No food triggers!

Hi guys,

I have tried the MAV diet per the books that are out there.

There is not one food that I have found that triggers anything different in me…NOTHING! not red wine, nuts, chocolate, citrus juices, cured meats, NADA!

I do not feel different after excluding all of the above…or completely sitting down and drowning my sorrows in red wine and eating 2 pounds of chocolate covered pecans :mrgreen:

The only “triggers” I have (and I do not know if I would consider these triggers or simply symptoms) are:

  • big shopping centers like walmart
  • patterned carpet (i know, that is an odd one :smiley: )
  • bright lights
  • driving
  • tired / not getting sleep
  • etc

So there you have it. Is it “normal” for me to not have any issues (good or bad) with all of these so-called “trigger” foods? It is so damn frustrating not knowing why some days I feel a little better than others…but it is never associated with food…aaaaaahhhhhhh!!! :x

I haveb een trying the diet and I dont think that I have any either, but not everyone does! I am At my witts end lately so I kNOW how your feeling, been 13 years for me!


Hi Todd,

You’re not alone. The only food triggers I have ever noticed are red wine and Coke Zero. And even then, only when I am already symptomatic/low threshold and even then not every time.

Some docs don’t put a lot of store in the food triggers thing. I believe the stats are roughly only 40% of migraineurs have food triggers/can control their migraine through food trigger avoidance.

My neuro says only to avoid red wine and MSG.

The good news if you don’t have food triggers is that you can eat and drink whatever the hell you want!


HI Todd,

you’re definitely not alone. I haven’t noticed anything except red wine - and even then it only happened once so maybe it was just a bad day. I feel marginally better without my 1 real coffee per day so generally avoid caffeine, but can eat chocolate occasionally with no obvious repercussions

My neuro only said “if something makes you feel worse avoid it” but in general he hadn’t found anything consistent in his patients to warrant a blanket avoidance message

While we are on the topic of “triggers”, I will digress once more.

The light-headed, full head pressure, tinnuitis, light sensitivity , foggy head feeling are with me 24/7.

Mind you, the severity levels do change throughout the day (quite consistently actually)…but they are ALWAYS THERE…ranging from 15% rotten to 75% rotten. (with 0% = feeling super and 100% = 6 feet under)

So…when you have something 24/7, how the hell are you supposed to know what a trigger is to even avoid it!!!

Supermarkets and malls certainly make me feel shitty…but does that mean that I am relegated to never go into a store again because it is considered a “trigger”.

I apologize for my ranting…I pride myself on being analytical and methodical to an extreme. So, to not be able to figure out how to beat this thing has really, really worn me out.

Your whining, ranting dizzy friend in Spokane…Todd :wink:

Todd I have tinnitus 24/7, but gets worse on “bad days” - I feel the same as you re identifying triggers - I am more looking for movements away from my “baseline” symptoms.

I don’t think you’ll never be able to go to malls again - you just need to hang tough until you find a med that gets this stuff under control for you - and then on good days (and there will be good days - and hopefully lots of them!) it will be “business as usual”


Hi Todd

You’re not ranting, you are bringing up things that we are all wracking our brains over and are good discussion points to help figure all this out

Was going to make this a new topic, but I think it is appropriate here. How are we defining a “Trigger”?
Something that just is irritating and makes you feel bad until you stop it or get away from it OR something that results in more severe attack/episode of symptoms ( which I’ve only had starting 20mg of Ami)?

Like you Todd my pressure filled, foggy, rocking motion head has been with me consistently for over a year now. The only time it completely goes away is when I lay down or sit with my head propped. And now come to think of it, when I’m actively engaged in something ( running to take the trash cans to the street and the last minute) and don’t have time to think about/experience the dizziness.

So,If I’ve been eating peanut butter and nuts constantly and let’s say they are a trigger for me, then maybe I’m Triggering my constant state of dizziness. It’s not a big knock you down with vertigo trigger like I’ve read others experience. But is it triggering this continuous sensation(15%-75%) that we are feeling?

Just found this board ( thank god) and the trigger lists two weeks ago. Stripped down my diet, going to try and keep it for 2 months (as suggested somewhere on this board). Pretty horrible eating the most bland food everyday.Dr Ishiyama says not to be too concerned with diet unless I notice a specific reaction. But if it’s just a small trigger that keeps the symptoms constant, it might be impossible to tell which food it is unless you strip away everything and then add back (can’t wait for cheese or chocolate) one by one looking for a reaction.

Hope some of that made sense, it’s been on my mind for awhile

Hey Todd,
I can’t find any real trigger with me either…I had a bout of vertigo about 8 years ago after drinking 2 glasses of red wine, but that was before the MAV constant stuff started 2 years ago. I too have the same 24/7 thing in my head…it’s always there, although I can say I finally had some of my first somewhat normal days starting in December with my new cocktail of meds.
I guess the good news is that we can eat and drink whatever we want…so we got that going for us!! Which is nice!

Good dialogue with this thread.

One final point with my current 24/7 issues…

There is ONE thing that actually resolves my issues completely.

If I can pre-occupy myself with having fun, talking with someone, watching a ball game, etc…**I can forget about it. **

The problem, though, is one second after I am done…it is right back , staring at me again! :frowning: The fog, light-headed, changing tinnuitis tones, etc come right on back.

