Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dietary Triggers

This is a compact list of dietary triggers to avoid while on the migraine diet. For a full list, please read Dr. Buchholz's book, "Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain." Remember, the diet can be modified after you feel better. Once you have your headaches under control, it is time to figure out exactly what your triggers are. Not everything on the list is a trigger for everyone. The diet is designed to be personalized. However, strict adherence is important in the beginning to gain control of your headaches. Please read Dr. Buchholz's book for complete instructions and a complete list of triggers in order to have control over your headaches.

MSG (monosodium glutamate) - and its aliases
Hard cheeses and certain other dairy products
Nuts (seeds are okay)
Processed meats
Alcohol and vinegar (distilled white vinegar is allowable)
Certain fruits, juices and vegetables containing tyramine
Fresh yeast-risen baked foods (wait 24 hours to eat)
Nitrates, nitrites, sulfites, (thiamine mono-nitrate is allowable)
Soy can be bothersome for some. Soy oil is safe.
Please see my "helpful diet facts" above.

Remember to always read ingredient labels.


  1. Thank you for your work. I am looking forward to your cookbook. Migraines run in both my family and my husband's family, and I am trying very hard to eliminate headache triggers from our diet.

  2. I'm glad to know that my recipes have been helpful. Thank you for your kind comments. I wish I could speed the cookbook process up for you, and for others. I am waiting on one piece to follow through, and then it will be available. I wish you and your family the best.

  3. I truly wish I had an idea of what my triggers are...I have never been able to figure it out. I used to get migraines 2-3 times a week--that was horrid-now thankfully they are infrequent.

    The only thing I know is that when I started having thyroid issues, the migraines started. Never had them in my life-not even a regular run of the mill headache. Then at 38 yrs old they started. If I knew what the trigger was I can say I would most DEFINITELY avoid it.

    I feel so bad for people that get them often. I am ashamed to admit that before I had a real migraine, I thought that it was just a "bad headache" and that people were complaining over nothing... I take it back-really I do. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

    Keep up the great work on the site-I enjoy coming here often.

    Also-thank you so very much for taking the time to comment on my blog regarding the topic of hope-Staying positive & hopeful are two things I work very hard at.

    Take care & stay well,
    Jeannette :0)

  4. Hope is a very powerful thing. I know how hard it is to stay both positive and hopeful during pain, but I know how important it is too. Thanks for your comment and your follow. I hope you find your triggers. Best wishes.

  5. Wow! It is amazing that I can actually relate to your story and the stories of these people. I have been suffering from migraine for over 10 years now. Neither my nuerologist, hemotologist, alergist, nutritionist nor my primary care doctor cannnot nail what causes me to get the headaches. I look forward to your cook book to see if it will be helpful for me. Keep up the good work!

  6. Thank you for your kind post. I hope my cookbook is helpful to you as well. And, if you haven't had a chance to read "Heal Your Headache", it can be helpful. I hope you find the cause of what has been ailing you. Best wishes on your migraine-free journey.

  7. Hey, I'm wondering if you can tell me why "thiamine mononitrate is allowable". I cut nitrates/nitrites out a while ago, and I can't seem to get fresh pasta at any mainstream supermarkets that don't have thiamine mononitrate in them to offset the processed flour... I miss pasta in my diet, so I'm curious why you say this form of nitrate is not a problem? (I know one needs vitamin B1 but that doesn't change the fact that it's bonded with a nitrate salt in this form...)

  8. Hi Grank,

    That advise doesn't come from me, it comes from Dr. Buchholz. I'm not sure why thiamine mononitrate isn't a trigger, but it isn't. That's something I'll have to look into further. I've thought about it before, but it's something I've never actually investigated. When I have the answer, I'll post it here. Thanks for writing in.

  9. Hi Heidi,

    I too am wondering about thiamine mononitrate. Ive been on the 'Migraine Diet' for 10 days but keep finding thiamine mononitrate in everything! If you've found out more info as to whether this is or is not okay, please, let us know.

    Thank you!

  10. I can definitely say that thiamine mononitrate has enough glutamate in it to cause migraines and more severe reactions in me. Don't let anyone tell you differently. I was using only fresh food and white flour that had been enriched with thiamine mononitrate. When I removed this from my diet within 2 weeks the symptoms had disappeared, returned as soon as I tried thiamine mononitrate again. In Canada we can't buy flour without so all my flour must be imported.