Archive for the ‘Migraine Triggers’ Category

Arthritis Headaches- When Joint Stiffness Triggers Migraines

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012


 


 

Arthritis headaches are a painful symptom of certain varieties of arthritis, but are made worse when migraines are also a factor. For some, joint swelling and stiffness from arthritis also accompanies chronic headaches. Here are some ways that arthritis can cause arthritis headaches and trigger migraine headaches.

Arthritis Headaches- When Joint Stiffness Triggers Migraines- Migravent

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most typical form of arthritis; unlike other forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis does not cause any visible deformities of the joints. With osteoarthritis, headache and joint pain is caused by weakened joints and excess calcium deposits in the tissues, caused by your body’s attempt to heal sore muscles, and joint stiffness. Arthritis headaches are caused by osteoarthritis symptoms occurring in the fifth, sixth, and seventh vertebrae, and are often more painful than other types of arthritis headaches.

To eliminate osteoarthritis headaches as a trigger for migraines, you will have to make lifestyle changes to reduce nerve pressure on the spine caused by arthritis. There is no cure for osteoarthritis or migraines, but regular exercise, weight management, and relaxation are effective ways of managing chronic pain and reducing triggers.

Also, natural vitamins, herbs, and minerals that benefit migraine headache and arthritis sufferers are also effective. In several studies on alternative medicine techniques, supplementation of magnesium, butterbur, coenzyme Q10, and riboflavin produce dramatic results in people suffering from migraines and arthritis headaches.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Chronic Pain

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which your body begins to attack your own muscular tissue and joints, causing lasting damage that produces deformed joints, painful inflammation, stiffness, and swelling. Arthritis headaches occur with rheumatoid arthritis, as the first, second, and third vertebrae of the neck is affected, causing pain in the head, neck, and shoulders.

Treatment for arthritis headaches and migraines caused by rheumatoid arthritis include prescription medications that slow the progression of this degenerative disease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs, acetaminophen, heat, and massage are also helpful for relieving arthritis headaches caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Also, supplementing with beneficial vitamins, herbs, and minerals are helpful for maintaining healthy neurological functioning and improving your body’s response to inflammation. These include pure butterbur, which has been used for centuries to benefit arthritis sufferers, and magnesium, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10.

11 Headache Triggers you Never Thought Of

Arthritis medication

Sometimes, weaning off of prescription arthritis medications can result in arthritis headaches that also trigger migraines. This occurs because your body has developed a dependence on arthritis pain relievers over the years. Before stopping long-term prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, ask your doctor for a weaning schedule to slowly and safely reduce your dependency on medications while preventing withdrawal arthritis headaches.

For treatment of rebound headaches during the weaning period, many migraine and arthritis headache sufferers benefit by supplementing with natural dietary ingredients such as riboflavin, magnesium, butterbur, and coenzyme Q10, all of which have been the focus of countless scientific studies on chronic pain management.

Please tell us…

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Top 35 Foods and Preservatives that Trigger Migraines

What are the Signs of Migraine Attack? 30 Migraine Symptoms

Sources:

Arthritis- National Headache Foundation

What Types of Arthritis Causes Headaches?
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Headaches from Teeth Clenching- Tips to Stop the Grind

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012


 


 

If you’re the type who carries stress in your jaw, then you are likely to get a lot of headaches from teeth clenching. Bruxism, which occurs when you unconsciously grind your teeth throughout the day and even at night while you’re sleeping, is a common migraine trigger. Here are some tips to help you reduce migraines and other headaches from teeth clenching.

Headaches from Teeth Clenching- Tips to Stop the Grind- Migravent

Symptoms of bruxism

Teeth clenching is more than just an annoyance and a source of headaches; long-term bruxism can also cause damage to your skull structure, in addition to ailments such as tinnitus and chronic headaches.

Symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Chronic headaches, migraines, or facial pain
  • Persistent tension in the jaws
  • Tendency to grate your upper and lower teeth
  • Nighttime teeth grinding that is loud enough to wake you up
  • Muscle fatigue in the jaws
  • Teeth that are unnaturally straight on the tips, without ridges between each tooth
  • Worn enamel of the teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Scarred tissue on the inside of the cheeks (from biting)
  • Tongue scars or cuts
  • Earaches or ear fullness
  • Tinnitus (constant ear ringing) that causes headaches
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder

Is it Migraine or TMJ Headache? Temporomandibular Disorder

Are your headaches from teeth clenching?

If you already suffer from migraines, then you might not be aware if teeth grinding is contributing to your chronic headaches.

