Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


Foods That Can Trigger Migraines

Foods, drink and eating habits have long been blamed for triggering migraines in sufferers. Some studies show that about 20 percent of migraine sufferers count certain foods as triggers. Other studies report that anywhere from 7 percent to 44 percent of migraine sufferers point to certain foods as triggers.

Sometimes it’s not necessarily the food itself that triggers the attack, it may be an additive in the food such as food coloring that launches the migraine attack.

Specific foods may serve as triggers in some individuals, while others might suffer a migraine attack if they miss a meal. Studies show that almost half of people with migraines have attacks if they fast. The migraine typically occurs after roughly 16 hours of fasting. The reason behind this isn’t certain, but some researchers believe that without food the body produces stress hormones, which activate chemicals in the brain responsible for migraines.

Another belief is that the food cravings are actually part of the disease which leads to eating non-typical foods, such as chocolate. In this scenario, the food itself may not be the trigger.

Most common foods that trigger migraines

  • Chocolate, 75 percent
  • Cheese, particularly aged cheese, 48 percent
  • Citrus fruits , 30 percent
  • Alcohol, particularly red wine and beer, 25 percent

According to a 1979 study of 500 migraine sufferers

An additional list of foods that trigger migraines

  • Ham, hot dogs, other cured meats
  • Monosodium glutamate, MSG, commonly found in Chinese foods, soy sauce and packaged foods
  • Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners
  • Asian foods
  • Snack foods
  • Fatty foods
  • Ice cream and other frozen foods
  • Food dyes
  • Coffee, tea, cola (other items containing caffeine and caffeine withdrawal)
  • Dairy products, yogurt


About specific migraine food triggers


Chocolate contains several ingredients that may play a role in triggering migraines. One substance, phenylethylamine may alter blood flow in the brain or cause the release of other chemicals in the brain leading to migraine. Chocolate also contains caffeine.


Caffeine has well-known effects on the central nervous system and the blood vessels of the brain. Marketed as a stimulant that increases alertness and energy, caffeine may also induce insomnia. Withdrawal from caffeine is also known to cause head pain which can last for days.


MSG, monosodium glutamate, a food additive used to enhance flavor of foods. It is commonly found in foods from Chinese restaurants, frozen foods, canned or dried soups, processed meats, salad dressings, snacks as well as tomato or barbecue sauce. MSG, has been found to cause animal blood vessels to narrow and contract, may trigger migraines by this action in the blood vessels of the brain. It could stimulate certain receptors in the central nervous system or lead to the release of nitric oxide, which may lead to the head pain.

Cured meats

Cured meats such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs and ham contain nitrites to preserve color and flavor, while preventing growth of botulism. Nitrites may cause the release of nitric oxide and widening of blood vessels.

Managing migraine food triggers

The best way to manage your food or any other migraine trigger is to take notes in your migraine journal. This journal should contain:

  • A detailed description of every migraine attack
  • What you were doing before you experienced the migraine
  • How long the migraine lasted
  • A list of all symptoms you experienced
  • A description of how severe your migraine symptoms were

Your migraine journal will help you make your own migraine trigger list. You can probably reduce the number of migraine attacks by avoiding items on your list.

source: migraine.com

Leave a comment

Migraines linked to bacteria in mouth

People who suffer from migraines have more of certain bacteria in their mouths

People who suffer from migraines have long complained that certain foods trigger the severe headaches. New research suggests the culprit might be the amount of bacteria in the mouth.

Researchers found that the mouths of people who suffer from migraines harboured significantly more of the microbes that break down nitrates found in certain foods.

These bacteria play an important role in processing nitrates so they can then be converted into nitric oxide in the bloodstream, which widens blood vessels and improves circulation.

While this process is helpful for cardiovascular health, the findings suggest an abundance of these bacteria may break down nitrates more quickly, causing blood vessels in the brain and scalp to dilate, triggering migraines.

Nitrates are naturally found in a variety of leafy green vegetables, and they are added to processed meat as a preservative and to improve flavour and colour.

