NDPH and Migraine Headache Triggers

If you suffer from NDPH, chronic daily migraines or cluster headaches, you need to take the time to fully evaluate your reaction to the food you consume. Discovering my own food triggers has been a long and difficult process, but avoiding certain foods and adopting a high nutrient diet has greatly decreased my daily pain.

It’s worth the effort.

Your doctor probably went through the traditional list of common food triggers with you when you were diagnosed,  BUT you could possibly be sensitive to foods that are not on the list. How do you figure out what your food could be setting off the pain? I’ll get to that in a minute…first, here is a list of the most common triggers:

  • Soy
  • Fermented cheeses
  • MSG
  • Nitrates (commonly found in processed meats)
  • Red Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Ice Cream
Do you know your headache triggers?

Do you know your headache triggers?

I’ve found that making drastic changes to my diet has been the most effective way to decrease the daily pain of NDPH.  None of the medications I have tried (and there have been many)  have had any effect on the frequency or intensity of my pain. They have, however, left me with some very negative side effects. The long term effects of most headache medications are dangerous. In my opinion, they are more dangerous to my health long term than NDPH itself.

The plan that I follow – or try to follow to the best of my ability – is from Dr. Joel Furhman’s books Eat  To Live and Fasting and Eating for Health. He outlines a specific diet plan to eliminate your headache (s) and claims a 90% success rate.

From DrFurhman.com:

The major cause of both tension headaches and migraines is the retention of toxins or tissue irritants within the central nervous system. These chemical irritants may cause an over sensitivity of nerve tissues to other stimuli.

He goes on to point out that a high protein diet is one of the main reasons people suffer from headaches, and that a build up of toxins in the body from other unhealthy foods can also be to blame. Take the time to read through his website. I encourage you to also read his books and give his high nutrient headache diet plan a try. Even if you can’t limit yourself as strictly as he recommends (I have not yet been successful at cutting out all caffeine and sugar), you will hopefully see a decrease in pain. You will certainly experience weight loss and all of the health benefits that go along with a healthy high nutrient diet.

My advice is based purely on personal experience. I am not trying to sell you the book  – I just want to share the one thing that has helped me with living with NDPH. I sincerely hope it helps you as well.


NDPH and Migraine Headache Triggers — 6 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I’ve had daily headaches for about a year now. I just started trying the elimination diet from Heal Your Headaches but got discouraged after reading a NDPH forum where a bunch of NDPH people said that food didn’t make much of a difference. As soon as I started eating whatever, I started using a lot more medication.
    So today, I’m starting to eliminate more foods. I’m also adding wheat to the list. I’ll add your web site to the list of resources and post about you on twitter.

    Glad I found you! I had meningitis 3 times last year and my docs are only just starting to call my headaches NDPH.


  2. Thanks so much for commenting and sharing this with others. I’m glad you found me!
    It is probably true that diet changes may not have an effect on all NDPH sufferers. For me, it has helped decrease the pain and, like you, when I eat things on my list, my pain is higher.
    Please stop by again and keep me updated on anything that helps you.
    Wishing you a low pain day,

  3. Pingback: The Pain Scale « Living with NDPH

  4. Hi all! I just wanted to share a trigger that I have recently discovered in the hopes that it may help some of you as well.

    An ingredient in Sprite, Coke and A&W rootbeer (and possibly others) has been a trigger for me. Like many of you, I avoided caffeine, and even chocolate, because i believe that they caused rebound (or caffeine addiction) headaches – even in small amounts. I switched to Sprite, and still had headaches even though my daily maintenance medicine had been working. After much trial and error, I realized that eliminating the Sprite helped ENORMOUSLY. (I researched this and couldn’t find anyone with similar triggers.) A few months ago, I had a Coke for the first time in years and had a headache within half an hour. I intend to track the ingredients that are found in both and see what I come up with, but for now, I am happier to avoid Coke and Sprite.

    By the way, Dr. Pepper and Pepsi has not caused the same headaches. They don’t seem to be caffeine related (in this case) but something else.

    If you can’t figure out your triggers and you are a Sprite drinker, you may try eliminating it for a week or so and see if you notice a difference. (No offense to Sprite, by the way – I miss it!)

    God bless you all!

  5. Hi,

    Hope this finds you well. Healthline just released an interactive guide on migraine triggers. The page details 14 common triggers for migraines and how you can manage them. You can check out the guide here: http://www.healthline.com/health/migraine/triggers

    This is very valuable, med-reviewed information that helps a sufferer lessen migraine severity and frequency. I thought this would be a great tool for your site, and I am writing to ask if you would include it as a resource on your page: http://lifewithndph.com/2009/08/21/ndph-and-migraine-headache-triggers/

    Please let me know if this would be possible. I’m happy to answer any other questions as well.

    Warm regards,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
    http://www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

    About Us: corp.healthline.com

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