Treatment, Triggers

Identifying Food Triggers isn’t a Magic Cure

After almost a year of avoiding the topic of foods triggering headaches, I broached the subject last week. One of the reasons I haven’t talked about it for so long is that there’s a perception—among patients, some doctors and the media—that everyone can control their migraines with diet modification. As you may know from your own experience, identifying food triggers is helpful for some of us and not helpful for others.

In response to an NPR story on food and migraine, Paula Kamen, author of All in My Head (which is now available in paperback), writes on the WIMN’s Voices blog:

“…The truth is that EVERY disease has exacerbating influences, such as stress and certain foods, but that migraine (like other pain and fatigue disorders) carries a double standard, that it all should be in YOUR control. This advice that all people can control headache through food is like someone giving that advice to all diabetics (types 1 or 2), that they can control their problems just through foods. For some, this is the case. For others, that is dangerously unrealistic.”

Convincing arguments for this are in her post. She is also a regular contributor to WIMN’s Voices, so check out her terrific writing.

1 thought on “Identifying Food Triggers isn’t a Magic Cure”

  1. I’m sure if I did a very strict elimination diet, I might find some triggers. But there is nothing blatant for me. For instance, sometimes alcohol will cause a headache, sometimes it doesn’t.

    OTOH, I know some of my triggers for my FMS and IBS which are very obvious.

    I think people are just frightened by the idea that something can happen to you, and you have NO control over it, nor can you predict when it will impact your day.

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