My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

View previous topic View next topic Go down

My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  ZomigMan on Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:00 am

I have been expanding my list of migraine triggers, as the ingredients of the foods that I eat are changing, or my awareness of them is expanding. Two cases in point, one is ground turkey which I have been eating for a long time as I am allergic to beef. After having far fewer migraines by reducing my intake of tannin rich foods, I got a rash of migraines again. Looking for a trigger, I suspected ground turkey. Which seemed odd... I buy large lots and freeze it in usable sizes, so that tyramine does not form in it as it ages at refrigerator temperatures. So I looked at the label, and there it was in plain sight. "Ground Turkey with natural flavoring". Natural Flavoring? When did they start adding natural flavoring to ground turkey? Natural flavoring if you are not aware, is another term for MSG. Seemingly they can get away using food additives that are high in MSG and not have to label the food as having MSG. They also get way with it being natural, which it is anything but. So... I looked at all the ground turkey products at the store and they all now have natural flavoring. Similar to all the bratwurst I have seen that all have MSG listed in it. Also most of the ground pork also has natural flavoring listed in or on it. Only one ground pork product does not have anything added, and that is the ground meat that I buy, freeze and eat now. So several things to point out here; one is that ingredients of processed foods constantly change and you have to keep re-reading labels to avoid eating migraine triggers. Another is that labels are deceptive, and MSG in particular is listed as several types of food additives, like vegetable broth, natural flavoring, and soy extract. MSG is in so many products now, almost all Ranch dressing, many types of Doritos and flavored potato chips, most pasta sauces, most sausage and ground meats and most canned tuna. I have learned to read ingredient labels backwards as MSG, vegetable broth and natural flavoring are almost always listed last.

So on to the second case regarding migraine triggers in foods: that being flour. I was out of flour and by chance I picked up a bag I was going to buy this evening and I read the ingredients. Alarms went off on the second ingredient which is malted barley. What?! I put it down and looked at all the other types of flour from all purpose, bread and pastry flour, and it all has BARLEY in it!!!! Barley is a prime source of tannins, one of four types of migraine triggers for me (those being: tyramine, MSG, tannins, and opiate Rx drugs). So... I dug around and finally found some Red Mill flour (made near here) that has only wheat listed in it. Gads, and here I thought that flour just had wheat in it! Not so! Most flour has wheat and malted barley in it. I then started looking other stuff made with wheat that I eat, and barley was listed on more than half of them. Wheat Thins have barley. White English muffins have barley. Many breads have barley. Barley, barley and more barley! Malt, barley and malted barley are in tons of stuff. They dump the tannins into foods as much as they dump in the MSG. There are also tannins in lots of unprocessed foods, like olives, blueberries, and apple cider.

So for many of you that think that foods are not a migraine trigger, I would ask that you consider, as in my case, that there are simply so many migraine triggers in processed (as well as unprocessed) foods that you may not consider food as a trigger.
avatar
ZomigMan

Posts : 83
Join date : 2012-05-24
Location : PNW

Back to top Go down

my migraine food triggers

Post  Cassiej on Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:19 am

Good catch Zomigman! For me, food has so many triggers that I'm suspicious of any prepared food. But barley in wheat! I've gone off wheat for about a month now to see if my migraines got better - and they did. Who knew - barley in wheat. So, is the reaction to wheat or barley? Or yeast in the bread? or? Such a tangle of triggers. thanks for the heads up re wheat.

Cassiej

Posts : 69
Join date : 2013-07-10

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  Seaine on Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:35 pm

I have had a similar experience; I love popcorn and had to search a bit before I found a brand that did not use artifical food coloring. After a few months of using it, they changed the front of the box. I got suspicious and looked at the ingredients again - sure enough, they had switched to artificial food coloring. So disappointing
avatar
Seaine

Posts : 331
Join date : 2012-07-20
Age : 30
Location : Florida, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  ZomigMan on Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:17 pm

Cassiej wrote:Good catch Zomigman!  For me, food has so many triggers that I'm suspicious of any prepared food. But barley in wheat!  I've gone off wheat for about a month now to see if my migraines got better - and they did.  Who knew - barley in wheat.  So, is the reaction to wheat or barley?  Or yeast in the bread? or?  Such a tangle of triggers.  thanks for the heads up re wheat.

