Everyday Foods That Cause Headaches And Migraines Foods That You Should Avoid
Before we mention the common foods that cause headaches and migraines, we would like to introduce to you some background information about these conditions. Migraines and other types of problem like a sinus headache and tension headache have a painful experience. When you suffer from migraines and headaches, you may face the symptoms such as nausea, pounding headache, vomiting, and light sensitivity. Migraines can be treated with abortion and antinausea drugs or preventive medications. The common treatment for the problem is using pain relievers.
Why Is Msg Banned
In the west, this manufactured additive has been blamed for a number of adverse reactions headaches, sweating, flushing, numbness of the face and neck, palpitations, nausea, chest pain and sleeplessness known collectively as Chinese restaurant syndrome. Restaurants that use MSG dont brag about it.
The Secret Of Msg Or What Causes Headaches In Chinese Food
Is monosodium glutamate really bad?
Specific information is spread about one of the ingredients in Chinese foods. Monosodium glutamate is claimed by many to cause headaches. Is there a basis for this?
Have we ever felt like having a headache after eating Chinese food? The news that monosodium glutamate in these foods triggers such symptoms has struck my head for some time.
But what exactly is it? MSG is a spice made from sodium and glutamate, an amino acid that is also found naturally in certain foods such as tomatoes, soy sauce, older cheeses.
And glutamate was discovered back in 1908 as a flavor enhancer a Japanese professor pointed out that glutamate was the substance that made its favorite seaweed soup a rich, salty-tasting dish. Glutamate is considered unique, referred to by the Japanese as the fifth flavor, or umam , definitely because of its salty and fleshy taste.
The professor filed a patent for the production of MSG, which was then widely used as a seasoning.
In 1968, however, the The New England Journal of Medicine a journal appeared in a journal, from a doctor who claimed to have experienced a severe heartbeat after consuming Chinese food. He believed that the reason could be the MSG found in these foods, and the authors in the paper Chinese restaurant as a syndromethey mentioned the phenomenon.
The FDA has rated MSG as a generally recognized ingredient, with the same rating as sugar or baking soda.
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Bright Lights Big Headache
Some people who have migraine or headaches can have a condition called photophobia, which is abnormal or extreme sensitivity to light, according to the American Migraine Foundation. Its so common in migraine that its actually one of the diagnostic criteria.
Bright fluorescent lights, flickering lights, and even very bright natural sunlight can all trigger a migraine attack in people who have photophobia. However, sensitivity to light can also be a premonitory symptom, or a sign that a migraine attack has already started.
If light is in fact a trigger for you, gradually increasing your tolerance to light may reduce headaches and migraine attacks brought on by photophobia.
A Few More Potential Trigger Foods
Even though weâd hate to take the fun out of even more of your favorite foods, we should let you know about these other potential trigger foods. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these foods are commonly reported as migraine triggers, but thereâs no scientific evidence that they really cause them, so donât clean out your fridge just yet. Instead, turn to a migraine tracker to see if any of these might be causing you pain.
- Chicken livers and other organ meats
- Dairy products like buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt
- Dried fruits like dates, figs, and raisins
- Most beans including lima, fava, navy, pinto, garbanzo, lentils, and snow peas
- Pickled foods like olives, sauerkraut, and, of course, pickles
- Potato chips
- Some fresh fruits like ripe bananas, papaya, red plums, raspberries, kiwi, and pineapple
- Smoked or dried fish
- Tomato-based products
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Foods That Trigger Headaches
Headaches and migraines are often triggered by certain foods. But not all headache triggers deserve their bad rap.
Theres nothing like a pounding headache to make you seek refuge in a dark, quiet room and hide from the world. If you suffer with chronic headache pain, you have great company. More than 45 million Americans have chronic headache pain from migraine, tension, or cluster headaches.
Women suffer headaches more frequently than men, perhaps because of variations in the brain chemical called serotonin, which plays a role in pain and depression. When levels of the hormone estrogen plummet, levels of serotonin change as well.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common headaches include:
- Cluster headache
- Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia , cluster headache and paroxysmal hemicranias
Whether you suffer with migraines, tension or sinus headaches, or headaches from arthritis or jaw pain, all headaches have one central thread that weaves them together: inner or outer triggers cause the body to react with pain thats felt in the head. These triggers may stem from foods, tobacco, chemicals, stress, environment, or your hormones, among other things, and may vary from one person to the next.
Msg Effects Claim #: Excess Dietary Glutamate Causes Brain Damage
This claim is based on a theory named: excitotoxicity. It sounds made up, but its actually a real condition. Excitotoxicity is a pathological process by which neurons are damaged and killed by the over-excitation of receptors for the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. So glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter just like other neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine and serotonin.
