Several patients visit an upper cervical chiropractic practice every day. Notably, most of these individuals follow a strict diet to avoid food products that set off an episode. Are you familiar with the most commonly reported migraine food triggers? If not, we rounded them up in our discussion below. Hopefully, by familiarizing yourself with these food items, you can manage your migraine attacks better.
Before we deep dive into the different migraine food triggers, let us look into how migraine headaches work. This way, you have a better idea of what you can do when you have an episode.
How A Migraine Episode Works
People who experience migraine describe their symptoms as painful and disorienting. They also enumerate several signs, including the following:
- Throbbing or pulsating head pain
- Sensory sensitivity
- Muscle weakness
- Lack of muscle coordination
- Communication problems
- Upset stomach
- Anxiety attacks
- Mood swings
- Uncontrollable yawning
- Recurring neck pain
- Odd food cravings
These symptoms persist for a few minutes to several hours. They also worsen when you expose yourself to certain triggers, such as the food items we listed in the next section.
Food Items that are Bad for People with Migraines
Several studies have looked into the different migraine food triggers. Hence, it’s a good idea to a quick list of items that you should cross out from your usual grocery checklist. Let’s take a closer look at these items below.
Chocolates are among the most popular food products in the USA. In fact, according to statistics, over 200 million Americans indulge in chocolatey treats from time to time. Sadly, it also tops our lists of common migraine food triggers. Studies explain that chocolate contains heaps of caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine – two substances that directly impact the central nervous system of migraineurs.
You might find it helpful to reduce your chocolate consumption. Additionally, we suggest steering clear of other caffeinated products such as hot cocoa, coffee, and energy drinks.
Besides chocolate, cheese is also among the most widely consumed food product in the USA. Unfortunately, it’s also a migraine trigger thanks to its high content of tyramine – an amino acid by-product found in aged or fermented foods such as cheese. Excessive amounts of tyramine in the blood sets off vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels). This restricts blood flow to the brain and leave you highly susceptible to migraines.
Aspartame is a food additive used as a substitute for sugar. It also happens to trigger mild to severe migraine attacks in some individuals. Researchers explain that not everyone reacts adversely to aspartame. So, it would help to observe if you have aspartame sensitivity so you can reduce your intake and avoid items that contain this substance.
According to statistics, Americans consume around 20 billion hotdogs a year. It’s so popular that you might even come across a hotdog stand when you drive by your doctor or upper cervical chiropractic physician’s practice.
Unfortunately, if you are a migraineur, you should consider eating lesser hotdogs because they contain nitrates – a naturally-occurring substance. Nitrates convert into nitrogen oxide and act as a neurotransmitter that signals vasodilation. This means, blood flow increases in various body parts, including the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. Excessive nitrogen oxide in the bloodstream also triggers Vitamin B 12 depletion and eventually memory loss and nerve damage.
#5. Soy Sauce
Every Asian-American household has a few bottles of soy sauce. That’s because several Asian dishes feature this ingredient. While it adds flavor and umami, researchers note that soy sauce can set off migraine attacks for some people. Like cheese, soy sauce and other fermented soy products such as miso and doenjang (Korean soybean paste) contain tyramine and MSG.
#6. Citrus Food
Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit contain many life-boosting ingredients like Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and riboflavin. While they’re generally an excellent addition to one’s diet, you may want to observe if your favorite citrus fruit triggers a migraine attack. Studies have yet to establish the connection between citrus and migraine episodes. However, a significant number of patients list citrusy goods as migraine precipitants.
Manage Your Migraines with Upper Cervical Chiropractic
There you have it, our quick list of migraine food triggers. It would be best to check how you respond to these items to decide whether to remove them from your diet. Additionally, we strongly suggest seeking a upper cervical chiropractic doctor. This way, you can amplify your efforts in reducing your migraine attacks and address its leading trigger – a cervical subluxation.
With the help and guidance of a neck chiropractor, you can ease your body into eliminating signal transmission problems that tip the chemical balance in your brain. It will also help address other factors that trigger recurring migraines, such as stiff neck muscles, poor blood flow to the brain, inefficient cerebrospinal fluid drainage, and brainstem irritation.
Upper cervical care is among the leading holistic migraine remedies in the US. It follows a delicate procedure to ease displaced C1 and C2 neck bones to revert to their original position. It is also gentle and precise, helping your body heal quickly and holistically. More importantly, it uses a scientific approach to resolving chronic migraine episodes.
Visit the nearest upper cervical chiropractic practice to get your C1 and C2 bones analyzed and adjusted. Start addressing postural problems in your cervical spine today!