Migraine trigger questions

Recently (past three months) I’ve been dealing with what I firmly believe is MAV. Still on a waiting list to see a neurologist. Been trying to change my diet to see if this will help the frequency and severity of my attacks and it has sort of helped so far.

My question is, for those of you affected by food triggers, how fast do you react to those foods? Is it an instant reaction, happens over hours or the next day? What foods are your biggest triggers? So far for me: Caffeine, chocolate, msg, sulphates, vinegar, yoghurt, and alcohol make things worse. Some foods I notice symptoms right after eating them but never had a problem with them before my first attack. Am I more sensitive to food allergies I previously had or do these foods just trigger the wrong responses in the brain causing migraine? For me they usually bring on stabbing right ear pain and make me lightheaded. Is going for a food allergy test a good idea?

I also notice I have to go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday. If I try to sleep in I start getting dizzy in my bed and get a massive head migraine in between my eyes both of which never happened before my first attack. I used to be able to sleep all day. Can changing your sleep schedule and oversleeping cause migraine as well? What other triggers cause migraine? I know that otc pain medication can cause rebound migraine but what about an abortive medication like Imitrex or Relpax? These seem to work well on my head pain but I don’t want to do myself more harm than good.

Sorry for all the questions I am a newbie to this!! Thank you for your input, it’s definitely appreciated in trying to figure it all out! :?

It really depends. Sometimes triggers act immediately and other times it may take a day or two. It depends on both the person and the threshold level that you are at (i.e. how close to a migraine you are before you eat that specific food, regardless of the food). Its good to take note of your reaction and the time lapse, so you are on your way. I would recommend you get the book “Heal Your Headache” if you have not.

Thanks! I have been meaning to order “Heal Your Headache” since no bookstores around me are selling it. It sounds like there is a lot of useful information about triggers in it as well as about migraine itself. I look forward to reading it! :slight_smile:

It’s a good question - the ‘how long does it take for the trigger to take effect’? And quite maddening when trying to pin down what is the culprit.

I’ve got two known food triggers. If I have red wine - it’s the next day - it’s not a hangover feeling it’s more an intense fogginess and spaced out feeling. The other is Coke Zero. There’s something in it beyond just the caffeine that can (if my threshold is low) cause instant problems - mainly anxiety. Caffeine in general I can only tolerate small amounts of without getting very jittery and anxious, or a full blown migraine.

Maddening is definitely a good word for it Victoria. Red wine I can understand because of the sulphates, and maybe with the coke zero it is the artificial sweeteners or preservatives that cause the instant reaction in you? Caffeine is a big one for me as well which is really sad because before all of this I was a coffee/espresso addict. :frowning: I just keep saying there are worse things in life and at least my self control is at an all time high!

Well this last big one was caused by paint again! I never learn. I used a new undercoat to paint an internal door and the fumes after were lethal although I didnt stay in the room long. Also there was some stress the two days previous and I ate a bran based food for two days. I got the flashing zig zag lights, a three day stinker migraine and two vertigo attacks (one of them a big one) in between. I had one day of recovery when I had visitors who stayed 5 hours (too long) and bang, woke the next morning with another vertigo attack. The last flashing light migraine I had was two years ago, abroad, when I had to call the cleaners out to get rid of the flying ants (they used this lethal killer spray), few hours later, flashing lights and bad migraine which lasted days. So paint, chemicals etc. are the realy big one for me, add to that stress and the wrong food and I am totally floored!

Christine

Its a good idea to keep a record of what u eat/drink. few days ago i had a wicked migraine right after drinking one of those Nestle milkshakes…Yuckkk. Never again. :x

i stopped drinking coffee, but can still drink tea with no problem. I think the worst trigger is stress.(for me)
also salt, artificial sweetner. I am going to order the book “Heal your headache” from amazon. :slight_smile:

I for one am fascinated by JUST HOW QUICKLY the reaction can occur: sometimes with the food at my lips.
I am also intrigued by how certain foods I used to love, I no longer like the taste of, as if my mind is steering me away.
And some days, it seems like the simple act of eating any foods, even those NOT trigger defined, can set me into a fog. That seems more like a hypoglycemic reaction as it clears up if I push on and eat more.