Excitotoxicity isnt a common occurrence. It can happen after a brain injury or stroke, but no evidence has found that excitotoxicity can happen as a result of dietary intake of any neurotransmitters. No evidence has found that ingesting foods with glutamate or choline like seafood and eggs, respectively or tryptophan like turkey causes an excitotoxicity response.
The bottom line is: excitotoxicity is a response to a brain trauma, not to what we eat.
Restaurants Are So Tricky For Those With Migraines Is There A Basic Guideline For Foods To Avoid
Q: Ive figured out how to avoid my trigger foods at home, but eating out seems like such a chore! Do you have any guidelines for foods to avoid or suggestions on which foods are safe to eat in restaurants?
A: It can be a bit trickier to avoid triggers at restaurants, but you dont have to forsake dining out. Here are some guidelines:
Restaurants to avoid include:
- Cheap buffets: They may leave food sitting too long or use suspect ingredients.
- Chinese food: Possible triggers are MSG and soy sauce.
- Japanese food: Possible triggers are soy sauce, tofu, and miso.
- Mexican food: Possible triggers are beans , cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and tomato-based salsa.
Restaurants to enjoy include:
- High-Quality American: Order the chicken vegetables rice or potatoes, plain ,
- Seafood: Have any fish vegetables rice or potatoes, plain ,
- Italian: Order pasta with broccoli and grilled chicken or seafood tossed in an olive oilbased sauce
- Treat yourself to strawberries with whipped cream rice pudding or herbal tea with plain biscotti.
- Avoid chocolate, unless you have confirmed that chocolate is not a personal migraine trigger.
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Keep Asking Questions Until You Get The Answer You Need
The Medical Experts are all here to answer your questions online or with a phone call.
Many drinks which contain alcohol will result in a headache by increasing the blood flow to our brain and making your body dehydrated. They are also the triggers of migraines and headaches. Patients with the problem tend to have worse hangovers caused by any alcohol type, according to Robert Daroff, MD, a professor of neurology working at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland and also a past president of the American Headache Society. Alcohol will cause headaches in some patients who have gone through a period of cluster headaches.
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What Foods Contain Msg
If you suffer from headaches or migraines, start by avoiding possible known triggers. Processed food has more additives than just MSG. To reduce the chance of triggering a migraine, avoidance of the foods may be key. MSG is most noticeably used in Chinese food and processed packaged foods. Most fast food Asian restaurants will now indicate No MSG on their menus because of the number of people sensitive to it . Above all, note that MSG can also be added to processed foods, so be diligent when reading labels.
Look for other names used for MSG. Often glutamic acid is the byproduct of making hydrolyzed or isolate proteins in foods.
If the label does not specifically say MSG-free, look for these additives as they may contain MSG:
- Monosodium glutamate
- Anything with the words enzyme-modified or isolates
The following products may also contain additives with MSG:
- Raman noodles
- Whey protein or whey isolate
- Soy sauce or soy protein isolate
- Malted barley
Not everyone has a reaction to MSG when they eat processed foods or go out for Chinese dinner. In general, as part of a well-rounded whole foods diet, eating fewer processed foods is the safest and more health conscious way to go. By simply switching to a whole foods diet, you may notice that your headaches and migraines are less frequent.
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Gaby, A. . Nutritional Medicine. Concord: Fritz Perlberg Publishing.
Migraine And Headache: Causes In Chinese Medicine
Key Learning Points
- Migraine and Headache are due to imbalances between yin and yang energies
- Migraines tend to be from excess yang
- Headaches late in the day tend to from deficiency
- Deep, whole-head headaches often come from Kidney deficiency
Migraine and Headache problems affect eight million people in the UK alone. Thats 12% of us. Its a worldwide problem, more common than asthma, diabetes and epilepsy combined. What does Chinese medicine have to say about it?
Towards the bottom of this page weve described some kinds of head pain and suggested possible syndromes for them.
However, just before that near the bottom of the page is a copy of a letter to the editor of the Journal of American Medical Association. This respected journal carried an article on the prevention of migraine which mentioned a number of treatments for which there is noevidence and failed to mention acupuncture, for which there is abundant positive evidence!
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Ditching Foods That Trigger Migraines
If you’re suspicious that certain foods are triggers, eliminate one food at a time, says Dr. Wilhour.
Avoid the food for four weeks and see if you notice a difference. Having fewer migraines? Continue to avoid that food if it’s not too difficult to do so. Notice no difference? Reintroduce that food and move on to another.
Keep in mind that you may not be dealing with a single trigger. Instead, several triggers may be working together.
“I know that if I go to a ballpark on a hot day and eat a hot dog and drink a beer, that would be a headache day for me,” Dr. Diamond says.
How Our Diets Affect Migraine
Many things can trigger a migraine attack, including what we eat and drink.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, foods that trigger migraine may only do so when combined with other triggers. But this combination and any trigger in general is highly individualized, making research difficult.