And unfortunately, I cannot be having “fun” 24/7…wish I could :smiley:


— Begin quote from ____

— Begin quote from “Go Gonzaga”

Supermarkets and malls certainly make me feel shitty…but does that mean that I am relegated to never go into a store again because it is considered a “trigger”.

— End quote

— End quote

I would be happy to never go to another shopping mall in my life!

As for what constitutes a trigger - well, this is tricky. For some people it is obvious. They eat a piece of cheese and twenty minutes later they get a volcanic migraine. For the rest of us, not so clear. Kelly had two glasses of red wine and the next day got hit with migraine. The same thing has happened to me. But has it happened EVERY time I’ve had red wine? No way. So there are two options - when my ‘threshold’ is low, red wine will trigger a migraine but when my threshold is high I’m fine, or the red wine had nothing to do with it and my brain just snapped. Having said that, with red wine (as opposed to other common triggers) I have noticed that even if I don’t get a migraine any more than one small glass of red will make me feel really ordinary the next day. For this reason and for the calories, I’ve pretty much cut out alcohol (maybe one or two glasses of something per month).

But what about chronic migraine? The only way to tell is to do the migraine diet (but there is a fair variety of opinion on what are likely triggers) and then slowly add stuff back in. And/or you may need a med (or combo of meds) to break the migraine cycle and raise your threshold levels.

What is certainly sensible and for most people doable (except shift workers, parents of littlies etc) is the other lifestyle stuff. The regular sleep schedule, the moderate exercise, relaxation techniques and avoiding really bothersome things like shopping malls etc.


I too have it 24/7 to different levels, those level changes every hour or less!!! i NEVER know how I will be feeling in the morning or when I wake up WHO KNOW Show I will be feeling at lunch or dinner, will it be more on the stable side or will it be so bad I need to sit most the night! t\This is the part that kill me and makes me very anxious, I have 6 kids and they HAVE to do things and be places and I am always scared I will not be able to do it. Sometimes I just cannot!I cancelled their teacher/parent conferences yesterday cause there was NO way that I cold do that without leaning on a wall the WHOLE time! NO THANK YOU!

It is hard to try to find a trigger when its 24?7, I have been trying, I have taken like everything out that I am aware of and NOTHING!!! So looks like my further will be meds! Idk what else to think! Its depressing, Ido know that!


This is how I feel - I really have only noticed one trigger and I think it’s Walkers crisps. A couple of weeks ago I was having the same thing for lunch every day - ham/tomato/mayo sandwich on granary bread and a bag of either salt n vinegar or cheese n onion crisps.

Within 20 mins of finishing my ears would fill right up and hurt for the rest of the day and the popping would go postal in the left ear. Then I had to flat sit a friend’s place for 5 days (3 weeks back when I was ready to jump off a bridge) and I had eggs on toast each day for lunch and noticed that the ear filling didnt happen immediately and if it did happen, it was much later on and not ‘as’ painful.

Then last week I was out at the shops and very hungry and got a pre-packed sandwhich egg/mayo/tomato (no crisps) and the ear thing went through the roof within a couple of hours and by the evening I had 3 mini spins and was flawed.

Now I’ve had tomatos separately = fine and same with eggs and mayo but I dont know what other crap ingredients were in the Tesco sandwich as it was a pre-packed jobbie but the list was endless.

Since not having the crisps my ears have not filled up nearly as much or to the same degree of pain and the popping is slightly less frequent. But that is the ONLY thing I have noticed.

Everything else I’ve tried to cut out or monitor really closely but I have the same 24/7 symptoms and the number one being the chronic rocking/swaying (sometimes it physically push/pulls me and I can see myself moving!!) and my vision being all swimmy - this is the same no matter what I do with food. I feel like my brain is broken!

The only other trigger that ‘might’ be is the other week when I ate spinach and had a vertigo attack afterwards and I know spinach hits cmoc badly too.

I’ve started drinking decaf tea (1 cup a day) and it hasnt made a difference either way. I’m not sure if Im ready to brave decaf coffee yet tho!

Todd - thanks for your PM buddy, really cheered me up 8)

It could be stuff you are breathing in.

— Begin quote from “Go Gonzaga”

There is ONE thing that actually resolves my issues completely.

If I can pre-occupy myself with having fun, talking with someone, watching a ball game, etc…**I can forget about it. **

The problem, though, is one second after I am done…it is right back , staring at me again! :frowning:

— End quote

The kid’s neurologist said that socializing and having fun are a critical part of lifestyle management for migraine. Seriously. Enough so that she wants us to prioritize having fun equally with getting schoolwork done. Yes, he has to do schoolwork, but he has to have fun, too, if he wants to keep the symptoms at bay.

Aspartame is definitely a food trigger for him (if you can call aspartame food). But his neurologist doesn’t think it’s usually worth looking for food triggers unless normal lifestyle management + meds doesn’t do the trick. What she recommends, for lifestyle management, is good sleep hygiene, eating healthy foods on a regular schedule, being active, and having fun.

My guess is that anything that knocks the symptoms back for a while is a good thing. Maybe for now, the symptoms come back instantly. But maybe over time, the beneficial effects will last longer.