Food Watch

Following my painful headache attacks, I was diagnosed with migraine by my doctor. Not that it’s a serious disease, although there was this one case where a woman DIED because of her migraine.. but I guess that doesn’t happen very often and I’m just glad that it’s not anything worse. So while I’m not exactly thrilled to watch over my diet and stress level, I’m pretty happy to finally understand what’s been bugging my head all these years.

What’s this about food and stress watching? Well, being the geek that I am, I went on a google frenzy to find out the common triggers of migraine, because they say it is much easier to avoid the attacks rather than take medication to soothe it when it happens as the latter may take time – and I, certainly have no time to wait for the meds to work.

I found this list to be the commonest food that triggers migraine:

  • peanuts and peanut butter
  • caffeine in all products, not just coffee
  • dairy products
  • yeast
  • some beans (which includes peanut), as well as broad, lima, Italian, lentil, soy, peas
  • avocados
  • dried meats
  • sauerkraut
  • pickled herrings
  • canned soups and packet soup mixes
  • chicken livers
  • ripe banana
  • soya products as well as the bean itself
  • sodium nitrate, which is used to preserve hot dogs, bacon and cured meats
  • the preservative benzoic acid and its associated compounds
  • MSG, common name for monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer which is now in almost universal use in almost all processed foods
  • nuts
  • sourdough breads
  • cheeses which have been aged, i.e. cheddar
  • red wines, beer, champagne, vermouth
  • chocolate
  • anchovies

Good grief. That’s like, everything that I eat on a daily basis!

And if the list doesn’t seem depressingly long enough, there are other triggers as well. Check them out:

  • Emotional stress (PhD = stress!!)
  • Menstrual periods
  • Changes in normal sleep pattern (again, PhD = abnormal sleep times)
  • Extreme fatigue (survey,articles,cook,kid..)
  • Excess caffeine intake or withdrawal
  • Skipping meals; fasting
  • Changing weather conditions
  • Exercise (hehe.. OK, note taken)
  • Smoking
  • Bright and flickering lights
  • Odours

For the past three weeks, I have been watching what I eat and so far I’ve only had two attacks, and they were of minimal pain (a scale 1 or 2 on my headache-o-meter). So I guess for me, food does play a major role in triggering my headaches. Ugh. I’m only 30.. Got to start watching food already?? Man.. How I miss those delicious Reese’s peanut butter chocolate cups.

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2 Comments on “Food Watch”

  1. OH.MY.GOD.I ♥ Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups (I enjoy saying it loud and fast as well.Ha ha)!!!!.It’s a great PMS-relief drug (for me lah).Well, Viv, get well eat well, and smoga sukses in your PhD pursuit!


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