I used to think it was yeast, and then got off on a tangent on gluten intolerance some years ago, but I do not think it is either any more. Similar with ales, which also give me M's, whereas most lager beers do not. I though it was the difference in yeasts, but now I am pretty sure that its the tannins in the barley that is common in white flour and ales. Barley is not part of the wheat BTW, it is a separate ingredient in flour. Barley is a grain like wheat, but a separate grass species. Wheat flour never bothered me, but bread flour and most breads, crackers etc. have malted barley listed after wheat, and barley is high in tannins which trigger M's for me. I changed over to using flour that is made only of wheat and no barley (hard to find, but it is out there). Generally whole wheat products do not have barley listed in it, whereas white flour products generally seem to have barley flour added to the wheat flour.
avatar
ZomigMan

Posts : 83
Join date : 2012-05-24
Location : PNW

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  ZomigMan on Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:41 pm

Seaine wrote:I have had a similar experience; I love popcorn and had to search a bit before I found a brand that did not use artifical food coloring.  After a few months of using it, they changed the front of the box.  I got suspicious and looked at the ingredients again - sure enough, they had switched to artificial food coloring.  So disappointing

Yah, so many products change constantly. It boggles the mind. Its all targeted to mass appeal, and what people will unknowingly buy. Many types of microwave popcorn gives me M's. I have yet to figure out exactly why, but they have so many odd ingredients listed. I suspect its the 'natural flavoring' thing again, though it could be fake butter flavor, or food coloring. They tend to be way too salty for me as well. I flipped to making popcorn the old fashioned way on the stove top with oil and popcorn, and that does not bother me. It also tastes a lot better and has as little salt as I want. Many other processed foods have way too much salt for my tolerances as well.

BTW: most artificial food colorings are phenols, and are a subgroup of tannins. I am finding that I am sensitive to red dye #40... I drank a fruit punch the other day w/o first reading the label. I got a mild headache but not a M from it. I dug it out of the garbage and read the label. The last item is red dye #40. Read ingredients labels backwards and the typical M triggers pop up first. MSG, food coloring, natural and artificial flavor, yadda yadda. Natural and artificial flavors can be just about anything.
avatar
ZomigMan

Posts : 83
Join date : 2012-05-24
Location : PNW

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  Seaine on Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:05 pm

ZomigMan wrote:BTW: most artificial food colorings are phenols, and are a subgroup of tannins. I am finding that I am sensitive to red dye #40... I drank a fruit punch the other day w/o first reading the label. I got a mild headache but not a M from it. I dug it out of the garbage and read the label. The last item is red dye #40. Read ingredients labels backwards and the typical M triggers pop up first. MSG, food coloring, natural and artificial flavor, yadda yadda. Natural and artificial flavors can be just about anything.

That's interesting.  When I first discovered that artifical colors were causing me pain, what I looked up basically said they are excitotoxins, similar to MSG.  I thought it was something to do with that.  Tannins are going to be my next focus to see if they are causing my migraines and I have some hope for that.

I recommend, that if you are sensitive to red #40, you might want to cut out the other ones too.  At first I thought it was just red #40 - turns out, that red #40 is only the most commonly used dye.  I thought it was the only one causing me pain because it was the common ingredient, but the foods usually had all the other colors as well, just in lesser amounts.  It was only when I cut out red #40 but continued with the other dyes that I realized it was ALL of them.  For example, drinking a blue gatorade is just as bad.  They are all chemically very similar so it does make sense that the body reacts the same.

ps "color added" means red #40, and same with "artificial coloring". American companies are not required to label the specific color by name, unless it's yellow #5 which is an allergen.
avatar
Seaine

Posts : 331
Join date : 2012-07-20
Age : 30
Location : Florida, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  Cindy*W on Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:17 pm

Thanks so much for this post because it got me thinking.

Last Blood test I had done at the Doctor, my triglycerides(sp) were really high again.

He has told me before to go on a low carb diet so I decided this time I am following thru.

Have been on low carb for the last month and a half and lost around 25 pounds.

I have noticed that my migraines have been fewer and of course I feel better.

Could that be because I am not eating bread, flour, and the processed foods?

My plan is to keep this up the rest of my life.

There is alot of diabetes in our family as well so I am thinking, why wait til I actually become diabetic and HAVE to do this diet.

This way maybe I can avoid diabetes all together.

Anyway, what do you think?

Could this diet be helping my migraines?

