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)
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.