About 35 million Americans suffer from
migraine attacks every year. Some migraine episodes are only a few hours and can be treated with over-the-counter medication. However, more severe migraine attacks can last days, keeping an individual from performing even the most basic functions such as eating, sleeping, or working.
A migraine is an intense headache that can last up to 72 hours and can be triggered by many external events such as:
· Flashing Lights
· Sleep Deprivation
· Anxiety & Depression
· Food Deprivation
Most people do not know that their migraines can also be caused by the foods they eat. However, if you notice that your migraine attacks appear within 24 hours of eating any of these foods, you may have a food allergy triggering or exacerbating your migraines.
While caffeine has long been an ingredient in over-the-counter headache medications used to treat migraines, too much of it can have the opposite effect and end up causing a debilitating attack. So avoid excess caffeine in coffee, energy drinks, and herbal teas to limit the risk of a migraine attack.
Ingesting chocolate is considered to be the 2nd leading cause of migraine headaches. This is because chocolate contains a molecule called beta-phenylethylamine that is known to trigger migraine headaches.
Meats and cheeses that have been cured or aged, such as brie, blue cheese, cheddar, hotdogs, sausage, and bacon, contain a chemical called tyramine that is responsible for hormonal changes in the brain that can trigger a migraine.
MSG and migraines have long been connected through research. MSG is a food flavor enhancer that has been shown to be responsible for over 15% of all migraine attacks. Avoid foods with preservatives such as nitrates or artificial sweeteners.