MIGRAINE TRIGGER - IS IT OR ISN'T IT?

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CRANKY 1
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 9/9/2005 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had migraines like forever, but I've recently been really researching every source of information I can find on the subject of triggers.  My big trigger is change in weather/environment/temperature.  Next is probably hormones.  After that, it gets sticky.  I want to avoid anything that might give me a headache, but figuring out what to avoid is another story.
 
MY BIG GRIPE is that you can't make a definitive list of triggers.  Seems like every book or article I read has a bunch of triggers listed, but a lot contradict each other.  Like caffeine, trigger or not?  Stress, trigger or not?  Dairy products, triggers or not?  If some dairy products are OK, which ones are they?  Are you sure?  confused   ARRRRRGGGGG!!!!!!!!
 
I could go on and on.  How the heck can I try to avoid things that might give me a migraine if the so-called "experts" can't even agree on a consistant list.  Granted, nothing in medicine is written in stone, but every "authority" makes a case for why their information is most accurate.  Since they all do this, who do you listen to, especially since triggers can apparently affect you a day or two before they end up giving you the migraine.  This is making me insane.
 
Any comments?
Leigh Ann cool

"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett


Nicky (coquitlam55)
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 9/9/2005 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Leigh Ann,

I have the same frustrations. I have been sticking as closely as possible to the Migraine Diet outlined in the book Heal Your Headache: The 123 Program For Taking Charge of Your Headaches by David Buchholz M.D. After I had been on it a while I added back things I thought didn't bother me and was quite successful. This list is good for foods. As for other things my neurologist provided me with this list:

Aged Cheese

Alcohol

Altitude

Aspartame

Caffeine

Chocolate

Crisis

Diet

Exercise

Flickering Lights

Intense Activity

Job Loss / Change

Let Down Period

Loss (Death/Divorce)

Menses

Moving

MSG

Nitrates, Nitrates

Nuts

Odors

Schedule Change

Seasons

Skipping Meals

Sleeping Pattern

Strong

 

I think there is ambiguity in the lists because it's different for everyone. For me caffeine is deadly, but I've read about people who find it helps them. Stress is also an immediate trigger for me, though there was a time when I could work 6 or 7 days a week for 12 to 14 hours without getting a headache. For me dairy isn't a trigger though the bacteria in yoghurt and aging process for cheese are killers. Dairy will create more mucus and cause sinus problems which can trigger headaches and if you're lactose intolerant will cause stomach problems.

 

I hope this helps a bit. I empathize with your frustration. I can't seem to stay away from all of the triggers, though I try. If you read or have read the book I mentioned MSG comes in all forms and staying away from it is really difficult, though I notice how much better I feel when I do.

 

Good luck!


Nicky
________________________________________________________________________________
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha


tysmyboo
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 9/10/2005 5:20 PM (GMT -7)   

Bottom line is that triggers are different for different people. My triggers are even different for me at different times. I suggest you read Heal your Headaches, it goes into some detail about triggers and THRESHOLD, which is basically your limit before you get a migraine and what can put you over your threshold. It is great information that everyone needs.

P.S. I get frustrated when people try to list their triggers for you...no one can ever tell you what is and is not going to be a trigger for you, and like I said there are things that will trigger a migraine for you one day and not the next...it goes back to the whole threshold conversation...

Hang in there...

Sara


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
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Lady Lazarus
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 9/11/2005 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I hear ya, man. When you are living with chronic pain of any sort you tend to become obsessed (naturally) with why, what can trigger this pain, and so on...

I have been going through the same frustrations in the past 3 months. The one trigger I can't control seems to be the most powerful - weather changes (low pressure)... very frustrating indeed. The other one I found that was a major trigger is msg.

Like the others stated, I believe the triggers vary not only from person to person - but from day to day as well. I found keeping a diary with everything I ate, different major stresses, how bad the migraine was, etc... helped me identify the common triggers.

I find it hard not to expect the pain when I am finally feeling better. Even though I know I should be just enjoying the time I have feeling well - not just anticipating the next migraine. That by itself is stressful and will cause another one! I am working on living in the moment- especially the pain-free ones!

Good luck
~Mel.

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 9/12/2005 10:30 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello,

We have a television show in Canada called Balance hosted by a medical doctor and she invites various guest experts. On a recent show she had a nutritionist who said that people who are sensitive to MSG can overcome the sensitivity by taking 50 mg of B6 a day. This helps the body metabolize the MSG properly. I haven't tried it yet but am going to.

Mel - I'm with you on the weather. I get so frustrated when I'm avoiding food, exercising regularly, monitoring my stress and then a storm moves in and there's nothing I can do. I can feel the headache coming as the clouds move in. We live in the Pacific Northwest so most of the winter it rains.


Nicky
________________________________________________________________________________
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha


Carter29072
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/6/2005 5:04 AM (GMT -7)   
My sister and I both have migraines.  I have noticed that if I eat at Chick fila, I get a migraine really soon afterwards.  My sister gets a migraine if she eats chocolate.  I have the book that is referenced in your post above but I have not gotten very far into it.  I hear that it is very informative.  Thanks for the information!

tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 10/6/2005 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   

I had a really greasy cheesburger the other night from a fast food place (Wendy's) I mean this baby had grease dripping through the wrapper...it was like slimy, but I was starving and it tasted good at the time and by the last bite I knew I was in trouble. I was down for the count...

I think it was the grease and not so much the actual food...not that I am going to test my luck and try it again nono

 

See you all at the chat?


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com


Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/6/2005 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Sara,
 
I have real problems with fast food for several reasons, though I can't pass up an A&W Mozza Burger every now and again. I think I have narrowed down the problems:
  • Yeast in bread - makes things expand, makes my blood vessels expand. I just don't eat bread or buns anymore.
  • Cheese on burgers - causes my headaches.
  • Preservatives in foods - usually in the meat and on the vegetables on the burger.
  • The fries are also often chemically peeled and coated with seasonings that can affect my head.

Not to depress you about food.  :-)


Nicky
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha

Post Edited (Nicky (coquitlam55)) : 10/6/2005 10:35:43 PM (GMT-6)


suarezld123
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/10/2005 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
My two biggest triggers stress first and hormones second. Of course both are ard to avoid. Stress is a vicious circle. If I am under a lot of stress I start getting headaches which in turn panics me and makes more headaches. Sometimes I wish I could just trade heads with someone. When someone tells me they NEVER get headaches it's amazing to me. The only thing I can compare it with is when I am pg. I never get a migraine for 8 of the 9 months and longer if I breastfeed. Of course this is not a great cure as who can stay pg indefinately?

tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 10/11/2005 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Makes me want to run out and get pregnant!!! Well, that and I want to have kids really badly too!!!! tongue
Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com

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