Doctors have been telling people who suffer from migraines to avoid processed foods for years. Dr. Michael Zitney, who leads the Headache & Pain Relief Centre in Toronto, says this research strengthens their case.

“We have long since known that these kinds of foods can trigger migraines, but we haven’t really known how,” he says.

Link to cardiovascular research

The process of how nitrates break down into nitric oxide is well-studied in cardiovascular health.

Nitrate-containing drugs are prescribed to treat chest pain or congestive heart failure. But roughly four out of five cardiac patients who take the drugs report severe headaches as a side-effect.

The study’s authors hope these findings will help link existing cardiovascular research with migraines.



“It opens a full area of research and connects two areas of research that have not been connected before,” says the study’s lead author, Antonio Gonzalez, from the University of California San Diego.

Data collected from ‘citizen scientists’

This study was based on data from the American Gut Project, which crowd sources oral and fecal samples from so-called “citizen scientists.”

Researchers sequenced bacteria found in 172 oral samples and 1,996 fecal samples. They found that the nitrate-reducing microbes were slightly more abundant in the fecal samples of people who suffer from migraines, but significantly more abundant in their oral samples.

Chronic migraines are frequent, severe, pulsating headaches accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. They last anywhere from a few hours to several days.

It’s estimated that eight per cent of Canadians have been diagnosed with migraines, although this likely underestimates their prevalence, as some people who suffer from migraines don’t seek professional help.

The study’s authors say they still need to determine whether the bacteria are a cause or a result of migraines, or are indirectly linked in some other way.

For now, Zitney says, the research suggests that some migraines could one day be treated by controlling the bacteria in our mouths.

“This may be just a glimmer of hope in terms of pursuing possible treatments,” he says.

The study was published earlier this week in mSystems, the online journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

By Darryl Hol, CBC News     Oct 19, 2016
With files from Christine Birak and Melanie Glanz
source: www.cbc.ca


Migraines Linked To Lack Of Specific Vitamins

Many young adults, teens and children with migraines are deficient in these three nutrients, study finds.

Mild deficiency of coenzyme Q10, riboflavin and vitamin D has been found in a high percentage of patients with migraines.

Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that supplementation of coenzyme Q10, riboflavin and vitamin D may benefit migraine patients.

The patients’ blood levels of vitamin D, coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin were checked.

Deficient patients were given vitamin supplementation.

Young women and girls were more likely to be deficient  in coenzyme Q10 compared to young men and boys.

However, young men and boys were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.


Patients who suffered from chronic migraines compared to episodic migraines had higher coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin deficiency.

Coenzyme Q10 — a vitamin-like substance — is a key to energy production in the human body.

Organ meats such as liver, heart and kidney naturally contain high levels of coenzyme Q10.

It has also been found in beef, mackerel, sardines, nuts, shellfish, broccoli, dark leafy greens, pork and chicken.

Riboflavin is known as vitamin B2 and, like the other B vitamins, plays a role in energy production and is involved in many other functions such as eye, skin and digestive health.

Foods rich in riboflavin include organ meats, lean meats, eggs, milk, cheese, leafy vegetables, almonds, mushrooms, legumes and fortified grains and cereals.

Vitamin D can be obtained from sun exposure, oily fish such as salmon, and supplements.

In addition to being essential for bone and mental health, vitamin D is involved in the reduction of inflammation, neuromuscular and immune function and modulation of cell growth.

Dr Suzanne Hagler, the lead author of this study, said:

“Further studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin supplementation is effective in migraine patients in general, and whether patients with mild deficiency are more likely to benefit from supplementation.”

The study was presented on June 10, 2016 at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego.

23RD JUNE 2016     MINA DEAN

1 Comment

10 Signs you are Gluten Intolerant

Gluten intolerance, also called gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease- when it’s in its most severe form- can have symptoms that range from no symptoms to life threatening or debilitating chronic health problems and anywhere in between. Often, these symptoms are not consistent from person to person and this is part of what makes gluten testing or Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity so difficult for medical professionals.