Here are some warnings signs and risk factors of bruxism headaches:

  • Chewing is painful.
  • Jaws ache first thing in the morning.
  • Teeth show signs of enamel decay.
  • In addition to headaches, you also suffer from facial pain in the cheeks, temples, or lower jaw.
  • You also suffer from sleep problems like snoring, sleep apnea, or sleep talking.
  • You’ve noticed an increase in migraine headaches.

Night Terrors, Migraines, and Insomnia- 7 Nightmare Headaches

Tips to stop grinding your teeth

First, see your dentist and possibly, an osteopath to determine if your teeth grinding is caused by a structural deformity.

Tips for treating bruxism include:

  • Wear a mouth guard, or occlusal splint, during the day and at night
  • Wear a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
  • Practice relaxing your jaw, while keeping your mouth closed and your jaws apart
  • See a masseuse on a regular basis to relax your jaw muscles, relieve tension, and soothe migraine headaches from teeth clenching.
  • Set an alarm to remind yourself throughout the day to relax your jaws.
  • Exercise daily, to relieve stress and prevent migraines.
  • See a psychiatrist, especially if you suspect teeth grinding is caused by excess stress or anxiety.
  • Stop chewing gum or eating hard, tough foods that require a lot of chomping.
  • Use a hot pad or cold pack for pain relief.
  • Take nutritional supplements that benefit individuals suffering from migraine headaches, stress, and teeth grinding, such as magnesium or butterbur.

Please tell us…

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Migraines and other Types of Headaches- How many are there? Part 1

Migraine or Sinus Headache? Make Sure your Headache Doctor Knows the Difference

Joint Hypermobility Syndrome Can Cause Migraines, Say Experts

Sources:

Bruxism/teeth grinding- Mayo Clinic

How to Stop Grinding Teeth

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fall Weather Migraines- What’s the Connection?

Monday, September 24th, 2012


 


 

What is it about fall weather migraines? Seasonal migraines are common for most chronic migraine patients- springtime introduces pollen headaches, sweltering summers bring on throbbing headaches triggered by dehydration, and frigid winters chill the bones and cause aching joints and muscle stiffness. But some of the factors influencing fall weather migraines are less conspicuous. Here are some clues to help you manage migraines in the fall.

Fall Weather Migraines- What’s the Connection? Migravent

Allergies

If you think that springtime is the only allergy season, then guess again. While allergens like flowery pollen and freshly cut grass make the spring season unbearable for many headache sufferers, the ending of summer means the beginning of fall weather migraines for people who are sensitive to ragweed pollen. Breezy autumn winds also encourage the spread of mold spores, which may cause inflammation of the bronchial tubes and also trigger migraines. Fall weather allergen preparation may include cleaning the house thoroughly, keeping the windows closed during high winds, and using an air filter indoors.

11 Headache Triggers you Never Thought Of

Stress

Do you get excited or nervous when you think about the holiday season? For many, fall weather migraines occur because of anxiety, tension, or apprehension that you may have about the coming celebrations of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, or New Year’s Day.  Think about what the holiday celebrations mean to you, and think of ways to eliminate negative feelings or worries (and migraine headaches) that seem to occur every time October comes around.

Sleep patterns

When the weather cools off, our sleeping habits sometimes change. The shortening of the daylight hours can make you feel like hibernating, or going to sleep earlier than usual. Unfortunately, any changes in lifestyle patterns- like eating and sleeping- are common culprits in migraine disorder. Avoid fall weather migraines by sticking to a strict sleep schedule and avoiding even short naps in the middle of the day. During weekends or while on vacation, resist the temptation to watch television in bed all day, which also causes “weekend headache” and fall weather migraines.

Please tell us…

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Migraine Weather Triggers- Seasonal Migraines in the Fall

13 Reasons your Migraines Hate the Summer Season

Source:

Managing Seasonal Migraine Issues
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Springtime for Migraine Sufferers- 8 Tips for Dealing with Pollen

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012


 


 

Guess what- spring came early this year!  What’s a migraine sufferer to do?  With fluffy pollen and migraine triggering flowery scents wafting through the air, spring season translates into migraine season.  Here are some tips for nipping those sinus headaches in the (rose) bud!

SPRINGTIME FOR MIGRAINE SUFFERERS- 8 TIPS FOR COPING

Is it global warming coming to fruition?  Don’t know, but  experts warn that this year, allergy season could last an extra month…that’s one more month of migraines triggered by sinus headaches, fragrant flowers, and the scent of fresh-cut grass (yuck!).

