No dietary triggers

I am doing my best to follow the migraine diet, avoiding the 6c’s etc.

However, I have not noticed having any triggers. Before I reduced my diet to migraine free, whenever I drank coffee (with caffeine), ate pizza, chocolates etc, I did not feel any different to how I feel now. Does anyone else have no obvious dietary triggers?

I am about to begin a preventative, but it seems that following a strict migraine diet is not having any effect on me?

The “Heal your Headache” book has an interesting explanation about this: you might not notice any improvement yet because you’re still above your migraine triggering threshold; but by following the diet you are at least lowering your level of triggers to come closer to getting below your threshold. The preventative medication might just get you below.
I have to say I’m also not noticing any difference, and I’ve been doing the diet since November !

You just won my award for the Biggest Trend Bucker I’ve ever met!

I don’t think I’ve seen a detailed history of your symptoms but if you have very inconsistent symptoms or alternatively chronic 24/7 symptoms triggers are often impossible to establish. You won’t known what they are/might be until things settle down a bit.

I think you said you saw Dr S, who’s eminent in his field. Perhaps you should ask him what he thinks about you cherry picking his treatment plan? Helen

It took me years (3?) to get to the point where I started to notice how the diet was affecting me, by which time my symptoms were more under control.

I think MAV can be so bad at the beginning you simply can’t dampen it down very much with diet.

If it’s that bad then medication might be the route to go for the time being so yes, go with that.

Oh, but btw, the medication may mask things, so it makes the job even harder :smiley:

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Everyone is different. The diet did not help me, but it doesn’t mean it won’t help you. This is a very frustrating disease.

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Worked just the opposite for me. The meds controlled the 24/7 dizziness so I could then see possible links between certain foods which would bring on dizziness.


The Migraine Diet is a strange one. Not all consultants subscribe to it. The neuro-oto I saw never mentioned it. The Migraine Specialist neuro never mentioned it in consultation and when I chased her later by email told me not to bother. Some consultants are very precious about it however. They consider it an integral part of a treatment plan and not conforming probably alienates the patient more than somewhat. @janb may be able to confirm but I think Dr S is insistent upon the diet. I know in the US some insist people do months - three/four? - before they prescribe any meds. @rosjane saw one like that but from my research it’s quite common US practice. Helen

The diet may not help at all. The initial neurologist I saw did not even mention food or drink triggers - only medication. I think I will use the preventative and hope for the best, but continue trying to avoid any dietary ‘triggers’.

Not an award I am proud of. I am sure there are many others who also are confused at what could be called a trigger.

My main symptoms are lightheadedness/disorientation when in motion/busy places. I also get this if I look down sometimes for a prolonged period. On top of this, I have left head/neck symptoms, hence the VM diagnosis, such as constant heaviness, sometimes pressure and mild pain.

I trust Dr S’s judgement. I won’t question his plan at such an early stage, but I just can’t seem to figure out what, if anything, is a trigger. My head pressure is constant, only relieved when I am resting, but worse when I am concentrating/focused/in front of a computer screen all day long.

The whole MAV concept is foreign and confusing to everybody at the start. You won’t probably be able to pick out triggers until your symptoms are reduced. Don’t worry about it. Stress is a trigger too. It will come clear with time. Try searching this site for ‘triggers’. Should be plenty of info.

This is an extract from The Walton Centre Migraine Guide which may help:-

Are migraine attacks caused by triggers?
Migraine attacks may be triggered or made more likely by many complex factors, both internal within the body or external. Many of these are unavoidable, e.g. stress, relief after stress, weather changes, shift work, menstrual cycle etc.
Common triggers that may be more avoidable may include: poor sleep, too much sleep (lie- ins), missing meals, not drinking enough fluid. In addition, headaches may be triggered and made more frequent by caffeine and by painkillers in many people with migraine.
It is important to establish good lifestyle as this may make it more difficult for an attack to be triggered and it may make other preventative treatments more effective if they are still needed.
For migraine, the commonest reason that people remain unwell is that they are taking too much caffeine and too many painkillers. Our experience shows that introduction of a good “foundation” of lifestyle will help approximately 40% of patients improve significantly, where this is all the treatment they need.

