Foods That Cause Migraines

People who experience random headaches should consider looking into foods that have been shown to possibly cause migraines. It’s said that certain foods are more prone to causing headaches than others due to their various ingredients or additives. For a great deal of people, migraines are a serious problem that can be long-lasting and obstructive to your daily plans. Finding the root of this pain can help you prevent it from becoming a chronic condition. Here is a list of prospective foods that are suspected to trigger migraines or migraine-like symptoms.

Common Food Triggers for Headaches

Sadly enough, some of the most common foods that cause migraines are coincidentally addicting to consume. The most notable component in these foods to watch out for are the amino acids tyramine and phenylethylamine. Foods high in tyramine and phenylethylamine include nuts, citrus fruits, chocolates, “moldy” cheeses, and vinegar. Tyramine is an amino acid that actually increases over time, which is why it can be easily found in improperly stored leftovers. Alcohol like beer, red wine, vermouth, and sherry also contain a great amount of tyramine, and is often proven to give people migraines because it’s also dehydrating.

You may also be sad to hear that caffeine is another well-known trigger, including coffee, green tea, black tea, and certain sodas. Caffeine is not only dehydrating but also addicting, and the withdrawals you experience once quitting caffeine can give you throbbing headaches for over a week. Ironically, depending on your sensitivity, caffeine is often used to relieve migraines as well. Speaking with a pain management professional is the best way to determine whether caffeine is good for your current condition.

Food Additives to Watch Out For:

Avoiding food additives that cause migraines can be tough if you’re not used to checking the labels. However, there are a few common additives that are always wise to stay away from like monosodium glutamate (MSG). This is generally found in Chinese food, yeast, canned vegetables and soups, soy sauce, processed meats, and most frozen dinners. Furthermore, processed meats are particularly capable of bringing on headaches because of all the nitrites they are made of. So hot dogs, pepperoni, bacon, jerky, deli meats, sausages, and corned beef could be the the source of your migraine if you have consumed them within the past 24 hours.

Another additive you are likely to come across at restaurants is an artificial sweetener called aspartame, included in sweetener packets called “Nutra-sweet” and “Equal”. A familiar flavor that could potentially give you headaches are those that contain tannins, which creates a dry and/or puckering sensation in your mouth. So be wary of things such as tea, red wine, red-skinned apples and pears, and apple juice and cider.

How to Tell if Your Diet Is the Cause

Dealing with constant head pain is not only inconvenient, but having to monitor foods that cause migraines is a headache in and of itself. If you think that your diet is a factor of your pain, you’ll need to test the individual food in question by avoiding it for at least 2 weeks to see if it makes a difference. Regardless, knowing how to adjust your diet to relieve pain is something best left instructed by professionals. The Pain Institute of Southern Arizona specializes in treatments for migraines and headaches as well as dozens of of other pain management programs. Getting your migraine under control can help reduce stress and steer clear of risky foods in the future.