Migraine Elimination Diet

In desperation I began a migraine food elimination diet.  In other words, I’ve stopped eating all foods that are known to trigger migraines in others for 2 weeks.  Then I will begin adding the items one by one back into my diet to see what happens.  It’s a rather long list of items but I went 9 days without migraines after starting it before like an idiot I accidentally had some of the foods yesterday and about 2 hours later starting getting a migraine.  In other words, I think it’s working remarkably well.

I thought I would share the list of items I’m not eating, because different places have bits and pieces and unless you have a migraine diet book you might not easily find a good list.  Your list might be longer or shorter, everyone is different.  But this includes most of the “biggies” identified by migraineurs everywhere.  A general rule of thumb is to avoid anything processed, aged, or prepackaged.  Yeah great, right?  Thanks, migraines.

Items to avoid:

1. Cured meats and processed meats

2. Aged cheeses

3. Chocolate (noooooo!!!!!!!!)

4. All alcohol (the “biggies” are beer, champagne, and red wine but best to eliminate them all)

5. Nuts

6. MSG (and you have to learn all the other names for it, too… avoid soups unless you’ve made it yourself, anything with broth in it, check broths you buy)

7. Yogurt and sour cream

8. Citrus fruits

9. Bananas, papayas, avocados

10. Broad beans

11. Anything fermented or pickled, or heavy in vinegar (I’ve had light amounts of vinegar here and there)

12. Dried fruits (only a few of them are really triggers but I don’t bother with picking and choosing, it feels like too much work)

13. Any other items with activated yeasts like most breads and doughnuts

14. Soy products (it isn’t specifically soy, but often they will have MSG in them so be careful and check the label; if it’s just at a restaurant and you can’t see the label, don’t take the risk)

15. Anything that tastes good at all (just kidding… sort of)

To compare with your own regimen: I have gotten Botox injections for the first time two weeks ago, I take 80mg of propanolol a day, plus fioricet and maxalt when migraines hit.  My regular number of migraines is around 15 a month and they last about 8 hours, give or take (sometimes longer, usually not shorter).  I get migraines without aura but have the following symptoms in addition to unilateral pain, usually on the left side: frequent urination; nausea (sometimes with vomiting); intestinal problems; hot and cold flashes; sweating; sensitivity to sound, light, and smell; irritability (gee I wonder why).  The night before a migraine I will often have a nightmare, and they are generally preceded by mental fogginess and a feeling of overwhelming exhaustion.

Once I start adding items back into my diet I’ll blog about my results!  The first is gotta be chocolate, it’s KILLING ME not to have chocolate.

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6 responses

  1. *trying* to comment but i have a VERY sensitive keyboard…I type a bunch & then it disappears. A new blogger *can’t * have an overly sensitive keyboard!!
    Thx for posting ur elimination diet. I’m working on it. Wld love to write more but have to get this lemon of a laptop worked on…grrrr.
    For now, will say my goal for increased water intake is 2 liters of spring water per day. Trying to work up to that.

    • Haha damn, I hate when my laptop is acting up, it’s incredibly infuriating. Increased water intake, that’s interesting, was it something your doctor recommended you try or did you read something online? Have a friend try it out? Obviously water is good to drink (hehe) but I haven’t heard of people trying this particular method to decrease migraines. Is it just generally based on avoiding dehydration? Thanks for the comment and good luck with your laptop!!! Oh, and I reintroduced chocolate this week… it hasn’t given me migraines (thank you, sweet mother of mercy). I think it’s the MSG getting me.

      • this sounds weird but it’s my dentist that’s expanded his practice to include The Migraine Headache Relief Center of Pennsylvania. They do a 12 wk. program, 1 visit to their office every wk, plus two 40min. home hlth care sessions daily. (I’m having a hard enuf time getting 1 in!)
        It’s 2 liters recommended by them but I’ve heard it stressed for mig. before. I wld think it’s to stay well hydrated since, yes, I know every time i go to the ER, 1st thing they do is hook up IV hydration.
        They also stress spring water…say it oxyegenates the blood the best. Def’ly worth a try 🙂
        If u’d like to read abt it, http://www.HeadacheReliefPA.com

      • Yay for chocolate! I read something lately that was challenging its relationship to migraine. Works for me!
        Btw, if u read about neuromuscular dentistry, which is what Dr. Harris is doing, if I’d just heard abt it, I wldn’t really pay any attention. But I’ve known a cpl. of migraineurs that it’s really worked for. I’m desperate, am considered an end-of-the-line patient so wanted to try it.

  2. Iiiiinteresting. I will definitely read about it, thanks so much for the heads up. I shall read about the focus on hydration. What kinds of things do they do for you during the “home health care sessions”? If you don’t mind my asking!

  3. Oh I hear you, trust me. The desperation starts to get palpable at some point. And really, no matter WHAT helps, if it helps, IT HELPS. I mean, if I discovered that my migraines stopped if I chewed fresh basil and hopped around in a circle every Tuesday at 2:38 pm, I’d do it. My guess is the field of neuromuscular dentistry has some slightly more logical relationships to headache studies than that. 😉 I’m definitely curious to read up on that in addition to the hydration. Ultimately, there are probably a lot of different reasons why people get migraines, thus, different treatment methods help different people. Plus we’re all born a bit different from the next person… even our hormonal and chemical balances differ strongly from each other.

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