According to Dr. Amy Myers the following are 10 signs of gluten intolerance:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis pilaris, also known as “chicken skin” on the back of your arms. This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog, or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma or multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS, or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pinpoint the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling, or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees, or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, and ADD.

According to The Examiner.com below are five not-so-obvious signs of gluten intolerance that you could be missing:

1.”You’re a full-grown adult but you still have breakouts like a teenager: Your skin is the body’s biggest organ and provides a window into your internal health. That may be why Dr. Alessio Fasano, at the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research argues that persistent acne is a sign of inflammation from gluten that can affect other organs.

2.You wake up feeling sluggish, you’re fatigued all day, and never feel rested: If you aren’t burning the midnight oil every night and you are still hitting the snooze button repeatedly ever morning, your diet may actually be to blame. A gluten-filled diet can not only induce fatigue in someone with gluten intolerance, it can actually disrupt your sleep patterns and create a feeling of general malaise, according to studies.

3.You suffer from mood issues, anxiety, depression, or ADD. A gluten intolerance or allergy might not create anxiety or depression out of thin air, but they can certainly make symptoms worse. A 2010 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cited “significant concerns about increased rates of psychological symptoms and mental disorders in celiacs” patients.

4.You mysteriously suffer from join pain in your hands, knees, or hips: Join pain can be signs of several different autoimmune diseases. If you’re not hitting the heavy weights, logging serious miles running, or suffering from arthritis, the inflammatory response from a gluten intolerance may be one reason your system is triggering a reaction in your joints.


5.You are plagued by frequent headaches and migraines: The causes of migraines are various and mysterious, but some studies have made a connection between an increased rate of headaches and migraines in Celiac patients, compared to the general population. In a 2001 study, Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in the UK documented patients actually lessening their migraine symptom by following gluten-free diets”.

And it gets worse, gluten has been linked to over 55 diseases! Yes, I said 55 diseases.
Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “we used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone–but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering and death for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet.”

So, what’s a person to do? Well, first get tested by your doctor have him/her do the run down to make sure that there is nothing else going on then try a gluten elimination diet.
( http://www.nourishingmeals.com/p/elimination-diet.html )

(i) Ludvigsson JF, Montgomery SM, Ekbom A, Brandt L, Granath F. Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease. JAMA. 2009 Sep 16;302(11):1171-8.
(ii) Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93
(iii) Green PH, Neugut AI, Naiyer AJ, Edwards ZC, Gabinelle S, Chinburapa V. Economic benefits of increased diagnosis of celiac disease in a national managed care population in the United States. J Insur Med. 2008;40(3-4):218-28.
(iv) Farrell RJ, Kelly CP. Celiac sprue. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jan 17;346(3):180-8. Review.
(v) Sedghizadeh PP, Shuler CF, Allen CM, Beck FM, Kalmar JR. Celiac disease and recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a report and review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2002;94(4):474-478.
(vi) Margutti P, Delunardo F, Ortona E. Autoantibodies associated with psychiatric disorders. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2006 May;3(2):149-57. Review.
(vii) Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of mood disorders–a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.
(viii) Ludvigsson JF, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of schizophrenia and other psychosis: a general population cohort study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;42(2):179-85.
(ix) Hu WT, Murray JA, Greenaway MC, Parisi JE, Josephs KA. Cognitive impairment and celiac disease. Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1440-6.
(x) Bushara KO. Neurologic presentation of celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2005 Apr;128(4 Suppl 1):S92-7. Review.
(xi) Millward C, Ferriter M, Calver S, Connell-Jones G. Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD003498. Review.
(xii) Green PH, Jabri B. Coeliac disease. Lancet. 2003 Aug 2;362(9381):383-91. Review.