That’s Visual Vertigo. Common with MAV. Motion is therefore one trigger.

That’s as near as I get to The Headache. Quitting caffeine worked wonders.

Really? But not do the diet? Helen

I will try, and am trying the diet. I just don’t have much confidence in the diet. Like I said, I regularly had cheese, chocolate etc, but it didn’t make things any worse.

Being in busy environments, focusing on multiples things, talking to people in an intense conversation are things which make it worse.

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What about Vegan chocolate? Is that acceptable?

Sorry. Not a clue. Haven’t eaten chocolate all my adult life. Vegan chocolate must be quite new invention? Never heard of it. If it contains ‘carob’ that’s out too from what I’ve read. Never sure what migraineurs are avoiding in chocolate though I know it was my first ever trigger as a girl.
I feel almost sure white chocolate is OK. Search it on here.Helen

Vegan chocolate doesn’t have dairy in it but it does have cocoa which has caffeine in it and can be a trigger. Dr S’s Six C’s diet sheet is the easiest and most unrestrictive migraine diet I’ve come across.
If you don’t want to do it all cut out one thing first such as coffee which is a big trigger for a lot of people. I found cutting this and green tea which I drank a lot of out helped a little bit. I have one cup of decaff in the morning. If I want a chocolate biscuit I have one but I gave up Green and Blacks dark chocolate. I reckon that the little bit of dairy and caffeine in a kitkat now and then isn’t likely to push me over my threshold.

The diets are based on what people with migraine have reported are their food triggers, so they may not be your food triggers.The diet includes the most reported ones e.g. caffeine, fermented foods, dairy etc. Dr S itold me he is keen on the diet, especially for people who have recently started having MAV symptoms but another Headache specialist I saw told me not to bother unless I already knew or noticed something didn’t help (e.g. red wine on top of being stressed, not having eaten recently etc). She felt that most foods especially in moderation don’t add that much to the cumulative effect needed to trigger the “migraine”.

I do the diet because I feel I am being proactive and it doesn’t cost anything or hurt me any way. I was misdiagnosed with Menieres for years and did a low salt, high fluid, low dairy (milk in coffee) diet and have kept to that (on top of the six C’s) as I think it did help with dizziness. I think cutting dairy helps with restricting mucus production and that seems to help with my ear fullness.

It’s worth a try.


Dr S put me on the 6 Cs diet and a preventive (Pizotifen) last June , so I have been on the diet for 1 year now and have to stay on it until this Sept. when Dr S will review progress.
I am still not sure what my dietary triggers are, although I have my suspicions that some foods are a major player, as there seems to be a link for me with food and increased ear/head pressure. However I do notice that a barometric change is also a trigger for the pressure so the food thing may be coincidental.
I have been very good about sticking to the diet, as I was desperate to get better, but I am less pedantic about it now and don;t worry too much if I eat a little of something I shouldn’t. That said I haven’t touched red wine, or anything alcoholic, chocolate, cheese, yoghurt citrus bananas etc ,Chinese food and caffeine - strictly decaf tea & coffee for me from day 1 of the new regime - I know there is a certain amount of caffeine in decaf options.
What makes me suspect that my MVBD is linked to diet is that when it first kicked off, every-time I ate something pre 6 Cs diet + Pizotifen, the dizziness levels increased , in fact the very first symptom I had (and ignored) was dizziness after drinking a cup of tea + digestive biscuit. Plus my IBD has improved so much since being on the 6 Cs diet to the point where my Gastroenterologist might sign me off his list. I always thought there must be a food connection with my unhappy digestive system, but my gastro has never suggested a diet of any kind and I therefore feel very indebted to Dr S for putting me on the 6 Cs.
I think what I am trying to say in a roundabout way is that the 6 Cs diet might be worth a try :slightly_smiling_face: Jan


That is good to hear. Your situation sounds similar to me in that I also saw Dr S, and will be following his diet/going on Pizotifen.

How have you found Pizotifen? Is it a drug that you can notice taken? How long does it take to take effect? Did you get very hungry and tired? I am worried about taking it…

Off Topic. Can you please ask that in a Medication Topic please, preferably an existing one covering this drug.

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