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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I am now getting headaches from chocolate, Why is this a cause?

    Always loved chocolate. Always Cadburys' Dairy Milk. I'm 48 and am active at work. Three rows of a bar enough to cause the headache that 2 panadol will eventually clear up. Only had this problem for a couple of months.
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  • 3


    Courtney Bates

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Courtney is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Accredited Nutritionist (AN) and member of the Dietitians Australia. She runs her own practice on Sydney's Northern Beaches … View Profile

    It sounds like you may have developed food intolerances. Natural food chemicals which can upset sensitive individuals include salicylates, amines and glutamate. High levels of amines are found in chocolate, as well as sauces, bananas, cheese and tomatoes. Symptoms of food intolerances vary from headaches to bowel symptoms and eczema. People who are sensitive to natural food chemicals are often sensitive to one or more food additives as well, such as preservatives, artificial colours and flavourings. Additives are identified on food packages by numbers e.g. MSG is numbers 621-635.

    If you suspect you may have developed a food intolerance, it is worthwhile visiting an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) who can help you discover which foods you are intolerant to, through an elimination style diet.

    Courtney Dinnerville
    Accredited Practising Dietitian

  • 2


    At figureate, accredited practising dietitians Zoe Nicholson and Marlene Gojanovic will help you get off the dieting merry-go-round and show you how to change your … View Profile

    You may well have intolerance to one or more of the natural food chemicals Courtney has mentioned in the previous answer. Chocolate is very high in amines. However, just reducing amine rich foods may not be enough as you may be intolerant to other natural chemicals or food additives. Therefore, you need to work through the elimination process under guidance of an accredited practising dietitian with experience in this area. A dietitian will also help you determine if it is worthwhile going through the complex elimination based on the severity and frequency of the headaches and any other symptoms you may have.

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