Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chronic Migraines Diet

A person with migraine headache may benefit from changes to the diet, and avoid foods that trigger headaches.

Foods that trigger migraines:

  • Aged cheese
  • Alcohol
  • Beans
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Peanuts
  • Red wine
  • Salted or cured meat
  • Sourdough bread
  • Tea

Important dietary guidelines include:
  • Control calories:
    • Eat just enough calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat quality fats:
    • Use virgin olive oil and other unsaturated, low-cholesterol fats.
  • Eat the right amount of fats, carbohydrates and protein:
    • Limit your fat intake to 20 or 30 percent, but don't substitute simple carbohydrates for fat.
    • Less than 7% of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
    • Up to 10% of the day's total calories from polyunsaturated fat.
    • Up to 20% of the day's total calories from monounsaturated fat
  • Avoid fad diets:
    • Eat a well-rounded diet instead.
    • Eat small, frequent meals.
    • Avoid large and heavy meals.
  • Limit cholesterol in diet:
    • To less than 200 milligrams a day.
  • Limit iron intake:
  • Eat enough dietary fiber:
    • Whole grains are best.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Reduce salt in your diet
    • Optimal: no more than 2 grams per day.
  • Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins:

Continue to Chronic Migraines Pain

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chronic Migraines References
  1. Colman I, Brown MD, Innes GD, Grafstein E, Roberts TE, Rowe BH. Parenteral dihydroergotamine for acute migraine headache: a systematic review of the literature. Ann Emerg Med. 2005 Apr;45(4):393-401. [15795718]
  2. Lipton RB, Bigal ME, et al. Classification of primary headaches. Neurology. 2004 Aug 10;63(3):427-35. [15304572]
  3. Lipton RB, Bigal ME, Goadsby PJ. Double-blind clinical trials of oral triptans vs other classes of acute migraine medication - a review. Cephalalgia. 2004 May;24(5):321-32. [15096220]
  4. Manias P, Tagaris G, Karageorgiou K. Acupuncture in headache: a critical review. Clin J Pain. 2000 Dec;16(4):334-9. [11153790]
  5. Radat F, Swendsen J. Psychiatric comorbidity in migraine: a review. Cephalalgia. 2005 Mar;25(3):165-78. [15689191]
  6. Rains JC, Penzien DB, McCrory DC, Gray RN. Behavioral headache treatment: history, review of the empirical literature, and methodological critique. Headache. 2005 May;45 Suppl 2:S92-109. [15921506]
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