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Does Chocolate Make Migraines Worse

Can Caffeine Ease Migraine Attacks

Why chocolates is a bigger trigger for lots of headache and migraine sufferers?

A variety of drugs used to treat headaches, such as Excedrin, Anacin, and Midol, contain caffeine.

This is because caffeine may reduce the sensation of pain through its effects on adenosine receptors, which influence pain signaling in the brain.

While research around caffeine and migraine is still ongoing, its thought that since adenosine is involved in the physiological processes associated with migraine attacks, caffeine may be able to reduce some of the pain associated with them via its effect on adenosine receptors.

However, the amount of caffeine consumed and the frequency of consumption, have a lot to do with its beneficial effects.

Can Chocolate Cause Swelling In Joints

Its an odd event if after eating chocolate you suddenly realize that your joints are swollen, but there may be a connection. If youre allergic to chocolate, you can develop joint swelling and pain in different parts of your body. If you notice that joint swelling is a common result from eating chocolate, stop consuming all products that contain chocolate until you can be evaluated by a medical doctor and an allergist. Most chocolate allergies cause mild to severe symptoms, varying from person to person.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Managing A Headache With Good Food Choices

The Cleveland Clinic notes that most information about food that triggers headaches was gathered from people self-reporting their experiences. There have been research studies conducted in the past, and many ongoing right now. The challenge for researchers is that each case is different. The first step is avoiding foods that are known to trigger headaches. Should a headache develop, there are foods that may spur a faster recovery period.

Knowing what to eat when your head hurts can help you make good choices. The most common foods and drinks that have been reported to help headaches include:

  • Leafy greens
  • Almonds
  • A small cup of coffee for a caffeine headache

Avoid consuming processed foods, aged cheeses, smoked or dried fish, cultured dairy products, high sodium foods like potato chips and foods high in carbohydrates and sugar. Sometimes, headache relief comes from knowing what not to eat.

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Figure Out Your Food Triggers

Not all common migraine trigger foods will set off the beast in all people with migraines. Im pretty passionate about pickles, for example, and theyre OK for my head. I mostly skip the wheat and the meat.

You can learn your triggers by keeping a migraine diary. The American Migraine Foundation recommends this solution rather than undergoing an elimination diet, which phases several foods out your diet.

When you get a migraine, mark down what you ate in the past 24 hours. If you see a common food show up on your list, stop eating it for 30 days and see if the change lessens your pounding headaches.

If you havent seen your doctor for your migraine pain yet, make an appointment ASAP. Your doctor can help rule out other conditions that require a different or even urgent treatment.

Your doc will also develop a treatment plan for your migraines. There are treatments to help:

  • prevent future migraines
  • manage migraine pain during an episode
  • manage other migraine symptoms like nausea

Understanding Migraine Headache Triggers: Food And Drink

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Common foods and drinks act as migraine headache triggers. Activities play a role too. Many people with migraines report that eating or drinking certain foods will trigger a headache. We suggest to our patients that they use this list of food triggers to isolate their specific headache triggers and reduce them as much as possible. But oftentimes we find sleep, sleep position, and neck triggers to be more important than food triggers .

It may take as long as 24 to 36 hours after you ingest the food for the sequence of events to lead to a headache. Some days youll have a headache based on something you ate yesterday or the day before. Pinpointing specific headache triggers can be complex and something a headache specialist and patient need to work together to figure out.

Specific food triggersAccording to the Institutes Dr. Dana Winegarner, food related headache triggers include:*

  • UPDATE ON HEADACHE AND MIGRAINE

    Insist on RNI.

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The Truth About Chocolate And Migraines

I’ve always heard that chocolate was a migraine trigger, so I was surprised when Dr. Audrey Halpern, clinical assistant professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, said that it might be safe for the migraine-prone to eat it. Apparently many headache specialists, including Dr. Halpern, believe that chocolate doesn’t cause migraines but rather that craving chocolate might simply indicate that a migraine is on it’s way.

“Some people have physiological cravings for chocolate anywhere from 4-24 hours before their migraine,” she explains. “Because of that association, people often assume that it triggers the attackbut in reality it may be your body attempting to treat a migraine before it even begins. Caffeine, which is present in chocolate, actually gets rid of migraines when used sparingly.”

Dr. Halpern doesn’t recommend intentionally eating lots of chocolate to prevent an attack, since that could backfire. “You have to find your own sweet spot, if you will. If you’re under a lot of stress and not sleeping well, then you may want to decrease or eliminate your chocolate intake for a while,” she says. “If you’re more prone to headaches during certain phases of your menstrual cycle, avoid large chocolate doses during those times. Try having a few M& M’s or a small piece of chocolate to satisfy the craving, rather than overdosing. and get some sleep.”