Here are eight great tips for coping with springtime migraines:

1- Take your vitamins, minerals, and herbs

Your best line of defense against migraines during allergy season can be found in your medicine cabinet.  Build your immunity  by taking the full lineup of essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin C helps maintain the body’s natural defenses.
  • Magnesium impacts serotonin receptors.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), one of many essential B vitamins, is effective at releasing muscular tension.
  • Butterbur root maintains healthy lung function to improve respiratory health.
  • Quercetin is a plant-based ingredient found in tea leaves that is helpful for respiratory health, promoting a healthy response to inflammation, and enhancing feelings of emotional well-being.

2- Shampoo, rinse, and repeat

You might not realize it, but your hair is a magnet for airborne pollen.  Every time you rest your head down on your pillow or brush your hair, you help to spread allergens throughout your home, and increase your chances of getting migraine attacks.  Wash your hair thoroughly every day, following the instructions on the bottle-shampoo, rinse, and repeat!

Keep a hairbrush in your mudroom or on the front porch, and give yourself a few swipes before entering the house.

3- Don’t forget Spot!

Now that your hair is clean and allergen-free, it’s time to wash the dog (or cat)! Pets love to roll around in the cool grass on a warm day, collecting dirt, pollen, leaves, and all kinds of questionable adornments that may give you headaches.  Keep your four-footed friends groomed, and remember to rinse their paws before coming into the home.

SPRINGTIME FOR MIGRAINE SUFFERERS- 8 TIPS FOR COPING

4- Dry clothes indoors

Air-drying your delicate linens is only a good idea if you don’t happen to be allergic to the air. If pollen and dust give you migraines, then hang your fine washables indoors, or use the gentle setting of your dryer.

Migraine Weather Triggers- Seasonal Migraines in the Fall

5- Wear your Migraine Glasses

It’s not summer yet, but that’s no reason not to wear your sunglasses.  Aside from reducing migraines by dimming bright lights, sunglasses also protect your sensitive eyes from dust, dirt, and pollen.

SPRINGTIME FOR MIGRAINE SUFFERERS- 8 TIPS FOR COPING

Lights…Camera…Migraine! 10 Curious Facts about Light Sensitivity

6- Hibernate

Stay indoors when pollen levels are high, typically in the early morning hours and on dry, windy days.  Visit the National Allergy Bureau to check up on pollen and mold counts in your area.  You can’t control the weather, but you can limit migraine triggers by thinking ahead!

7- Fans are not fantastic

Ceiling fans are great for saving money during the summer months, but in the springtime, you’re just spreading dust, mold, pollen, and other migraine-inducing chemicals around.  Whenever possible, opt for the AC, especially in your car.

13 Reasons your Migraines Hate the Summer Season

8- Copy the Chinese

Your feet track allergens, too!  Take off your shoes before entering the house, and ask that guests do the same.  Your carpet will stay clean longer, meaning fewer runs with the vacuum cleaner.  It’s a win-win habit for migraine sufferers!

SPRINGTIME FOR MIGRAINE SUFFERERS- 8 TIPS FOR COPING

Please tell us…

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about migraine triggers:

Avoiding Migraine Triggers- Here, There and Everywhere

34 Migraine-Inducing, Stomach-Turning Toxic Chemicals in Perfume

Sources:

A Survival Guide to Spring Allergy Season

NAB Pollen Counts

Image attributions:

Franco Folini, geishaboy500, OakleyOriginals

5 Anger Styles that Trigger Migraines

Monday, March 26th, 2012


 


 

Anger is a destructive, negative emotion that triggers migraines, in addition to harming your physical and mental health.  Hypertension, heart disease, and depression are all side effects of unresolved anger.  In managing your migraine triggers and reducing your number of migraine headaches, it is important to be able to recognize your anger style and nip it in the bud.

5 ANGER STYLES THAT TRIGGER MIGRAINES, migravent

1- Chronic Anger

If you’re addicted to anger, you never miss an opportunity to provoke a fight.  You love the “high” you get from a good emotional roller coaster, and anger is your drug of choice.  You are offended easily and might explode into a tantrum at the drop of a hat.  For the most part, you may be triggering your own migraines, so it’s essential that you ask yourself before you get all riled up, ”Is this worth the migraine it’ll cost me?”

Help! Migraines are ruining my Relationships

2- Behavioral anger

Do you act out your anger?  People who let anger rule their behavior are often aggressive, and subject to fits of rage- sometimes resulting in physical abuse.  If migraines ever make you angry enough to lash out with friends or family, then it’s important to identify this style and anger and seek professional help.

5 ANGER STYLES THAT TRIGGER MIGRAINES, migravent

3- Verbal anger

How do you express your anger…do you make sharp, cutting remarks, or yell obscenities?  Even if you would never raise your fist in anger, remember that verbal punches can hurt, too.  Next time you’re in the throes of a throbbing migraine headache that’s lasted for days, and somebody says or does something that really gets your goat, try to hold back your temper and your words, lest you ruin a valued relationship.

