About one in four women and one in twelve men in the UK suffer from migraines, according to the National Health Service (NHS). Migraines are severe headaches accompanied by other symptoms including nausea, visual problems, and increased sensitivity to light, sound, and smells.
Migraines may have any number of triggers, including different foods, so diet can be an important aspect of managing migraines. Migraine sufferers should keep a diary of migraine attacks, noting any possible triggers experienced prior to the migraine.
According to Migraine Action, several different types of foods, drinks and additives may trigger migraines. Problematic foods include chocolate, cheese, and citrus fruits. Alcohol, particularly red wine, may trigger migraines, as can caffeine. Food additives that may cause problems include, but are not limited to, tyramine, monosodium glutamate, and aspartame, an artificial sweetener. Processed foods often contain problematic food additives, as do diet drinks.
In addition to the foods themselves, people with migraines should be aware of how they eat. A lack of food or infrequent meals may lead to migraines. Dehydration also may be a problem, so people with migraines should drink plenty of water.
Supplements can be very helpful in managing migraines, according to Migraine Action. The organisation recommends magnesium, vitamin B2, and co-enzyme Q10. Ginger is recommended for those who experience nausea. Feverfew is an herb that may help migraine sufferers when taken regularly. Always discuss the addition of supplements with your doctor. Certain supplements and migraine medications do not mix, so your doctor should be aware of anything you are taking or intend to take.