Cranberry Juice??

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Cranberry Juice??

Post  Seaine on Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:20 pm

Hi, I was wondering if anyone else notices severe migraines after drinking cranberry juice.  I have not had cranberry juice in a long time, probably years, and just bought a big bottle this week.  I mixed it with gingerale (delicious) and have been drinking it probably almost everyday this week.

I noticed I've been feeling very gross the past few days, and increasingly worse migraines everyday.  I kept going over what I had eaten, wondering where I was accidentally eating food coloring.  My symptoms are basically the same as when I eat food coloring - severe migraine pain on one side, nausea, irritability, depression, and the migraine does not respond to medication.  The only side effects missing are the severe indigestion I get when eating food coloring, and the hot flashes.  Finally yesterday, I realized the severe headache started coming on about TEN MINUTES after I started drinking my cranberry juice!  Shocked at the possibility, I stopped drinking it and switched to regular gingerale for the rest of the day.  The headache finally went away after a few hours and many different pills.  The night before, I had had signficantly more cranberry juice and the headache was horrendous all night long.

Today, I purposefully put a smaller amount in my gingerale and try it.  Ten minutes later... you guessed it.  I searched google but could not find anything significant, only found one person saying cranberry juice gives them headaches and actually found a number of people saying cranberry juice CURES their headaches!  Mad 

I know cranberry juice is high in tannins, but I have never had such a fast and severe reaction like this to any other high tannin food such as peas.  Anyone have anything similar?  The cranberry juice I am using is 27% juice and has water, corn syrup, and natural flavors.  I know "natural flavors" could be anything but again, never had any sort of similar reaction to other foods containing "natural flavors."  I plan to dump out the rest of this bottle and try and find one that is 100% cranberry juice to test it more on.

I have had skin prick allergy testing but don't remember if cranberries was one of the pricks. Anyways, not sure if it would show up anyways since this isn't a classic allergic reaction.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Mini on Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:32 pm

Yes, definitely. I have noticed it many years ago, that cranberry juice often recommended as a health drink is a kiss of death for me because certain M will follow.
BTW cranberry juice also has also surprising amount of sugar, so it is not a health drink for me (and not for many other migraneurs I suspect).
Beware also that NO SUGAR juice, or diet drinks, usually contain aspartame which is one of the worst M triggers.

I hope that by discovering many more M triggers, you will be able to control your M, much better. I have realised one day that if I want fewer M, I have to pay much more attention to what I eat, or drink.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Seaine on Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:02 pm

Thanks for the reply; it is helpful to know that at least one other person has migraines caused by cranberry juice. Perhaps I won't test it with another brand since I have suffered quite a bit this week already.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Mule Kick on Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:43 pm

Natural Flavors is a common euphemism for Monosodium Glutemate  MSG, a well known migraine trigger.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Seaine on Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:22 am

Yes... I know that. However, I don't have a similar response to MSG.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Migrainegirl on Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:37 pm

Pretty much anything can be a trigger for some people.   It's lemonade for me.  No idea why. Other citrus doesn't both me a bit.  Migraines are just strange.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Mini on Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:16 pm

You are right, many things can trigger M in some people, and I am afraid I am one of them, because every few years I have become sensitive to more and more things so the list of triggers grew longer and longer.
I have also began to recognise new triggers more quickly, and provided that I avoided them ( if possible I managed to control my M better.

I did not start with  so many triggers, it is just that my body has just become more and more sensitive.

About lemonade: I believe someone said here sometime ago that fizzy drinks give them M, so maybe it is not lemon, but the fizz itself that is a trigger for you?


Last edited by Mini on Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Migrainegirl on Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:22 pm

No it happens with non fizzy lemonade.  And other fizzy drinks don't bother me (coke, ginger ales, etc...).  Just lemonade. Ooh well.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  ZomigMan on Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:03 pm

Cranberry juice is one of my main M triggers. As is most commercial apple juice. Reason: they are very high in tannins. I am working on weeding out the last of my tannin triggers now with a food diary. I was M free for 28 days and then got one a few days ago, and another one again today. The culprit is smoked chicken for both. I have a pellet grill smoker that I am likely going to have to sell now. The food tastes great on it, but the smoke is full of tannins. I have been drinking a lot of milk lately in an attempt to use the casein proteins to bind with tannins in foods and thus lower my incidents of tannin triggered M's. It has helped a lot actually. 28 days is a record for me going back as far as I can remember (10 years at least). Milk does not seem to overcome some types of tannins though, or large volumes of it. Salt on smoked foods does not help either (sodium in any form seems to be a migraine 'enhancer' for me).

The problem with my drinking milk though is that it has led to my getting SIBO... high bacteria in my small intestine, likely from all the lactose. I am not lactose intolerant, but the bad bacteria sure do like my drinking it. So I am looking at trying casein supplements instead. They are common for body building and readily available. I also have to deal with SIBO, which has me weirded out a lot (from all the gut gas). I am on antibiotics and probiotics for it now, under Rx from my GI specialist. Casein is supposed to be good to reduce SIBO as well. Round and round we go...
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Cranberry...Really???

Post  CheeziPhish on Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:07 am

Yes definitely! I have a UTI and I am pounding down pure, unsweetened (pure form with NO sweeteners), diluted cranberry juice. First day was yesterday and by afternoon I had a migraine that lasted until the morning. UTI is better though!

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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Cathy on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:49 am

Wow! I never knew cranberry was a problem. I take a cranberry supplement pill everyday. I guess I'll stop that for a while and see what happens. Although, I take it in the morning but usually wake up with a headache that is usually calming down by evening. It's so hard to pinpoint triggers.

Bananas are my killer. I had some banana bread a couple of months ago and felt like I was having a stroke! The deadly banana! Looks friendly like a Minion, but it doesn't fool me anymore. HA!

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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Migrainegirl on Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:21 pm

Im curious. Do you have the same problem with cranberry sauce (like at Thanksgiving?). Or is it just the juice? I am afraid to try it now.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Seaine on Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:16 pm

Migrainegirl wrote:Im curious. Do you have the same problem with cranberry sauce (like at Thanksgiving?). Or is it just the juice? I am afraid to try it now.

I have recently had cranberry sauce which I made myself and had no problems.  It's easy to make, just cook cranberries on the stove and add some orange juice.  This makes me wonder if it's an additive in the cranberry juices that causes issues. Or, maybe, cooking the cranberries breaks down whatever happens to be the cause.
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Mimi26 on Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:28 am

I have sometimes gotten a migrane after Thanksgiving dinner and didn't even think about the cranberry sauce. Until I saw this forum I thought I was pretty much the only person who had cranberry juice related migranes. So good to know Im not the only one. BTW the cranberry juiced induced migranes are absolutely the worst migranes I've ever ever had. I can, however, take a cranberry softgel for a UTI and I do not experience a migraine. Thank God for that!!!

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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Seaine on Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:47 pm

Actually since I've made this post I discovered that sodium benzoate is responsible for severe migraines. I was mixing the cranberry juice with ginger ale, which has sodium benzoate. Mystery solved for me!
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Re: Cranberry Juice??

Post  Kem10 on Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:14 am

Thanks for the info Seaine, something else to look for in our food and drink. Sometimes it does seem completely overwhelming though and I still have no idea what my triggers are except for hormone shifts. Lately the migraines have been somewhat fewer and milder which might be attributed to having moved from western NY to SC. Not sure if that really has anything to do with it though or if it is just one of those nice times where the big M seems to back off for a while.
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