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There is nothing worse than the agony of a migraine. In addition to the searing pain in your head, your have to deal sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. There are some excellent medications available today, but they often work best if you avoid certain foods that tend to trigger your migraines. If you make a few small changes in your diet, you will see a reduction in the duration and severity of your headaches.
1. Know your triggers. Most people who experience migraines have a food that can almost instantly bring on a headache. For my mother, it's olives and potatoes. For me, it's beer. Common migraine triggers include yeasty breads, red wine, caffeine, pickles, dairy products, dried fruit, any sort of processed meat, and artificial sweeteners. Generally speaking, any sort of food or beverage that has been preserved or contains additives can bring on a migraine. Read the label carefully, and be wary of anything that contains nitrates, nitrites, MSG, sulfites, tryamine, aspartame, or saccharin.
2. Keep daily records. If you aren't sure what is triggering your migraines, try removing all common trigger foods from your diet. Reintroduce them one at a time and keep a diary of your symptoms. Keep in mind that food triggers can cause a reaction up to 48 hours after you ingest them.
3. Don't skip meals. Skipping meals can also trigger a migraine. Try to eat on a regular schedule. Keeping a schedule in all aspects of your life will help you prevent migraines; for example, try and make sure that you keep a regular sleep schedule. Changes in sleep patterns and in eating patterns often trigger migraines in many sufferers.
4. Water, Water, Everywhere - Proper hydration is essential for all of your bodily functions, but is especially important if you suffer from migraines. Dehydration is a trigger for migraines, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water, especially in hot weather or after drinking a diuretic beverage such as coffee.
5. The Caffeine Paradox - Caffeine is a common migraine trigger; however some researchers have found that caffeine withdrawal can also trigger a migraine. The bottom line is if you accustomed to a morning coffee, keep up that routine, but try to avoid other sources of caffeine throughout the day.
6. Nutritional Supplements - Some scientists believe that taking certain herbs or other nutritional supplements can also be helpful for migraine sufferers. These include: Coenzyme Q10, Feverfew, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, and magnesium citrate.
By making a few simple changes to your diet, it is very likely that you will find yourself experiencing fewer migraines. There are a few factors that can cause a migraine that you can't control: hormones, weather, or exposure to second-hand smoke. It is common for premenstrual women to deal with migraines once a month.
You should consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet. That being said, with a combination of diet, medication, and a low-stress lifestyle, many migraine sufferers will find relief from the worst of their symptoms.