Asked by Dana, Jacksonville, Florida
I have migraine headaches. What foods should I avoid to prevent my migraines?
Living Well Expert
Dr. Jennifer Shu
Children's Medical Group
Thanks for your question. There are many possible triggers of migraine headaches, including foods, stress, sensory stimulation (such as bright lights, strong smells, loud noises or changes in weather), hormones and more.
Skipping meals, taking certain medicines or being very tired can also bring on a migraine.
Although there is a long list of foods that can trigger migraines, the causes vary from person to person, so you won't have to avoid everything. The following are some common ones to watch out for.
Alcohol: especially darker drinks like red wine, beer and sherry.
Chocolate/cocoa: such as in candy, desserts and hot chocolate.
Caffeinated beverages: Although caffeine is often used to treat headaches, these drinks can actually cause them in some people.
Tyramine: found in aged cheeses, bananas, raisins, chicken livers, nuts, beans, cultured dairy products, soy sauce, processed meats (such as hot dogs and sausages), pickles and many others.
Cold foods: Ice cream has been reported to cause migraines and other headaches in individuals sensitive to the sudden temperature change in the mouth.
Preservatives, additives and artificial colorings: MSG, artificial sweeteners and food dyes have all been identified as possible headache triggers.
Your particular trigger(s) may not be on this list, so it may be helpful to keep a diary and look for any patterns, keeping in mind that it can take as much as 48 hours for a food to set off a headache.
Follow Dr. Jennifer Shu on Twitter!
|Most Viewed||Most Emailed|
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.