— Begin quote from “ammaretto”

Its a good idea to keep a record of what u eat/drink. few days ago i had a wicked migraine right after drinking one of those Nestle milkshakes…Yuckkk. Never again. :x

— End quote

Not…Milo!!! Scott may ban you from the forum if you diss Milo. :lol:

cmoc - Paint I can understand giving anyone a headache let alone a migraine. There is something about the smell that is so chemical and I think strong smells can set off migraine too. Hope you are starting to feel better and take it easy on yourself - none of that sounds fun at all! I will try to stay away from chemicals… I work as a receptionist at a hair salon and I love my job but I sort of feel like the products and smells can make me worse off. There is one specific product and if I start smelling it I get instantly dizzy. It’s hard to answer the phone trying not to breathe, hehe!

ammaretto - Good idea on keeping a record of everything. Starting a journal is probably a good idea just to be able to track everything down and really start to identify triggers. Good to know you can still drink tea, I have been trying to find some sort of warm beverage for a coffee substitute. Is it caffeine free tea or just normal kinds? At the moment I’ve been living off honey water and ginger which is kind of boring. A nestle milkshake sounds fantastic right now but that’s no good that it set you off.

dougiedd - Wow, food at your lips and you get a reaction! Good to know, that is really interesting. I guess your intuition is guiding you away from those foods for your own good. I know what you mean about eating too, I’m almost scared of trying anything “safe” because I’m afraid i’ll pay for it later. Hypoglycemia can bring on migraine though so we definitely gotta keep eating.

Thanks for the info everyone, you all have been really helpful. :slight_smile:

I had totaly forgotten about Caffiene-free teabags! Im gonna buy some. im currently using tetly tea with no problem. I think i will start trying instant hot chocolate for a change . also hot apple cider is good this time of yr.

Ever since i gave up coffee, i have been drinking French Vannila cappacino supreme…Now THATS a mouthful :o

Yummy Tim Horton’s - you are a Canadian too :slight_smile: Can’t live without it, although I have been ever since this whole thing started a few months ago. The French Vanilla Supreme sounds amazing and it is caffeine free you are right! I used to work there when I was younger and people would always ask. We need some sort of indulgence after all of this migraine diet stuff so thats a great idea. Apple Cider is another good idea too, thanks! Just be careful because the hot chocolate has more caffeine than a cup of coffee and might cause problems for you. If not, go for it!

— Begin quote from “alexisc”

My question is, for those of you affected by food triggers, how fast do you react to those foods? Is it an instant reaction, happens over hours or the next day? What foods are your biggest triggers?

— End quote

Hi,

Some foods set me off within 1-2 hours but most affect me 24 hours later. So if I gorge myself on chocolate and caffiene, I will be trashed the next day by 11 AM. If I sat down and ate a pizza covered with pepperoni and cheese, I’d feel it within 2 hours. The effect might be crushing head pain, some dizziness or sever head fog.

S :slight_smile:

— Begin quote from “scott”

— Begin quote from “alexisc”

My question is, for those of you affected by food triggers, how fast do you react to those foods? Is it an instant reaction, happens over hours or the next day? What foods are your biggest triggers?

— End quote

Hi,

Some foods set me off within 1-2 hours but most affect me 24 hours later. So if I gorge myself on chocolate and caffiene, I will be trashed the next day by 11 AM. If I sat down and ate a pizza covered with pepperoni and cheese, I’d feel it within 2 hours. The effect might be crushing head pain, some dizziness or sever head fog.

S :slight_smile:

— End quote

Same with me. Most food offenders hit within a couple of hours but chocolate may take a day. Alcohol hits the fastest of the food offenders. It’s the airborne offenders that will slam me in seconds to minutes. But food triggered symptoms take longer to leave too. I can have lesser food offenders for days on end and they will eventually ramp up, but I can’t toy with dairy stuff, that hits hard and fast and the effects stick around a long time.

Burd,

I am interested in which airborne offenders are the worse for you, also your worse food offenders as I know you have had good control of migraine in avoiding these.I have some of my worse migraines with stuff like paint, insect spray etc.

Christine