Sources for Article:


Benefits of Magnesium

We normally hear about the importance of iron and calcium, and vitamin’s C and D. 
We don’t hear much about magnesium, however, and this mineral, 
when one becomes deficient, can lead to severe health consequences. 
Not only that, but an estimated 80% of Americans are deficient in this mineral, 
and they may never know it since it is hard to measure with blood testing.
The enzymes in our body require magnesium to undergo their daily reactions. 
In fact, magnesium is found in over 300 different enzymes in the body 
which are responsible for things like:
1) Proper Bowel Function 
In the digestive tract, magnesium acts as a coenzyme – it breaks down food and helps assimilate the nutrients into the cells of your body. The hydrochloric acid in your stomach in also dependent on magnesium for its production and assimilation, as well as the bile in your liver.
2) Heart Muscle Contraction
Magnesium helps transport potassium, calcium and other ions across cell membranes, and without proper coordination and participation of magnesium to help these nutrients into cell membranes, then our heart would not properly function. This crucial function of magnesium in our bodies helps promote healthy muscle contraction, normal heart rhythm and healthy nerve impulses.
3) Relaxation of Blood Vessels
Magnesium is vital for muscle relaxation. Arteries and vessels are made up primarily of smooth muscle (the middle layer called the “Tunica Media”), and this muscle contracts and relaxes like a pump, allowing blood to flow through the body. Research has shown that magnesium acts to relax blood vessels (vasodilaton), which is associated with lower blood pressure.
4) Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
In fact, without enough magnesium in your body, you may be prone to developing diabetes. Magnesium deficiency has been directly linked to insulin resistance, and thus, increases your chances of becoming diabetic or developing some other chronic health issue.
5) Proper Formation of Bones and Teeth
We normally only think of calcium when it comes to maintaining healthy bones and teeth, however, magnesium is also a large player in this case as well. About half of your body’s magnesium supply is stored in your bones and it helps strengthen the structure of our bones with the help of vitamin D and calcium.
6) Creation of ATP (energy molecules of the body)
Magnesium is essential for proper ATP synthesis. ATP requires magnesium in order to be stable, and without magnesium, ATP would break down into other components called ADP and inorganic phosphate. Without enough magnesium, our ATP synthesis slows and doesn’t work as it should which can lead to serious health issues.
7) Reduces Cancer Risk
The body’s most powerful antioxidant, “glutathione,” requires magnesium to function properly. When magnesium is present, the body can properly shield itself from heavy metals, environmental chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, all factors that determine your risk for developing cancer. In fact, increasing magnesium to just 100 mg extra per day has been found to reduce a person’s risk for developing colorectal cancer by around 13 percent!
Magnesium has been found to help in a variety of health-related cases, such as those suffering from fibromyalgia, atrial fibrillation, type 2 diabetes, PMS, cardiovascular disease, migraines, and aging. 
Incorporating magnesium into your diet is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, many fruit and vegetables contain magnesium, which could dramatically improve your health. Chlorophyll, which creates the beautiful green colour of many of the plant foods we eat, allows the plant to capture solar energy and convert it into metabolic energy. This molecule contains a magnesium atom in its centre, and is also highly similar to the structure of our hemoglobin, meaning that lots of green leafy salads and juices nourish our blood and the cells of our body.
Men should aim for around 320 mg of magnesium per day, whereas women should aim for 230 mg/day.
The best natural sources of magnesium include (per 100 grams):
Sea Vegetables (nori, wakame, dulse) = 770 mg
Raw Cacao = 550 mg
Raw Pumpkin Seeds =  535 mg
Cilantro/Corriander = 694 mg
Almonds = 268 mg
Bananas = 27 mg
Okra = 57 mg
Swiss Chard = 81 mg
Spinach (or any dark leafy greens) = 79 mg
Hazelnuts = 163 mg
Beet Greens = 98 mg
Dates = 77 mg
Figs = 68 mg
Avocados = 29 mg

Leave a comment

Are migraines more common than thought?

By Amy Norton     Mon Jul 30, 2012

(Reuters Health) – Neurologists, who may know headaches better than anyone, report a much higher-than-average rate of migraines, a new survey from Norway finds.

The national survey found that of 245 neurologists, 35 percent said they’d ever had migraine headaches. And 26 percent had had one in the past year – double what’s reported among Norwegians as a whole.

Worldwide, an estimated 11 percent of people have suffered a migraine in the past year.

