What to eat when you suffer from migraine?

A migraine that makes you feel dizzy might also have something to do with what you eat. It looks like there are foods to stay away from and foods that might help.

migraines and food
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

A migraine’s racing, throbbing headache is bad enough, but at least 30% of people with migraines also get dizzy and have trouble keeping their balance, which can make them throw up. A migraine is called a vestibular migraine in medicine.

We don’t know much about what causes migraines in the medical and natural world. Science thinks that migraines may have something to do with genes because the children of people who get migraines have an almost four-fold higher chance of getting migraines themselves. We know a little bit more about what could cause a migraine, and diet could be one of them.

Vestibular migraines can have many causes

Some of the things that might cause vestibular migraines are known, but researchers are still trying to figure out why these things cause the attacks, which can last anywhere from five minutes to 72 hours. Causes can be things like a lot of stress or worry or having trouble sleeping. Some people with this disorder react to changes in the weather, while others react to things like flickering lights, certain sounds, or smells. Changes in hormones can also cause migraines, which mostly happen to women when they have their periods or go through menopause.

But certain foods also seem to trigger migraine attacks. In most cases, several of these factors are likely to come together and then interact ominously. However, by avoiding certain foods, some migraineurs seem to decrease the frequency of flare-ups.

Some foods can trigger migraines

Some of the strongest triggers seem to be alcoholic drinks, especially sparkling wine and wine, and drinks with caffeine, like coffee or green tea. Studies have shown that certain foods can also cause migraines. These include dried fruit, sausages that last a long time, like salami and ham, cheese, and chocolate.

Both histamines and tyramines are found in high amounts in these foods. It’s not clear why these proteins, which also act as messengers, seem to act as a trigger in some cases, but it seems that they do. It is also known that alcohol and caffeine make these proteins work better.

So a cheese board with a glass of red wine might be a bad choice for a migraine sufferer—although there are sufferers who don’t seem to have a problem with either alcohol or the foods listed.

Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium can help

“ugb.de,” a German health website, says that there are foods that can have a positive effect, at least in some cases. This means that they may decrease the number of seizures and make symptoms better. It is mostly about foods that are high in magnesium or omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to stop the processes that cause inflammation, and these could also play a role in migraines..

Fresh, high-fat cold-water fish like salmon is the best place to get these fatty acids. Flaxseed, walnuts, soy, and rapeseed oil also have a lot of them. Magnesium helps nerve cells talk to each other, among other things, and a lack of magnesium seems to make people more likely to get migraines. Magnesium can be found in nuts, cereal germs, and legumes. Both magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids can be taken as dietary supplements.

By the way, another migraine trigger seems to be low blood sugar, for example if you skip a meal in between. Those affected should not only pay attention to what they eat, but also that they eat enough of it regularly.

Vestibular migraines are still a mystery

In general, fresh food seems to pose less of a risk for migraine sufferers than heavily processed food – for example, as already mentioned, sausages or mature cheeses. Even fresh fruit and vegetables are apparently not a problem in most cases, but not always. It is known that, for example, citrus fruits, bananas, tomatoes, onions or fermented foods such as sauerkraut can trigger migraines. However, why some respond to this and others do not is still unclear, as is so often the case with this topic.

Unfortunately, the precise relationships between cause and effect in migraines or vestibular migraines are still not fully understood. It is often difficult to identify the specific triggers at all, since a migraine attack rarely occurs immediately after eating cheese, for example – this can take some time from case to case.

As a person affected, you can actually only try to avoid possible nutritional risks, such as those already mentioned, as far as possible. And a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium can have a preventive and soothing effect – but it doesn’t have to. Unfortunately, vestibular migraines are still difficult to look at.


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

3rd Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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