ZocdocAnswersAre certain foods triggers for migraine headaches?

Question

Are certain foods triggers for migraine headaches?

If you eat certain foods do they cause migraine headaches? I just wondered because I've been getting migraine headaches for years and I was thinking that maybe it is something in my diet that makes them happen.

Answer

Migraines, as you undoubtedly know by know, are a form of severe headache, characterized generally by pain that is throbbing in nature and that tends to be associated with nausea, visual disturbances, and other secondary symptoms. For many people with chronic migraines, there is a clear association between the onset of a migraine and certain foods. Although there are certain foods, like alcohol, that seem to be strongly associated with migraine in most people, most other associations are highly individualized. Many people do associate migraines with processed foods, refined sugar and grains, and dairy products. However, once again, because these associations vary a lot from person to person, it is best to try to keep a food and headache diary to see if you can discover what your triggers might be. Also, if you have not talked to your primary care doctor about how to better control your migraines, I would strongly recommend that. There happen to be many excellent medications which can be used to reduce the frequency and severity of your migraine headaches. Your doctor can review the different medications with you and help you decide whether or not one of these might be suitable in your case. Good luck!

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