It’s not clear why neurologists are so taxed by migraines. But one possibility is that the general public actually has higher migraine rates, but doesn’t realize it or report the headaches, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Karl B. Alstadhaug of Nordland Hospital in Bodo, Norway.

Still, another explanation could be that neurologists, or doctors in general, have a higher-than-average risk of migraine, said Dr. Randolph Evans, a clinical professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

“It is a curious finding,” Evans said in an interview.

In his own study of 220 neurologists, Evans found that about half to three-quarters said they had ever had migraines.

A statistical stumbling block called “selection bias” could be at work, however: The neurologists in Evans’s study were attending a course on headache, so he may have sampled a group of doctors especially interested in headache – which could include those who suffer migraines themselves.

The same might be true of the new study, which was published in the journal Headache. Alstadhaug’s team sent surveys to all of the neurologists registered in Norway. But more than one-third did not respond, and it’s possible that the doctors who did respond were more likely to be migraine sufferers.

“I certainly believe that a questionnaire study like this is biased,” Alstadhaug told Reuters Health in an email, “but I don’t think that it can explain the results.”

Even if all the non-responders were migraine-free, Alstadhaug said, that would still leave the rate of migraines among all Norwegian neurologists at 17 percent.

He and his colleagues also asked the doctors whether their own migraines had, in part, led them to become neurologists (since that could help explain the high migraine rates). But only one doctor said that was the case.

Alstadhaug’s team suspects that the migraine rate among neurologists may be a more accurate estimate of what’s going on in the public at large.

Neurologists specialize in disorders of the brain and nervous system, and some focus on headaches in particular. So if anyone should know the signs and symptoms of migraine, it would be a neurologist.

Migraines typically involve an intense throbbing sensation in one area of the head, plus sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea or vomiting in some cases.

About 30 percent of people with recurrent migraines have sensory disturbances shortly before their headache hits.

Those disturbances, known as aura, are usually visual – like seeing flashes of light or blind spots – but they can also include problems like tingling sensations or numbness, or difficulty speaking or understanding language.

In this study, about one-third of neurologists said they’d ever had an aura alone, with no headache. Most said it had happened at least twice.

“In my opinion, the results illustrate that aura and migraines may occur a few times during a lifetime in normal brains,” Alstadhaug said.

He said he does not think the findings imply that more people should be going to the doctor for their head pain.

Of the neurologists in this study who’d had a recent migraine, less than half said they had taken prescription migraine drugs known as triptans.

According to Alstadhaug, that suggests their migraines were fairly mild.

Evans agreed that many of the doctors may have found their migraines manageable with an over-the-counter pain reliever. “If an over-the-counter works, why use a prescription?” he said. “Why use an elephant gun to kill a mosquito?”

But Evans said he suspects neurologists might have a higher-than-average migraine risk because of their work.

“It’s possible people in stressful occupations may be more likely to develop migraines,” Evans speculated.

Of course, he added, a lot of us might consider our jobs stressful. It would be interesting, Evans said, for studies to look at whether migraine prevalence varies among different occupations.

SOURCE: bit.ly/OfCBTi Headache, online July 23, 2012       Reuters

Leave a comment

5 Important Lifestyle Changes for Migraine Patients

Daily habits may make a difference in your migraines.
By        Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD
Jennifer Metzger, a 40-year-old attorney and mom of two young daughters in northern New Jersey, has battled migraines since she was 10.
“Back then, they didn’t call them migraines,” she says. “My mom always said that I was ‘prone to headaches.'”