Barbara Brody, Health Editor

Diet And Hydration For Migraines

Research is beginning to show a relationship between blood sugar levels and the onset of migraines. When you get to a point of hunger where you start to feel shaky and even light-headed, a chemical change in the brain can trigger a migraine. These types of migraines can be particularly painful because, in addition to the migraine, you must battle the effects of low blood sugar and hunger. The same also goes with dehydration.

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Ripe Bananas And Avocados

Youve heard nutrition experts praise bananas and avocados because of their many health benefits, but ripe bananas and avocados are also high in tyramine. Certain foods that are high in tyramine can cause migraines, says Jennifer Kriegler, MD, of the Center for Neurological Restoration at the Cleveland Clinic. Even if youre not prone to migraines, high tyramine levels can still cause headaches. Tyramine is an amino acid that most people can digest without issue. However, if a person has the enzyme monoamine oxidase deficiency or if the person is taking certain antidepressants it can interfere with the breakdown process. Ripe bananas and ripe avocados can be potent headache triggers because they contain high amounts of tyramine, says Kriegler. Make sure you know these sneaky signs youre about to have a migraine.

With So Many Complicating Factors Whats The Best Approach To Reduce My Chance Of Getting A Headache

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Being aware of foods, drinks and most importantly, the ingredients and chemicals that have been reported as headache triggers can be a helpful tool, a good starting point. Keep in mind that headache triggers vary from person to person. Also understand that pinpointing a headache trigger goes far beyond food/drink products that may have been consumed in the hours or even days before the headache started. So many other factors influence the occurrence of a headache.

So then, what can you do to lower your chance of headache? The best approach may be to begin to control known influencers of headache. A family history of headaches is something you cannot control. However, getting a good nights sleep, not skipping meals, drinking enough water to stay hydrated, and exercising regularly are some of the other things you can control.

As far as foods, drinks, and ingredients are concerned, it certainly doesnt hurt to try to figure out if one or more food items might be triggering your headache. Eliminate one item at a time over weeks or months and record this information in a headache diary. Only cut out a food if you have a high suspicion it causes headaches, otherwise you might remove foods you enjoy! In this diary, also track other factors that occurred within 24 hours of the headache . With all of this information in hand, you can begin to sort out and discover for yourself the factors that provoke your headache.

References

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Avoid Foods That Trigger Migraines Containing Soy Sauce And Msg

Monosodium glutamate , which is found in soy sauce and as a food additive in many other foods, has been found to cause cramps, diarrhea, and a horrible headache in 10 to 15 percent of people who get migraine headaches. “Soy sauce as a migraine trigger is probably due to MSG, but soy sauce is also very salty, which can lead to dehydration, another possible headache trigger,” notes Rosen.

Dont Work Through The Migraine Pain

We live in a culture that emphasizes powering through pain. As kids, we all heard from coaches and friends to walk it off. However, this is never a good idea and is particularly bad for people with migraines. When you ignore symptoms, including ringing in your ears, seeing light, feeling dizzy or the other warning signs, you need to stop what you are doing immediately.

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Is The Caffeine An Issue

Caffeine is a known migraine trigger. It blocks the action of a neurotransmitter known as adenosine, which has an impact on blood vessel dilation. It seems that for most patients, its caffeine withdrawal thats most likely to trigger a migraine. Youre used to consuming caffeinated beverages every day, and then suddenly you dont, and you develop a migraine.

The common recommendation is that migraine patients avoid caffeine so they do not build a dependency and then suffer migraines when they withdraw from the substance. But how much caffeine does it take to build dependence? Is there enough caffeine in dark chocolate to trigger this response?

A standard, 8-ounce cup of coffee contains between 50 to 90 mg of caffeine, and most people drink more than 8 ounces in one shot. This is not a good idea for migraine sufferers dependency develops quickly at these levels of caffeine intake. The average dark chocolate contains 12 mg of caffeine per ounce. A Ghirardelli square weighs 14 grams, which is about a half ounce, which means one of these squares contains about 6 mg of caffeine. Thats less than the 15+ mg of caffeine found in some decaffeinated coffee drinks.