4- Shame-Based Anger

Over time, constant migraine headaches trigger depression, despair, and anguish in its sufferers.  Because chronic migraines interfere with your ability to work productively, socialize, or carry out basic tasks, you sometimes feel “broken” or worthless.  Feelings of guilt or inadequacy over cancelled appointments and missed birthdays because of migraine attacks may cause intense anger.  If you suspect that poor self-image is at the root of your anger issues, then own up to it.  Find out how other migraine patients cope with their chronic pain, and try to establish a healthier attitude towards yourself.

5- Unpredictable anger

Do you alternate from hot to cold, or have days when you are down in the dumps and others when you feel like you’re on top of the world?  Sometimes, anger erupts without following any pattern, fluctuating between mild annoyances to outright rage, depending on your mood.  Unpredictable anger and mood changes are sometimes comorbid conditions with migraine headaches.  Living with somebody who is a thunderstorm-waiting-to-happen can be stressful, even traumatic, so it’s important that you seek counseling.  By visiting a family or marital counselor and learning how to control your anger, you may save your relationships and your peace of mind while also preventing migraine attacks.

5 ANGER STYLES THAT TRIGGER MIGRAINES, migravent

Please tell us…

Do you recognize any of the anger styles listed?  All in all, there are close to a dozen different anger styles that may trigger migraines.  Do you suffer from anger, and if so, how do you cope?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about migraine triggers:

Avoiding Migraine Triggers- Here, There and Everywhere

Night Terrors, Migraines, and Insomnia- 7 Nightmare Headaches

34 Migraine-Inducing, Stomach-Turning Toxic Chemicals in Perfume

Sources:

What’s your anger management style?

Types of Anger: 12 Most Common Types of Anger

7 Room Darkening Tips for Migraine Sufferers

Monday, March 5th, 2012


 


 

Getting rid of a migraine headache takes more than just good migraine medicine-often, you need a cool dark room to escape to while waiting out the pounding headache and stabbing eye pain that come with most migraine attacks.  Photophobia, or extreme light sensitivity, is a common migraine trigger; to achieve the perfect photographer’s darkroom during the daytime, just follow these room-darkening tips for migraineurs.

7 Room Darkening Tips for Migraine Sufferers

1- Use color to your advantage

Stark white backgrounds are notorious migraine triggers; dark neutral colors like brown and burgundy are much easier on the migraineur’s eyes.  Cover your harsh white walls with deep shades of coffee, garnet, or sapphire to reduce migraine eye pain.

2- Invest in blackout curtains

Many department stores and furniture shops sell “eclipse curtains” that block out about 95% of the sun’s rays.  In addition to preventing migraine headaches, they are also energy-efficient and will keep your room cooler in the summertime.  A cheaper alternative is purchasing blackout cloth that is available at most craft stores, and covering with regular drapes.

7 Room Darkening Tips for Migraine Sufferers

3- Toss your towels

If you can’t afford to splurge on new migraine-proof curtains, then another option is to drape thick towels or dark bed sheets over your windows.  Use Velcro to block out any stray rays of light.  It might not be fashionable, but it achieves the same end result- soothing darkness.  This is also a great idea for making a bedroom migraine-friendly while traveling or visiting relatives.

What are the Signs of Migraine Attack? 30 Migraine Symptoms

4- How about Styrofoam?

Another cheap alternative to blackout curtains- have a piece of Styrofoam or black poster board cut to size, and use it to “plug” your windows.  Cover with drapes and you’ve created a perfect migraine recuperation zone.

7 Room Darkening Tips for Migraine Sufferers5- Fake stained glass

Many home decorating stores sell removable vinyl window-tint films that block out light; they are easy to apply, come off without leaving any marks, and are an attractive way to diffuse migraine-inducing glare.

6- Cover your eyes

Eye masks aren’t just for catching your beauty sleep; today, many contain therapeutic ingredients for relieving eye pain and migraine headaches.  Look out for cooling gel eye masks or lavender-infused sleep masks that can be microwaved for soothing warmth.

7 Room Darkening Tips for Migraine Sufferers

7- Keep the wattage to a minimum

If you need just a pinch of light, then keep some low-wattage bulbs handy.  Alternatively, store a few tea lights with matches in your bedside table; the gentle glow is easier on your photosensitive eyes, and it won’t trigger migraines

Please tell us…

How do you maintain your dark migraine sanctuary?

Do you have any tips you would like to add?

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or leave suggestions.  We’d love to hear from you!

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!