Cindy
avatar
Cindy*W

Posts : 301
Join date : 2009-12-16
Location : Nebraska

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  Seaine on Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:09 pm

Cindy, are you doing low carb and low sugar, or only low carb?


Last edited by Seaine on Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Seaine

Posts : 331
Join date : 2012-07-20
Age : 30
Location : Florida, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  ZomigMan on Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:14 pm

Cindy*W wrote:Thanks so much for this post because it got me thinking.

Last Blood test I had done at the Doctor, my triglycerides(sp) were really high again.

He has told me before to go on a low carb diet so I decided this time I am following thru.

Have been on low carb for the last month and a half and lost around 25 pounds.

I have noticed that my migraines have been fewer and of course I feel better.

Could that be because I am not eating bread, flour, and the processed foods?

My plan is to keep this up the rest of my life.

There is alot of diabetes in our family as well so I am thinking, why wait til I actually become diabetic and HAVE to do this diet.

This way maybe I can avoid diabetes all together.

Anyway, what do you think?

Could this diet be helping my migraines?

Cindy

A diet change may well be helping you avoid M's, but as there is such a wide range of foods that trigger M's it is hard to say exactly what you are eating or avoiding to reduce the M's. If you look at the list of common food triggers, they are all over the map and they include many common natural and added items in foods. They are in carb and protein rich foods, as well as fatty foods. Often times the M triggers are a result of processing, or simply the age or ripeness of foods. Also certain combinations of foods may intensify the M effects, or reduce them. Things like flour and bread commonly have malted barley, and that has high levels of tannins. If tannins trigger your M's like they do for me, avoiding the malted barley is the issue, and not avoiding the carbs. Also eating dairy products can neutralize tannins, as tannins will bind with a substance called casein in milk.


Last edited by ZomigMan on Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
ZomigMan

Posts : 83
Join date : 2012-05-24
Location : PNW

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  ZomigMan on Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:03 pm

Seaine wrote:
That's interesting.  When I first discovered that artifical colors were causing me pain, what I looked up basically said they are excitotoxins, similar to MSG.  I thought it was something to do with that.  Tannins are going to be my next focus to see if they are causing my migraines and I have some hope for that.

Interesting. I have not found anything on the vaso-active properties of tannins, or the phenol subset of them (including food coloring). The actions of why tannins cause M's are hitherto unknown as far as I have been able to find. But if they act like MGS/tyramine, it would obviously make sense. My food coloring issues started with Pop-Tarts of all things. Though they have some tannins in the fruit in them, the flour is pure wheat (no barley so no tannins there). They have a long list of additives, many of which are vitamins, so it is hard to tell what exactly is in them. The only other real triggers in there seem to be red #40 and yellow #6 (closely related molecules). Most articles on these food colorings are related to elevated rates of cancer, ADHD in children, and allergies.

Allergies are interesting... many Neurologists claim that M's are not the result of allergies, based on studies of them. However, some newer studies in Italy show contradiction to that paradigm. Italian researchers found that people with food-induced M's develop complexes in their blood in which food proteins clump together with antibodies directed against these proteins; these are called circulating immune complexes. These allergies do not result in the classic allergy response or increased IgE levels in the blood. Some research has shown that an allergy blocker called sodium cromoglycate (an asthma medication), taken orally before eating food can block food-induced M's and appears to work by preventing the formation of food-containing circulating immune complexes.
avatar
ZomigMan

Posts : 83
Join date : 2012-05-24
Location : PNW

Back to top Go down

My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  Cindy*W on Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:05 pm

Thanks for your responses.

I am doing low carb and no sugar.

I have cut out so much of what I used to eat that I know it would be difficult to ascertain what is actually helping me.

I drink two protein shakes a day made with milk and a small amount of yogurt and then have my vegetables and meat for my dinner.

Try to get my fruit in either my shake or for a snack.

It just seems like the more I simplify things, the easier it is to stick with it.

That is why I decided to do the shake only for breakfast and lunch and only really eat at one meal.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, thanks for all your thoughts on the subject.