Over the years, Metzger says she’s tried pretty much every standard migraine treatment available — from triptan medications to anticonvulsant drugs and Botox — and most of the alternative options, including acupuncture, biofeedback, and herbs such as feverfew.
But she’s also found that if she doesn’t focus on managing the triggers that seem to set off her migraines, medications and other therapies don’t work nearly as well.
That’s common for many people who get migraines. So what are the most important lifestyle changes to make in order to get your migraines under control?
They’re not always the same for everyone. What helps one person with migraine may have no effect on someone else.
But some of the things you can try to keep migraines under control include:

1. Regiment your life.

If migraine were a person, it’d be the cranky guy next door yelling, “You rotten kids, get off my lawn!”
Migraine doesn’t like excitement. When your life gets eventful and unpredictable, migraine flares up.
“Be boring,” says neurologist Gretchen Tietjen, MD, director of the University of Toledo’s Headache Treatment and Research Program.
“Keep a regular schedule. Make sure you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning. Get an adequate amount of sleep, but don’t oversleep. Eat your meals on a regular schedule.”
You can’t always do that, of course. So if you know that an upcoming event — like a red-eye flight that will leave you jet-lagged — is likely to throw off your schedule, plan accordingly so that your “migraine brain” won’t rebel.
“If I’m flying to the West Coast for a few days, I’ll get up at 4:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. when I’m there, and go to bed at 8:30 or 9 if I can,” Tietjen says.

2. Nourish your body.

“When I get dehydrated or skip meals, that’s a huge migraine trigger,” Metzger says.
That’s not unusual, Tietjen says. “People with headache tend to be much more vulnerable to the effects of dehydration.”
Always keep a bottle of water and a snack handy: Peanut butter and an apple, or mild cheese and crackers, are good protein-carb combos.

3. Watch what you eat.

Some experts say that there’s no such thing as a dietary trigger for migraines. 

But headache specialist Deborah Friedman, MD, professor of neurology and neurotherapeutics at the University of Texas-Southwestern, says probably half of her migraine patients can identify foods that bring on their migraines.

“The most common ones are, unfortunately, many foods we love, starting with chocolate,” she says. “It’s dose-dependent: If the food is a trigger for you, the more you eat, the more likely it is to cause migraine.”
Many foods that have been linked with migraine contain a chemical called tyramine, which occurs naturally in food as it ages. This includes aged, smoked, and cured meats, and many aged cheeses.
If you find that cheese provokes migraine, try sticking with white and blander cheeses, like provolone, mozzarella, cream cheese, and cottage cheese.
Other common dietary migraine triggers include aspartame and artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and alcohol.
Interestingly, a mixed drink may be less likely to set off a headache than beer or wine. 
“Those beverages are aged and fermented, plus they contain sulfites, so they appear to be more likely to cause migraine than liquor in general,” Friedman says.

4. Get moving.

“Daily exercise appears to be very helpful for many people with migraine, especially when they begin the day with it,” Tietjen says.
She points out that a growing body of research suggests that yoga, in particular, is beneficial to migraine patients.
However, exercise is a migraine trigger for some people. The issue sometimes is making the workout too intense, too quickly — or becoming dehydrated. So aim for moderate exercise and be sure to hydrate before and after. 
If you are not active now, you may want to check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

5. Reduce stress.

“Stress seems to be one of the biggest lifestyle factors associated with migraine,” Tietjen says.
Of course, you can’t get rid of all stress. But there are things you can do.
“Learning stress management techniques, like biofeedback, meditation, and cognitive behavioral strategies, is absolutely imperative for people with frequent headaches,” Tietjen says.
Metzger notes that she’s had to give up more intense exercise, like the spin classes she used to love, because she found that they brought on more pain than they relieved.
“And if I’m in a bad migraine cycle, I can’t exercise,” she says. “But if I get a break in the migraine cycle and work myself into a place where I’m exercising moderately on a regular basis, it’s really good.”
Keeping a journal is the best way to figure out which lifestyle factors may play a role in your migraines, Tietjen says.
Here’s how:
  • Every day, write down what you ate and drank and when; when and if you exercised; when you went to bed and got up; and any big stresses you experienced.
  • Record when you get migraines.
After a few weeks, you can start to look for patterns in your journal.
“A lot of people will find that none of the identified triggers apply to them,” Friedman warns. “And some triggers you can’t do anything about. For example, strong odors trigger migraine for many people, and there’s only so much you can do about your coworker’s stinky perfume.”
But if you can identify lifestyle factors that trigger migraines that are modifiable — such as when you’re eating and how much you’re sleeping — you may be able to find some relief.
source: WebMD