Read more about migraine triggers:

Lights…Camera…Migraine! 10 Curious Facts about Light Sensitivity

Avoiding Migraine Triggers- Here, There and Everywhere

Migraine Excitotoxins- What’s so exciting about them?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012


 


 

Excitotoxins are amino acids that trigger migraines by overstimulating your nerve cells until they are damaged or dead.  In migraine headache disorder, even small amounts of excitotoxins cause migraine symptoms like excruciating headaches, as the migraine brain is especially sensitive to migraine triggers in food.

MIGRAINE EXCITOTOXINS- WHAT’S SO EXCITING ABOUT THEM? MIGRAVENT

What are excitotoxins?

Excitotoxins are amino acids that occur in many foods you eat like lunchmeat, avocadoes, and artificially sweetened beverages; they are necessary for delivering messages from one neuron to another.  Certain amino acids, in large amounts, can be hazardous to your health, causing neurological damage.  Since migraineurs are hypersensitive to even the smallest amounts of excitotoxins, they need to avoid foods that contain these amino acid migraine triggers in order to avoid nerve cell loss.

The following amino acids are classified excitotoxins:

  • D- Glutamate (glutamic acid) - found in MSG and hydrolyzed vegetable protein.
  • Homocysteic acid (homocysteine) - elevated levels of homocysteine is linked with Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Domoic acid- found in shellfish.
  • Aspartate (aspartic acid) - found in cured salami, sausages, oats, and certain vegetables like sprouts, asparagus, and beets.  Aspartate is the main ingredient in the artificial sweetener aspartame, found in NutraSweet and Equal.

MIGRAINE EXCITOTOXINS- WHAT’S SO EXCITING ABOUT THEM? MIGRAVENT

Where’s the MSG? Hidden MSG Lurks Everywhere

Are neurotransmitters bad?

No.  Your brain needs small amounts of neurotransmitters like glutamate for transmitting messages from one nerve cell to the next; they stimulate your neurons into communicating important sensations like sound, taste, touch, and vision, and are also used for cognitive skills like memory and logic.

Certain amino acids, like the ones mentioned above, can become toxic to your nervous system.  MSG contains both L-glutamate and D-glutamate, or example.  While L-glutamate is only harmful in large doses, even the smallest dose of D-glutamate can trigger severe migraine attacks.

Excitotoxin-related illnesses and conditions

The following illnesses and conditions are linked with excitotoxicity:

  • MIGRAINE EXCITOTOXINS- WHAT’S SO EXCITING ABOUT THEM? MIGRAVENTMigraine disorder
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Brain damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease

How do excitotoxins trigger migraines?

When excitotoxins permeate your nerve cells, they set in motion a series of events that result in loss or damage of neurons, causing neurodegenerative disorders for some.  For migraine sufferers, excitotoxins trigger a release of chemicals that result in painful headaches.

Excitotoxicity causes:

  • Low energy metabolism
  • Calcium ion penetration
  • Free radical penetration

Defend yourself against migraine triggers

If you keep a migraine diary and avoid eating migraine triggers, then you might think that you are doing all you can to prevent migraines.  This is not true; keeping the excitotoxins at bay is only one part of migraine therapy.

If you can build up a defense system for your nerve cells, a wall that migraine triggers cannot invade, then you decrease your chances of suffering migraine attacks by at least 50%.

The following supplements are effective for maintaining healthy nerve cells in the presence of excitotoxins:

  • Coenzyme Q10: Helps to regulate and balance healthy metabolic function and protect cellular and tissue health.
  • Riboflavin: Like coenzyme Q10, riboflavin (vitamin B2) also supports cellular health.
  • Magnesium: Regulates calcium channels.
  • Taurine: Stabilizes excitotoxin activity.
  • Lecithin: Maintains healthy nerve cells.

MIGRAINE EXCITOTOXINS- WHAT’S SO EXCITING ABOUT THEM? MIGRAVENT

Please tell us…

  • What treatments do you currently use to prevent migraines?
  • Are you on a restrictive diet for migraines?
  • In addition to medications, what natural nutrients do you take for migraine symptoms?

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care a

bout!

Read more about migraine triggers:

Lights…Camera…Migraine! 10 Curious Facts about Light Sensitivity

34 Migraine-Inducing, Stomach-Turning Toxic Chemicals in Perfume

Avoiding Migraine Triggers- Here, There and Everywhere

Sources:

Amino acids as dietary excitotoxins: a contribution to understanding neurodegenerative disorders- PubMed, NCBI

Migraine Triggers -Excitotoxins

Plasma levels of neuroexcitatory amino acids in patients with migraine or tension headache

Excitotoxins in foods- PubMed, NCBI

Where’s the MSG? Hidden MSG Lurks Everywhere

Friday, February 10th, 2012


 


 

