Migraines are a problem that affects about 39 million people in the United States. Intense headaches are one of the main symptoms of migraines. They can also cause sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. There are several medications that can be used to control migraines. However, before you start taking medication, it is a good idea for you to make sure that the foods that you are eating are not causing you to experience migraines.
There are a number of preservatives and additives that can cause migraines:
Sulfites are used in both foods and pharmaceutical products. You can find them in pickled onions, dried fruits, sausages and soft drinks. Some people develop migraines when they are exposed to sulfites. They do not even have to consume sulfites.
2. Monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate, which is also known as MSG, is an artificial flavor. It is found in Chinese foods, fast food, processed meals and frozen meals. Some studies suggest that MSG can trigger migraines. However, the research is not conclusive. It is best for you to keep a food diary in order to determine whether MSG triggers migraines.
3. Flavor enhancers
Anything that is used to add flavor to your food can be classified as a flavor enhancer. Sodium guanylate, calcium diglutamate and monopotassium glutamate are examples of flavor enhancers. You can find them in just about any processed food. That is why it is a good idea for you to read food labels.
Nitrites are compounds that are found in hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and cold cuts. They are also found in certain medications. Additionally, nitrites are found in many heart medications. In fact, it is estimated that 80 percent of people who take heart medications with nitrites have migraines. However, you do not want to stop taking your medication or change your dosage without talking to your doctor at first.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener. It is often used in the place of sugar. You can find it in most products that have been artificially sweetened. Not only can aspartame trigger migraines, but it can be just as harmful to you as sugar.
Tyramine is an amino acid that many migraine sufferers do not process well. Aged cheeses, such as feta, blue cheese and cheddar are examples of foods that have tyramine. You can also find tyramine in cured meats, such as corned beef, pepperoni, summer sausages and salami. Additionally, tyramine is found in snow peas, fava beans, pickles and olives.
7. Food colorings
Yellow dye #5, yellow #6 and red dye #40 are some of the food colorings that are often used in foods. It is best for you to avoid foods with artificial colorings in them.