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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can food bring on a headache or migraine?

    I have been told that chocolate can bring on a migraine for some people. What other foods are linked most commonly to headaches or migraines?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • The mission of Migraine & Headache Australia is to reduce the incidence and impact of the headache disorder through the provision of community awareness and … View Profile

    There is a lot of information on the Headache Australia web site about “triggers” that bring on a migraine. Many do relate to intolerances for a particular type or group of foods such as dairy.  This makes it very important for migraineurs to be very scientific in their approach to these known triggers.  By keeping a thorough headache diary, such food problems can be identified. While many triggers are known, they vary between sufferers and thus a food that triggers a migraine in one person might not do so in another.   Unfortunately, the biological / physiological mechanisms and connections between the stimulus triggers and the resultant migraine have not yet been identified.
     

  • Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Some people suffer from food chemical sensitivities (food intolerances) that can cause migranes and headaches (amoung other symptoms). The symptoms of food intolerances differ between people so we cannot say one food will caue a headache in everyone- however there are groups of foods that some sensitive people may react to. 

    Food Intolerances are a complicated area and it is not necessarily the last food you ate before a headache (sometimes the culprit food can be eaten hours before hand). It is important not to self diagnose- but if you think you may be reacting to food to keep a food and symptom diary for at least one to two weeks and then contact an Accredited Practising Dieititian (APD).

    An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can help you identify foods which may be a trigger for you while making sure your diet is nutritionally complete.

  • Sharon Hespe

    Naturopath

    I am a degree qualified naturopath that specialises in the detection and treatment of food intolerances in both children and adults. View Profile

    I agree with Melissa, rather than keep a food diary which can be time consuming and at times not accurate, I recommend that you have a blood test to establish which foods are problematic for you, the removal of the foods will result in  the headaches ceasing, find yourself a naturopath that specialises in Food Intolerances

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