The Migraine Girl's blog is not a substitute for professional advice! Thank you and be well.

Search This Blog

01 February 2007

the elimination diet

Has anyone ever tried this to see if he/she can better identify Migraine triggers? Did it work for you? I'm thinking of trying this but am not sure I'm sold on this approach. Feedback would be really useful if you've got a chance to give me some. Relevant websites would also be most helpful.

Thank you!


Kerrie said...

The book that people rave about is called Heal Your Headaches (http://www.amazon.com/Heal-Your-Headache-Program-Taking/dp/0761125663/sr=8-1/qid=1170907736/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-5666857-0718410?ie=UTF8&s=books). The lists of what to avoid and what you can eat are pretty good, but the author can be terribly condescending and is downright wrong in some places. Still, it's a good way to get started on a diet. (My library carries it, so you might find it at yours.)

The main components to avoid are tannins, MSG, tyramine, nitrates/nitrites. Wikipedia seems to have good basic information about them. But a headache diet book is an easier way to get the information.

All that said, none of the elimination diets I tried actually helped me find triggers. I eventually learned that legumes are major triggers for me, but that was purely trial and error.

However, with elimination diets as a guide, I cut out MSG, nearly all food additives, soy sauces and such. That may or may not help my headaches, but I've stuck with it because I don't want to eat so much junk. I've also now eat "real" food, nothing processed, just simple things.

I hope this helps and that you're able to identify some food triggers. Doing so took me many years, but it's now something about my illness that I have control over.

Good luck!

deborah said...

As a matter of fact, yes, I have tried it. I was rather SLAMMED into it when I was in-patient at a Migraine Hospital. As with anything, go slow. journal. Some foods can take up to 24-48 hours before you reach a trigger point. Then, you may have a food that produces no trigger one day, and suddenly, out of the blue, BAM you get hit!! Good luck. Have you tried Co Enzyme Q10? I have been on for 1 year, and it is improving my situation. It has taken the year to reach my potential thus far.

Kelly F said...


I love your blog. I have tried an elimation diet and it did seem to work. Are you referring to avoiding migraine triggers or an overall elimination diet? The elimination diet I did was under the direction of a naturopath and she had me eating very few foods and I couldn't stick to it. I eliminated dairy, gluten, coffee, preservatives, and many other things. I am about to do it again as my current drug regimen has failed yet again and I'm sick of being a guinea pig for neurologists. So tomorrow I'm going to eliminate dairy, wheat, sugar and yeast. I also avoid almost all of the known migraine triggers such as citrus, chocolate, alcohol, etc. and I will continue to avoid those foods. I highly recommend trying the elimination diet--just know it's hard and it might take you awhile to get used to it and stick to it. I'm still trying and it's been 2 years!

Diana said...

I did it about a year ago, working with my acupuncturist. It was useful, but I didn't have any kind of epiphany from it. I learned some things that I'm sensitive to, which I avoid eating in combination. I also stopped consuming artificial sweeteners, which was a positive change for me.

I have major issues with some of the information in this book, but it does have a comprehensive list of items to avoid in an elimination diet - Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain - and some other helpful content.

I haven't used it myself, but you might check out this book - The Headache Prevention Cookbook.

I'm no expert, but I think everyone should try the elimination diet just to see what they can do to make their lives a little less painful. I never expect major changes, but they do happen for some lucky people.

My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.