Certain foods may trigger migraine symptoms

Individuals looking to curb migraine pain symptoms may want to consider a change in their diet.

According to Kingston EMC, a Canadian news source, recent research has shown that certain foods may trigger migraine episodes. Tyramine, a naturally-occurring substance found in many plants and animals, can affect the adrenal gland. This can trigger a response in the body that elevates the heart rate, raises blood pressure and increases the amount of adrenaline in the blood. All of these factors can contribute to a migraine, the news provider reports.

Some processed meats, such as hot dogs and sausage, may contain additives. According to EMC, people who experience chronic migraines have reported symptoms coming on after eating these types of foods, as well as those containing MSG. These items may also have large doses of tyramine in them, increasing the risk they present to people with a history of migraines.

University Health Services at the University of California, Berkeley, have also seen a connection between certain foods and migraines. Their report suggests that chocolate, alcoholic beverages, processed meats, dairy products (including buttermilk and sour cream) as well as freshly baked yeast bread may induce the powerful headaches.

The university's report contained other factors researchers had discovered that possibly trigger migraines. These include changes in sleep patterns, extreme heat or cold caused by rapidly changing weather patterns, bright lights and certain odors.

According to the document, "Food triggers do not necessarily contribute to migraines in all individuals, and particular foods may trigger attacks in certain people only on occasion. People should be their own experts by keeping a journal of foods they have eaten before a migraine attack to see whether the removal or reduction of certain foods from a diet improves headaches."