Hidden MSG? Is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) one of your migraine triggers? If you’ve tried everything to relieve migraine headaches, including cutting out MSG, then you might be surprised to find that it’s not as easy as you thought.  Manufacturers who make food products containing hidden MSG are onto you, and they’re trying every trick in the book to make sure you don’t spot the MSG in sheep’s clothing…

WHERE’S MSG? HIDDEN MSG LURKS EVERYWHERE, MIGRAVENT

Migraine triggers in food

Migraine headaches occur when your brain sends abnormal messages to your trigeminal nerve, prompting it to produce pain-causing chemicals that result in migraine headaches in people who are prone to migraines.  Sometimes, food ingredients are the triggers that set the process in motion.  Like allergies, it all depends on your sensitivity to stimuli.  While a single slice of chocolate cheesecake might send you to the ER with a migraine attack, other migraine sufferers can eat dairy and chocolate with no reaction whatsoever.

Some of the most common migraine food triggers are:

  • MSG
  • Tyramine (found in red wine, cured meats, and olives)
  • Tannins (found in tea, grapes, and beans)
  • Sulfites (found in dried fruits and wine)
  • Dairy products, specifically choline and casein
  • Artificial sweeteners

WHERE’S MSG? HIDDEN MSG LURKS EVERYWHERE, MIGRAVENT

For more migraine triggers in food, read Top 35 Foods and Preservatives that Trigger Migraines

What’s in a label?  Not everything…

Food manufacturers are ordered by the FDA to list all product ingredients on a food label.  Sort of.  Actually, there are loopholes that allow them to leave out certain ingredients.

For example, if a package of oatmeal cookies with raisins contains a trace amount of sulfites, a migraine trigger, then the manufacturer is under no obligation to declare it as one of their ingredients.  Also, they are not required to declare cross-contamination ingredients to which their products have been exposed.

WHERE’S MSG? HIDDEN MSG LURKS EVERYWHERE, MIGRAVENT

Can I call you by your first name?

If you’re in the habit of scrutinizing food labels for any mention of MSG, then had better be prepared.  Since the FDA considers MSG to be a perfectly safe substance, they have granted food manufacturers permission to use creative, alter-ego names for monosodium glutamate, lest you be swayed from buying their product.

As a result, thousands of people suffer from migraines, allergic reactions, and other health problems from eating foods that they didn’t know contained MSG or other migraine triggers.

WHERE’S MSG? HIDDEN MSG LURKS EVERYWHERE, MIGRAVENT

The following ingredients always contain MSG:

  1. Ajinomoto
  2. Autolyzed yeast
  3. Calcium caseinate
  4. Calcium glutamate
  5. Dry milk powder
  6. Dry milk protein
  7. Gelatin
  8. Glutamate
  9. Glutamic acid
  10. Hydrolyzed corn gluten
  11. Hydrolyzed protein
  12. Hydrolyzed soy protein
  13. Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  14. Magnesium glutamate
  15. Monoammonium glutamate
  16. Monopotassium glutamate
  17. Monosodium glutamate
  18. Natrium glutamate
  19. Sodium caseinate
  20. Soy protein
  21. Soy protein concentrate
  22. Soy protein isolate
  23. Textured protein
  24. Vetsin
  25. Whey protein
  26. Whey protein concentrate
  27. Whey protein isolate
  28. Yeast extract
  29. Yeast food
  30. Yeast nutrient

WHERE’S MSG? HIDDEN MSG LURKS EVERYWHERE, MIGRAVENT

The following ingredients sometimes contain MSG:

  1. Barley malt
  2. Bouillon
  3. Broth
  4. Carrageenan
  5. Citrate
  6. Citric acid
  7. Corn Starch
  8. Corn Syrup
  9. Enzymes
  10. Fermented food
  11. Flavors/Flavoring
  12. High Fructose Corn Syrup
  13. Malt extract
  14. Malt flavoring
  15. Malted Barley
  16. Maltodextrin
  17. Natural beef flavoring
  18. Natural chicken flavoring
  19. Natural flavors/flavor
  20. Natural pork flavoring
  21. Pectin
  22. Protease
  23. Protein fortified food
  24. Seasonings
  25. Soy protein isolate
  26. Soy protein or soy protein concentrate
  27. Soy sauce
  28. Soy sauce extract
  29. Stock
  30. Ultra-pasteurized
  31. Whey
  32. Whey protein
  33. Whey protein concentrate
  34. Whey protein isolate

WHERE’S MSG? HIDDEN MSG LURKS EVERYWHERE, MIGRAVENT

The following ingredients are thought to contain enough cross-contaminated MSG to trigger migraines in people who are hypersensitive to food triggers:

  1. Brown rice syrup
  2. Corn starch
  3. Corn syrup
  4. Dextrose
  5. Enriched foods
  6. Lipolyzed butter fat
  7. Milk powder
  8. Modified food starch
  9. Reduced fat milk
  10. Rice syrup
  11. Vitamin enriched foods

Please tell us…

If you know of any other ingredients that contain hidden MSG or causes migraines, please send us your comments.  Also, if you have found this article helpful, or have any questions, we would love to hear from you!

