After reading The Post I Never Thought I’d Get to Write, you may think I’ve been gallivanting around town, throwing parties, and having a grand old time this week. I wish. I’ve been testing foods… and having migraines.
There’s no way I was going to waste all the work to eliminate food chemicals from my diet without reintroducing them slowly and methodically. Testing was going great until the day I stopped drinking the elemental formula completely. So now I’m playing around.
“Playing” sounds like fun. It’s actually tedious and frustrating. Here are some of the variables I’m investigating:
- Do I need more DAO than I’ve been taking?
- Would I feel better if I took one Histamine Block before eating a small meal, rather than taking two and eating a larger meal?
- Are the foods I’m eating too difficult to digest?
- Would juicing fruits and vegetables ease digestion and, thus, not trigger migraines?
- Am I sensitive to salicylates (the food chemical I was testing)?
- Am I reacting some other food chemical that I wasn’t on the lookout for?
- Do I need to rotate foods? (If so, how in the world can I do this with only a few sources of protein and mostly vegetables, which won’t meet my caloric needs for a day?)
- Is just one food in the group I reintroduced problematic?
- Does overall sugar content matter?
- Does not drinking water with a meal reduce the possibility of a migraine? What if I drink a lot of water with a meal?
The food details are even more complicated because I no longer have reliable indicators for when a migraine is coming on. Tooth sensitivity can come on part way through a meal, last for two hours, then stop without a migraine ever developing. Fatigue can come on and then abate after an hour. I don’t want to waste a triptan or drug myself up unnecessarily, so I don’t take anything.
So, I’ve had a migraine every day for the last week (I had one when I was writing last Thursday, I just didn’t realize it), but the pain has only reached a level 5 once. When a migraine hits a level 4, it doesn’t stay that high for long. Much of my days are still spent with pain levels at a 2 or 3. Fatigue is generally short-lived and brain fog is not severe. For me, this is Disneyland.
I am not discouraged. I knew reintroducing foods would increase the migraine attacks and that sorting out all the dietary variables would be messy. I still believe DAO and histamine are valuable pieces of my puzzle. Exactly how they fit into the picture is still unclear, but you can be sure I’m going to find out.