Smoked Or Processed Meats

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If you’re eating meats or vegan meats that are processed, they likely contain additives, such as nitrates and nitrites, which can dilate blood vessels and cause headaches in some people. Plus, these meats also have tyramine, says Rizzo, which might lead to the onset of head pain. You’re better off grilling or roasting a plain piece of unprocessed meat and pairing it with fresh veggies instead of pickled or fermented ones.

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Catching Triggers In Their Tracks

Is a food responsible for triggering your migraines? Pay attention to how soon after consumption a migraine occurssymptoms tend to come on quickly, even as soon as 30 minutes after eating, says Merle Diamond, M.D., president and medical director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago and spokesperson for the National Headache Foundation. If you eliminate the food for a few weeks and the migraines continue, its likely not the food to blame. Dr. Diamond cautions against being too restrictive with your diets, which can cause more stressanother migraine trigger.

Diet Tips For People With Vertigo

After discussing foods that can cause vertigo lets discuss diet tips for people with vertigo. An individual suffering from vertigo requires a diet, which is rich in iron and low in cholesterol and sodium. Few tips to help individuals suffering from vertigo are as follows:

  • Eat more fish as part of your diet.
  • Consume magnesium rich foods such as nuts, beans, leafy green vegetables and seeds.
  • Eat whole grain products instead of white bread.
  • Drink vegetable juice rather than consuming carbonated or sugary drinks.
  • Consume foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as niacin, potassium and B complex.
  • Avoid foods containing high amounts of trans fats.
  • Vertigo can also result due to anemia. Hence, include fresh vegetables and meat that have high iron content in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages as it causes dehydration and triggers migraine and vertigo.
  • Avoid consuming foods containing tyramine such as non-processed cheeses, cured meat and dry sausages.
  • In case you develop nausea, consume alkaline foods including nuts, vegetables and fruits. They will help in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance in your body.

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Chocolate: Is It Really A Migraine Trigger

Research recently presented at the International Headache Society suggests that cocoa may actually protect the nerve cells that cause migraine headaches. But 22 percent of headache sufferers identify chocolate on the list of foods that trigger migraines or headaches. “Chocolate may be getting a bad rap as a migraine trigger,” says Dr. Rosen. “Many people with migraines have increased appetite and food cravings just before their headaches start.” Reaching for a chocolate bar may be the result of a migraine, rather than the cause.

What Causes Vestibular Migraine

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Vestibular migraines, like other migraine syndromes, tend to run in families. Although science has not completely clarified the complex mechanisms of migraine, it is known that women tend to suffer more from the condition than men, and symptoms may get worse around menstruation.

In addition, people vulnerable to vestibular migraines can experience episodes after migraine triggers including altered sleep patterns, MSG, menstrual cycle and food such as chocolate, ripened or aged cheese and red wine.

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Kale Might Help Migraineurs

Related to cabbage and broccoli , kale is also packed with magnesium about 32 milligrams in one cup of chopped leaves. Kale is tougher than spinach and more of an acquired taste. Its also high in fiber, which is essential for an overall healthy diet.

If you prefer eating your greens raw but dont like kales toughness, chop the leaves fine, squeeze with lemon juice, and let sit for an hour to soften the leaves a bit. Check out this Greek kale salad recipe for inspiration . You can then toss the kale in salad or a quick stir-fry. You can saute kale like spinach, add it to pasta dishes, or roast it to make crispy kale chips.

Watch Out For Aged Cheese On A Migraine Diet

“There is not much research on cheese as a migraine trigger, but it is generally agreed that aged cheese is more likely to cause a headache,” explains Rosen. The culprit may be a substance called tyramine that forms as the proteins in cheese break down over time. The longer a cheese ages, the more tyramine it has. Examples you might want to skip on a migraine diet to avoid headaches include blue cheese, Swiss, cheddar, Gouda, and Parmesan.

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Food And Drink Additives

Food and drinks today have many additives. There are flavorings to enhance the flavor of foods and preservatives to extend shelf life and sugar substitutes to replace real sugar. The various chemicals, including artificial sweeteners like aspartame, can produce headaches.

Though monosodium glutamate is not used as much as it once was, it is still found in products like soy sauce, packaged foods and meat tenderizers. Other additives triggering headaches include substances like phenylalanine and nitrites.

How To Deal With Headache Food Triggers

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The National Headache Foundation recommends keeping a food log of the foods you have eaten before a headache. Note the time you ate and when the symptoms occurred. Identify the trigger foods and see if eliminating them from your diet reduces or eliminates your headaches. Dont miss these easy ways to reduce your risk of headaches.

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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.

Too much caffeine and experiencing caffeine withdrawal can cause migraine or headaches.

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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