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody else you care about!

Read more about migraine triggers:

34 Migraine-Inducing, Stomach-Turning Toxic Chemicals in Perfume

Lights…Camera…Migraine! 10 Curious Facts about Light Sensitivity

Avoiding Migraine Triggers- Here, There and Everywhere

Sources:

Hidden Sources of MSG

The Cover-Up of Hidden MSG

Food allergies: Understanding food labels


How to Make a Migraine Headache Diary

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012


 


 

If you want to lose weight, then you need to write in a food diary.  Likewise, if you want to lose migraine headaches, then you need to keep a migraine headache diary.  It’s no joke- Writing in a migraine journal is an effective way of tracking your migraine symptoms, determining your migraine triggers, and finding everlasting migraine relief.

HOW TO MAKE A MIGRAINE HEADACHE DIARY, MIGRAVENT

What good is a migraine diary?

A migraine diary is a valuable patient-doctor tool. If you see a headache specialist or neurologist regularly, then you need to keep him updated on your progress with migraine treatments.  Instead of committing it all to memory, take a few minutes each day to write down important details like dosage information, headache severity, and foods you ate that day.  Include as much information as possible- what might seem like a trivial detail to you could be an important clue to your doctor in determining your migraine triggers and finding you the right migraine remedy.

Migraine journals help you trace your triggers. There are hundreds of migraine triggers in this world, from food ingredients, to hormonal fluctuations, to the weather.  Trying to solve the migraine trigger mystery can be overwhelming and time consuming. The best way to make sense of your migraine symptoms is to take a scientific approach, by logging into your migraine diary every day.  In a few months, you will have a day-to-day chronicle of your migraines- how often they strike, how long they last, and how many migraine-free days you had. In time, you and your doctor will be able to piece together this information and gain a better understanding of your migraine brain.

HOW TO MAKE A MIGRAINE HEADACHE DIARY, MIGRAVENT

Does stress cause migraine headaches?

Don’t confuse the trigger with the gun. It’s important to note that migraine triggers like stress don’t directly cause headaches; rather, they set the stage for a migraine attack to occur.  Stress doesn’t cause migraines any more than it causes heart palpitations or alcoholism.  The more migraine triggers you have, the more likely you are to have a migraine attack.  And the more stress you have in your life, the more likely you are to suffer from hypertension, depression, and anxiety.  In order to keep migraine frequency to a minimum, you must identify all your migraine triggers and eliminate them, whenever possible.

HOW TO MAKE A MIGRAINE HEADACHE DIARY, MIGRAVENT

What details should I include in my migraine diary?

A complete migraine diary contains a brief history of your migraines and a daily/monthly checklist.

The National Headache Foundation advises noting the following in your migraine history:

  • Earliest age when you first started having migraines
  • Frequency of your migraines, including times of day, days per week, and duration
  • Location of pain
  • Words you would use to describe your head pain
  • Correlation with menstrual cycle
  • Any known triggers, like foods, lights, scents, weather changes, temperature, activities, eating habits, sleep schedule, etc.
  • Symptoms that precede your migraine headaches
  • Family history of migraines
  • Any strange symptoms like migraine aura- visual disturbances, partial blindness, olfactory hallucinations
  • Variations in headache types

A monthly migraine checklist contains specific information, including:

  • HOW TO MAKE A MIGRAINE HEADACHE DIARY, MIGRAVENTActual time your migraine started and ended
  • Pain intensity
  • Complete symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, etc.
  • All medications taken that day, in what amounts
  • Effectiveness of medication
  • Mood before headache
  • Level of disability because of migraine
  • How much sleep you had the night before
  • Foods you ate before the migraine
  • Stressful events that occurred that day
  • Menstrual period
  • Any extra comments that might be useful later

Where can I download a migraine diary template?

The internet is loaded with excellent resources for migraineurs.  If you have an iPod, iPhone, or iPad, then you have your choice of dozens of migraine diary apps on iTunes.  Read this- Manage your Migraines from your iPad or iPhone- Five Useful Tips

If you’re more old school, then download this excellent Migraine and Headache Diary Workbook from Help for Headaches.com.

Please tell us…

Have you been successful in tracking down migraine triggers by using a migraine diary? Were you able to find a better treatment for your migraines because of it?  If you know anybody else who suffers from migraines, please share this post!

