Saturday, May 30, 2009

Why do studies say migraineurs don't suffer from trigger induced migraines?

The answer is simple. The studies were done by removing only one trigger, or maybe a few triggers from the body at once. They were not done by removing all food triggers at the same time. So, there were still triggers in the body to cause havoc, in which case the migrane sufferer would not improve, except in a small percentage of cases where the threshold level would lower enough to provide relief. This tells me that triggers do pose a problem, if removing them in that fashion still helped 25% of people!

To lower your migraine threshold, you must remove all triggers at once in the beginning (which means strict adherence to the diet), then add triggers back in one at a time after you feel better. Each trigger must be eaten over a period of several days, because it can take up to two days for a trigger to affect a person. It does not have to cause problems the same day it is eaten. This way, you can decide exactly which foods are your triggers. The diet can be liberalized later on after these steps have been done. Dr. Buchholz explains the diet in detail in his book.

If you have not had the pleasure of reading Dr. Buchholz's book yet, then you are probably not healing like you could be. I can not recommend his book strongly enough. Best wishes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Child-Friendly Food Ideas

It may seem hard to find food for children to eat who follow this diet. Here are a few suggestions for the little ones.

Sunflower seed butter is a great substitute for peanut butter, and makes a very yummy "peanut butter" and jelly sandwich.

Dried cranberries (with no trigger preservatives) are a wonderful substitute for raisins.

Grilled cheese sandwiches can be made with high-quality american cheese from the deli.

Hormel makes an all-natural sandwich meat that comes in a brown box. It can be found with other sandwich meats at your supermarket.

After a child's headaches are more under control, it may be safe to try fresh mozzarella cheese every once in awhile. Mozzarella is one of the less-aged hard cheeses, so it has less tyramine. Be careful not to give too much, though.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are always a good choice, but stay away from citrus fruit, bananas, and others on the list of trigger foods, as these contain tyramine.

I hope this helps. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Migraine Triggers in Fast Food Items

I was reading an article online the other day, and I thought you might be interested in reading it. It lists the top ten ingredients in all fast food items. And remember, just because an ingredient is not listed in the top ten, doesn't mean it isn't common.

Anytime you want to know the ingredients of fast food items, you can find them online. Here are just a few sites to help you get started. Notice in particular the triggers in McDonald's fries!,3,-1

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Seeds, Nuts, and Migraines

As you probably know, nuts contain tyramine which can be a very powerful migraine trigger for many people. Seeds, however, are permitted as long as there are no harmful preservatives added, and can be a healthy and delicious substitute. Seeds contain magnesium, which is great for muscle development and repair. They also contain folic acid which is wonderful for your mood. Not only that, they are high in healthy fats which help the circulatory system and the nervous system, something that migraine sufferers can definitely use. So next time you feel the need for a snack, eat 1/4 cup of seeds and some fruit (not citrus or raisins) to tide you over until the next meal. The combination together will help you feel full. Any other great snack ideas?

Monday, May 4, 2009

How powerful is caffeine as a migraine trigger?

When I first began the Dr. David Buchholz migraine-free diet two years ago, I went cold turkey on all triggers. I didn't eat any triggers for one whole year. That's right. I didn't cheat once. It took me about 8 months to feel normal as a human being after following a horrible diet my whole life. It doesn't take everyone this long. Usually people notice a difference within two weeks and feel great within two to three months. I noticed a difference within two weeks, felt better within two months, and felt great in eight months. I was an extremely severe case. After about one year, I decided to cheat once with french fries and cheese. I remember feeling a little dizzy the next day. No big deal. I was still on the diet and still in control. Two weeks later I decided to cheat again, this time with chocolate and something else with nitrates, although I don't remember what the other item was. And, this time I had a headache. I am now on a preventive medication (step 3 in the 1-2-3 program) so that I can eat out with friends sometimes, and not be rude at people's houses when meals are prepared. Some people are more sensitive to triggers than others and need preventive help.

A few months ago, I decided to have some Dr. Pepper on an outing with some friends. Before beginning the diet two years ago, I was a Mountain Dew addict of the worst kind. My one Dr. Pepper that day led to one the next day, and a couple the next day, and you get the idea. Now I feel a need to have it and am having a horrible time releasing myself as a slave to it. You might say it is an addiction, and maybe it is, but I actually see it as a trigger holding my body captive. Caffeine shrinks the blood vessels. So, when I don't drink it, they swell. Every time I try to go cold turkey, I get a four day migraine, and eventually can't stand it anymore. So I drink a Dr. Pepper and the next day the headache is gone. It's like a drug that my body can't live without because my blood vessels need to be shrunk or my head feels as if it will explode. When I started the diet two years ago I was used to being in pain daily and didn't notice the difference the lack of caffeine made. Now that I'm not used to the pain, I can't deal with it. The preventive medication I'm on will not help me with this. I can cheat with other triggers and go back to living my life normally. But, other triggers don't shrink the blood vessels. So, Dr. Buchholz was right when he told us DO NOT EVER TRY CAFFEINE AGAIN!

I know that revealing this information may hurt some of my credibility with people who follow my site or who wish to buy my cookbook. But, I feel it is important that everyone know why you should NEVER cheat with caffeine.

Update 05/25/09:
I can happily say I am now completely caffeine free! I had a headache for about three days, but going cold turkey was the best way. It was quick and relatively painless. Few of the symptoms I used to feel with migraine plagued me during those three days. Some people don't feel anything at all. I picked a week when there were no barometric pressure changes to bother me, and I kept all other triggers out of the picture. My last encounter with caffeine was a little over a week ago, and the only side effect I still have is a little bit of what I call "cement muscles". My muscles tend to be a little tight, but that is no big deal compared to a headache. Neck and back stretches can cure that. Please friends, do not be afraid to eliminate caffeine from your diet. I feel so much better overall, and I can't stress that enough. Best wishes to you.