Migraines can be extremely debilitating to sufferers, so determining the trigger can be extremely important if the person is to lead a normal life. Although there are a range of potential causes, such as stress or medication, the most likely trigger is food.
This is a much studied area among medical scientists, and studies have determined that dietary sensitivities can vary from person to person. However, there are some common foods that trigger migraines.These include chocolate, dairy, citrus fruits (and juices), onions and wheat. Some people are also sensitive to beverages such as alcohol or coffee.
Knowing foods that trigger migraines is only the first step in determining your own dietary sensitivities. Actually pinpointing your exact personal triggers is very difficult, especially since a sensitivity does not mean you will suffer a migraine each time you eat it. You also need to bear in mind that some people experience food cravings, for instance for chocolate or dairy, up to 48 hours before an attack. This can lead to the food being mistaken for a trigger.
Keeping a long term food diary can help to figure out what might be causing your migraines. When you believe that you have found the potential trigger, try eliminating it from your diet for several weeks. If you notice an improvement in the frequency of your migraines, try reintroducing the potential trigger and see if you suffer an attack. This is the only way to be certain if the food is indeed the culprit, or if the improvement was merely a coincidence.
Eliminating entire food groups from your diet can be risky to your health, so try to substitute it with alternatives. For instance, soy milk can be a good substitute if you are avoiding cow’s milk. Your doctor can give you advice on modifying your diet safely, and help to determine what is causing your migraines.