Read more about migraine triggers

10 Clues your should Include in your Headache Diary Today

34 Migraine-Inducing, Stomach-Turning Toxic Chemicals in Perfume

Why do Migraines cause Nausea and Vomiting?

Images, from top:

stephan mantler, Nomadic Lass, startcooking kathy & amandine, Pink Sherbet Photography

Lights…Camera…Migraine! 10 Curious Facts about Light Sensitivity

Monday, January 9th, 2012


 


 

Darkness rules the den of a migraine sufferer- no bright lights or glaring television screens here.  Shades and curtains are pulled down, bed is unmade, and the sign on the door warns, “Migraineur’s lair- Enter if you dare.” No, light is no friend of mine when a migraine headache strikes.  Take me to the Batcave, Robin- it’s going to be a doozy.

LIGHTS…ACTION…MIGRAINE! 10 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT LIGHT SENSITIVITY, MIGRAVENT.COM

Photophobia, or Go away from the light!

It’s not your imagination; lights are a major migraine trigger for millions of other chronic headache sufferers.  Besides migraine photophobia, sensitivity to bright lights, other causes of light hypersensitivity are eye damage, drug side effects, excessive contact lens wearing, and meningitis.

Below are 10 interesting facts about light sensitivity and migraines:

LIGHTS…ACTION…MIGRAINE! 10 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT LIGHT SENSITIVITY, MIGRAVENT.COM

#1- Photophobia is neurological. When you get a migraine attack, your pupils allow too much light to enter, overstimulating your retina, which in turn send pain signals to the optic nerve.

Night Terrors, Migraines, and Insomnia- 7 Nightmare Headaches

#2- You can’t escape bright lights. Unless you live in a cave, migraine triggers are everywhere.  Fluorescent “curly lights” are the norm in most indoor environments, as are glowing computer screens and plasma flat-screened televisions.  Car headlights shine in your eyes even on sunny days.

#3- If light gives you blinding headaches, you’re in good company. Photophobia is so common it affects 85% of all migraine headache patients.

LIGHTS…ACTION…MIGRAINE! 10 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT LIGHT SENSITIVITY, MIGRAVENT.COM

#4- Bright-eyed and blinking: Among the people most likely to suffer from light sensitivity are migraine patients, people with cataracts, and those with light-colored eyes.

Migraine Headache Frequently Asked Questions- the Top Ten List

#5- Photophobia happens even when you don’t realize it. Even when you’re not having a migraine, you are more sensitive to lights and sounds that don’t bother non-headache sufferers.  Like a magnet, your eyes and ears absorb every irritating sound and flickering light in the background.

#6- Photophobia is one-sided. Migraines characteristically strike one side of the head.  Similarly, light sensitivity causes eye pain on one side of the head- in most cases, the same side as the migraine.

LIGHTS…ACTION…MIGRAINE! 10 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT LIGHT SENSITIVITY, MIGRAVENT.COM#7- Photophobia affects blind migraineurs, too.  Scientists wanted to know if bright lights are a migraine trigger for the blind.  They examined twenty blind individuals who suffered from migraines, including six who had no perception of light. When subjected to bright light, the blind migraine patients who could identify light patterns reported exacerbated migraine symptoms, while the six subjects who could not detect light saw no difference in migraine severity.

Headaches can Cause Blindness- 4 Facts about Ocular Migraines

#8- Seeing red? Good. In a famous study, migraine patients who wore red-tinted contact lenses for 5-90 minutes experienced significant headache relief, and some even experienced a complete remission of migraine headache symptoms.

Rainbow Colored Sunglasses that Prevent Migraines

#9- Old age: finally, something to look forward to. Some scientific data suggests that symptoms of migraines like nausea, vomiting, and photophobia may significantly decrease by the time you reach fifty.

LIGHTS…ACTION…MIGRAINE! 10 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT LIGHT SENSITIVITY, MIGRAVENT.COM

#10- If you can see it, you can feel it. Bright lights migraines, but so do other photophobia triggers.  In addition to light, other factors that cause eyestrain are intense colors, geometric patterns, and flickering.  Looking at large, stark white walls may induce a migraine attack.  So can glimpsing designs with contrasting colors- black and white bar codes, zigzags, and zebra stripes may cause excruciating eye pain.  Also, low-contrast flickering objects seem to bother migraine headache sufferers more than non-migraineurs.

Sources:

Why light makes your migraine worse

A neural mechanism for exacerbation of headache by light

Why Bright Light Worsens Migraine Headache Pain

Photophobia

Images, from top:

Glen Orbik, Thomas Weidenhaupt, mageoM a x y, @Doug88888