Theres no such thing as a universal migraine trigger. But there are some common triggers that can cause or contribute to migraine episodes in some people.
But according to the American Migraine Foundation, caffeine can actually help stop oncoming migraine attacks. It can also offer headache relief with occasional use.
Foods and drinks with caffeine include:
one study , over 35% of the participants with migraine reported that alcohol was one of their common triggers.
Red wine in particular was reported as a trigger in over 77% of the participants who reported alcohol as a trigger.
Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is a significant contributor in developing headaches.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, chocolate is thought to be the second most common trigger for migraine attacks after alcohol. They say it affects an estimated 22 percent of people who experience migraine.
Chocolate contains both caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine, which may trigger headaches in some people.
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Thoughts On Sensitive To Msg Guess What Youre Not
I am experiencing migraine day two neatly 48 hours now after eating Thai food with msg.
Severed debilitating. And sometimes I get diarrhea
Post is not helpful sorry but comments are
I agree with you about your blood pressure. Im dealing with the effects of it right now after eating Korean tacos from one of the mail order food services. Before that my blood pressure was normal for me. This came out of nowhere and I am just short of going to the Emergency room.
Make no mistake that MSG in some people will cause your BP to skyrocket. Ive known others that have dealt with the food industries lies about its effects.
This is obviously nothing more than another case where special interests are paying to have those that are tasked to protect its citizens to ignore the truth.
I guess because of your expertise in the kitchen with your Grandma, we should all rest easier.
What you say makes sense about protecting special interests. The comments make a lot more sense to me than the post, which doesnt seem to make much sense at all .
I have similar allergic symptoms to some of your commentors, but was able to isolate my actual allergy to soy. Perhaps it isnt the MSG, but the soy protein making people sick. I found this website while trying to find a link between MSG and soy. So far I see no reason why I cant have MSG.
Traditional Chinese Medicine For Migraine Headaches
LIVER RELATED HEADACHES RUN ALONG THE TEMPLES, AS THE GALL BLADDER MERIDIAN GOES THROUGH THIS AREA
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have enjoyed a long and successful history of treating a wide variety of headache patterns. Migraine headaches currently affect around 5 million Americans. The cause of migraines eludes many of its sufferers. Certain foods have been identified as triggers. Stress, anxiety and hormonal imbalances have also been found to play a role. Many people with migraines feel hopeless, as they have tried conventional medications without good results.
According to Chinese medical theory, migraines have a few different causes. The number one pattern underlying migraines is liver qi stagnation. This means the functional energy of the liver becomes stuck and hyperactive. This is usually due to pent-up anger or a chronic inability to express ones emotions. Liver related headaches tend to run along the temples because the gall bladder meridian which is closely connected with the liver travels through this area.
Acupuncture is certainly worth pursuing as a powerful treatment option for migraines. The typical course of treatment in my practice is once a week for six to eight visits, after which time we will assess where to go from there. Acupuncture is usually a deeply relaxing experience that optimizes ones overall level of health. It has no side effects.
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Red Wine And Other Alcoholic Beverages Are Foods That Trigger Migraines
Sulfites, used as preservatives in red wine, are included in the list of foods that trigger migraines. Alcohol in any drink causes increased blood flow to your brain and can also result in dehydration, both of which might be headache triggers. “People with migraines tend to get worse hangovers from any type of alcohol,” notes Robert Daroff, MD, professor of neurology at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland and past president of the American Headache Society. Alcohol will also trigger a headache in someone going through a period of cluster headaches.
Types Of Foods Which Can Trigger Vertigo
According to estimates, between the years 2001 and 2004 approximately 69 million people in the USA greater than age 49 years suffered from vestibular dysfunction. Vestibular system is present in your brain and it helps you to maintain balance, move freely and stand in upright position. These functions are disrupted during vertigo and you feel spinning of your surroundings. Causes of vertigo are injuries, migraines, seizures and problems with inner ear. Apart from medical treatment, avoiding certain foods can also improve symptoms of vertigo.
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What Does An Msg Allergy Look Like
Flushing, sweating, chest pain, and weakness are all potential reactions to monosodium glutamate, or MSG, a flavor enhancer and popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines. Other symptoms include headache, facial pressure, drowsiness, and numbness and tingling in the face, back, and arms.
Understanding Food Triggers For Chronic Migraine
by Health Writer
Heres a little food for thought: For some people who struggle with chronic migraines, mealtime can be a veritable minefield. The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio estimates that 20% of headache patients are food sensitive . Common offenders are like a smorgasbord, including everything from aged cheese and alcohol to pickled foods, hot dogs, and chocolate. When it comes to the most commonly reported food triggers, the American Migraine Foundation says alcohol tops the list at 33%, followed by chocolate .
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