Migraines are far more than just a bad headache. Experts believe migraine headaches are caused by abnormal brain activity, including dilation and constriction of the blood vessels within the brain. An attack can last from several hours to several days and affects a person's ability to function at home and at work. A migraine can generate feelings of nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, throbbing head pain, aura, and visual distortion, causing a person to want to withdraw and seek immediate relief. If you have never experienced a migraine headache, consider yourself lucky, but for those who do, finding a way to manage the pain and lessen the frequency is priority one.
Knowing what triggers your migraine headaches is the best defense in avoiding them. For many, dietary triggers can be a major contributor. Keeping a detailed migraine journal for several weeks listing the foods that you ate before and after migraines occur may sound tedious, but the effort you put in will be well worth it. With some careful recording, a pattern should be detected. Doing this, along with a thorough physical exam to look for possible nutritional deficiencies (migraine sufferers tend to be deficient in magnesium, vitamin B (riboflavin), vitamin D, and CoQ10), and a detailed discussion with your physician or migraine specialist will put you well on your way to regaining the quality of life you have lost. In general, the following food guidelines will benefit most migraine sufferers: