times over the last few months. But I find it hard to eat this way, I need to buy a huge bag of greens every day because they cook down to nothing, and I really prefer to be vegetarian. But a day after eating a delicious millet, lentils and cauliflower dish, I was back to a low point. Today also feel bad after salad with feta cheese, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

The Argentinian diet?

I want to know what you dip in a chocolate and cheese fondue.

My face :lol:

Keep it clean folks :slight_smile:

Christine