Cindy

PS..I had my tryglicerides checked after being on the diet for 3 weeks and they were down by 1/3.
avatar
Cindy*W

Posts : 301
Join date : 2009-12-16
Location : Nebraska

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  Seaine on Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:43 pm

ZomigMan wrote:Interesting. I have not found anything on the vaso-active properties of tannins, or the phenol subset of them (including food coloring). The actions of why tannins cause M's are hitherto unknown as far as I have been able to find. But if they act like MGS/tyramine, it would obviously make sense. My food coloring issues started with Pop-Tarts of all things. Though they have some tannins in the fruit in them, the flour is pure wheat (no barley so no tannins there). They have a long list of additives, many of which are vitamins, so it is hard to tell what exactly is in them. The only other real triggers in there seem to be red #40 and yellow #6 (closely related molecules). Most articles on these food colorings are related to elevated rates of cancer, ADHD in children, and allergies.

Yes - I have found absolutely no scientific articles or really articles of any kind that actually say that the food colorings causes migraines. I believe it is known to some people though. I watched a show called The Food Hospital, and one episode had a child with migraines and the doctor recommended he cut out artificial colors (and it worked). But I have never personally encountered a doctor who knew anything about this. I found it out purely by accident, and only looked it up after I was already sure that it caused a reaction in me.

Cindy*W wrote:I am doing low carb and no sugar.

There are a few possibilities. I have long suspected that my migraines could be caused by changes in blood sugar. I nearly always get a migraine right after I eat, regardless of what it is that I eat. Eating a very low sugar and low carb diet would reduce the fluctuation in your blood sugar levels, I think. Another thing for me to try, if cutting out tannins doesn't help.

Of course it could also be that you are reducing tannins, since you are eating fewer breads with malted barley.
avatar
Seaine

Posts : 331
Join date : 2012-07-20
Age : 30
Location : Florida, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  ZomigMan on Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:32 pm

Here are some medical/behavioral studies in rats being fed common US food coloring:

http://www.feingold.org/Research/dye-studies.html

Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, and Red 3 are among the food colors associated with hyperactivity. If the hyperactivity is the result of hypertension, then there is good reason to believe that these synthetic colors are similar in their vaso-active action as MSG and tyramine which cause vaso-constriction, and subsequent vaso-dilation and migraines 8-12 hours later.

In the EU there are bans on a lot of these color additives. Unfortunately regarding the currently used dyes in the US, the FDA has determined that there is "no evidence that dyes affect (human) behavior". This is the same FDA that thinks MSG, aspartame, and saccharin are all great and safe products to eat, never mind the massive amounts of salt and sugar that are dumped into processed foods. Though they have banned red dye #2, #4 & #32, orange #1 & #2, yellow #1, #2, #3, & #4, and violet #1.

Sadly we are up against the conglomerate food processing industry, as well as a medical industry that seem to only be interested in making money and not the quality of life or good health. My now deceased uncle used to be the CEO of J.H. Filbert, a processed food products conglomerate. He said to me one day about 30 years ago, "everyone likes a little sugar in everything." That was with a wink, like he was telling me the secret formula of the company. At the time I was a gourmet chef, and the thought of dumping sugar in everything was revolting. No But people buy it, which is why all these products are on the shelves in stores.
avatar
ZomigMan

Posts : 83
Join date : 2012-05-24
Location : PNW

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  Cindy*W on Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:18 pm

That's funny about your uncle and the sugar.

I come from a German background and that was always my Grandma's trick, to add a little sugar to most everything.

The biggest reason I decided to go sugar free is because I can't seem to eat just a little sugar.

If I get started eating it, it seems to lead to more.

Such as hubby can bring me home a sugary treat, and an hour later I am searching the house for more!

My Mother is the same way.  And our family is prone to diabetes.

After not eating sugar for a few weeks, you kinda lose the taste and other things start tasting better.

At least that is how it has been for me.

Have heard about the food colorings in the past and I really think there is something to that.

Think of how many products contain food colorings.  Even our meds have them.

Anyway, thanks for the replies and all the food for thought.

Keep it coming.

Take care,

Cindy
avatar
Cindy*W

Posts : 301
Join date : 2009-12-16
Location : Nebraska

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  ZomigMan on Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:22 pm

Sugar in your case can be a vicious cycle. Eat some sugar, your body produces insulin, your cells absorb the sugar, your blood sugar level drops, and you crave more sugar. Not dissimilar to eating MSG; MSG also causes the release of insulin and a drop in blood sugar levels, so you crave more sugar.
avatar
ZomigMan

Posts : 83
Join date : 2012-05-24
Location : PNW

Back to top Go down

Re: My migraine food triggers; the list expands...

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum