Migraines, along with stress and depression, are the most common complaints that I hear about during consultations. As a natural health practioner, I always ask lots of questions in an attempt to get to the root cause of the problem. Are you drinking enough water? Are you under a lot of stress at work or home? How much sleep are you getting? But what I've found in the last fifteen years is that the majority of migraines are caused by two main reasons: food allergies and magnesium deficiency.
Now, those of you who keep up with me on social media and my emails will already be aware of how commonplace magnesium deficiency is and why it's so common, so I won't talk about that here. Suffice to say that virtually EVERYONE is deficient in the master mineral.
So how do food allergies cause migraines? Well, it turns out that when you eat something that you're allergic to, histamines are released by the body which can cause blood vessels in the brain to constrict and this can result in a migraine.
The best method for discovering if there is a food that you're allergic to is to keep a food diary. If you experience a migraine, look at what food you've eaten that day and remember the golden rule: Once is nothing. Twice could be a coincidence. Three times IS a pattern.
What type of foods are commonly to blame?
Soy sauce contains tyramine and sometimes monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG, which is used as an additive in many other foods, has been found to cause cramps, diarrhea and headaches. Additionally, soy has large amounts of processed salt, which can lead to dehydration – and, therefore, to headaches.
Coffee and Chocolate
Coffee and chocolate can both be headache triggers and inhibitors. Regular caffeine consumption – found in both – can lead to a physical dependence, which manifests as withdrawal symptoms when a user abruptly stops their caffeine intake.
For example, a regular coffee drinker sleeps a little late on the weekend. She wakes up and decides she doesn't need a cup of coffee to get her day going. An hour passes and her head starts pounding. Why? Her blood vessels have dilated too much. When this occurs, caffeine can actually help to ease the pain.
I scream, you scream, we all scream… ugh, brain freeze!
We've all felt the terrible sensation before. That big bowl of ice cream is placed on the table, and you just can't wait to dive in. You take a scoop or two and – boom – you get hit with the mind-numbing pain.
Here's the scoop on how you got that brain freeze (which is in fact a form of a headache). When something cold touches the center of the palate, it sets off certain nerves that control how blood flows to your head. The nerves respond by causing the blood vessels in your head to swell up. This quick swelling is what causes your head to hurt. Luckily, these particular headaches tend to only last about a minute, and there's an easy way to prevent them: Eat slower!
When it comes to cheese, older isn't always better… for headaches.
If eating cheese makes your head hurt, it's likely an aged-type like Swiss, Parmesan, Brie or cheddar. Aged cheeses are high in tyramine, a natural chemical found in some foods. Tyramine can cause headaches by constricting and dilating blood vessels.
Processed foods and meats, like salami, pepperoni and hot dogs can also trigger migraines. Tyramine is once again the culprit. If you're consuming artificial supermarket foods, the chemicals that they contain can cause migraines and a whole host of other health problems.
The best preventitive medicine and treatment for migraines is, of course, magnesium. Magnesium is the great relaxer! It relaxes the brain, nervous system, joints, muscles and spasming blood vessels! Our Advanced Magnesium Blend contains four highly bio available forms of magnesium: bisglycinate, malate, citrate and l-threonate making it the best magnesium supplement on the market!