Skip to main content
Skip to main content

WKU News

Migraine Triggers in Your Food and Drink

June is National Migraine Awareness Month, and since I'm a (paid) spokeswoman and key opinion leader for Excedrin, I know a thing or two about these headaches that cause many people to suffer daily. If you've ever had a migraine, you know exactly what I mean when I say "suffer." Migraine symptoms can last from four hours up to a whopping seventy-two, and they can include nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, lightheadedness and sensitivity to light and sound. And let's not forget that there's plenty of pain – sometimes all on one side of the head, and other times, a pulsating, throbbing pain throughout the whole noggin. Simply put: It's not pleasant.

Unfortunately, there isn't a rule of thumb for preventing migraines. All sufferers are not created equal, and their triggers and environmental factors may vary. What might affect one person may not make a difference to another.

However, being aware of potential triggers, especially within food and drink, can make a huge difference in the number of attacks one experiences. Consider these ingredients and foods:

Tyramine. Found naturally in some foods, this substance is formed from the breakdown of protein as foods age. A good rule of thumb is that the longer a high-protein food ages, the higher its tyramine content. So what foods have tyramine? Aged cheeses, such as blue, Brie, cheddar, Stilton, feta, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, Swiss and processed cheeses often contain tyramine. It's also in many processed meats, such as hot dogs, sandwich meat, bacon and ham. Soy products (think: soy sauce, tofu, tempeh and miso), as well as olives, pickles, sauerkraut, dried fruit, red wine and beer also have this substance. And even certain fruits, like bananas and avocados, can have high levels of tyramine once they've become overripe.

Alcohol. Alcohol increases blood flow to your brain, which can cause a migraine – regardless of the tyramine content mentioned above. Red wine, beer, whiskey and champagne seem to be some of the commonly identified culprits.

Tannins. These are the plant compounds that give foods an astringent taste. The compounds can be found in tea, red-skinned apples and pears, apple juice and cider and red wine. Other foods with high tannin levels include lemons, limes, grapefruit, cantaloupe, guava, honeydew melon, green pears, oranges, pineapples, blackberries and apricots. When a fruit ripens, tannins decrease, and the fructose levels increase – a process that makes it sweet. Generally, you find most of the tannins in the skin of the fruit.

Caffeine. This is a tricky one, because caffeine can be both a trigger and treatment for migraines. However, if you know you're sensitive to caffeine, avoid chocolate, coffee, soda and tea – even the decaffeinated kind, because it still contains small amounts of caffeine.

Because many of the foods listed above have been identified solely anecdotally, track your daily food intake to determine what your personal triggers may be. I'd recommend keeping a food journal to note any correlation between what you eat and how you feel. You can do this digitally, with the My Migraine Triggers iPhone app, which is an easy and very useful. And of course, the old school pen and paper route will work just fine, too.

If you're unsure about whether you are experiencing a migraine, talk to your doctor. And if you're having problems identifying triggers, I would consult with a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Hungry for more? Write to eatandrun@usnews.com with your questions, concerns, and feedback.

Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian, media personality, spokesperson, and author of The Small Change Diet. Gans's expert nutrition advice has been featured in Glamour, Fitness, Health, Self and Shape, and on national television and radio, including The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, ABC News, Primetime, and Sirius/XM Dr. Radio.


Original Source: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/06/06/migraine-triggers-in-your-food-and-drink

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
Media Relations
President Caboni News
CEBS
CHHS News
GFCB
Ogden News
PCAL
Academic Affairs
WKU Regional Campuses
Glasgow News
Etown & Fort Knox
Owensboro News
Transportation
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
The Center for Gifted Studies
Police
Emergency Preparedness
Facilities
Housing & Residence Life
Student Activities and Organizations
Augenstein Alumni Center
Campus Activities Board
The Confucius Institute
Cultural Enhancement Series
DELO News
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Museum
Downing Student Union
Employee Wellness
Hardin Planetarium
Health Services
Human Resources News
Instruments of American Excellence
International Student Office
Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport
Library News
Math News
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Office of Sustainability
Parent's Association
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
Student Financial Assistance
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Employment
Student Government Association News
Student Research Council
Study Abroad
Van Meter Auditorium
WellU
WKU Educational Leadership Doctoral Program News
WKU Joint Admissions
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Latest Headlines
PS1 Entrance Ramp on Ave of Champions Closed

June 27th-30th

WKU's KY Folklife Program to host Rural-Urban Exchange cohort

The Kentucky Folklife Program, housed in WKU’s Department of Folk Studies & Anthropology in Bowling Green, is serving as a regional host partner for the 2017 Rural-Urban Exchange Community Intensive.

Welcome May New Hires!

WKU Top Life welcomes our newest employees, hired in May 2017.

Featured Articles
Gatton Academy students conducting summer research in South Korea

Two Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky students are spending their summer completing research internships in South Korea. The 10-week internships are in the Chemistry Department of Changwon National University.

With Spirit Funder support, WKU Storm Chasers documented multiple tornadoes

This year for Dr. Josh Durkee’s annual Field Methods in Weather Analysis and Forecasting class, the students had some extra support in the form of WKU’s new crowdsource funding project, Spirit Funder.

Board of Regents to hold special budget approval, committee meetings June 23

The WKU Board of Regents will hold a special budget approval meeting and committee meetings on June 23 in the Martin Regents Room, Jody Richards Hall.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 5/2/17