Sunday, February 8, 2009

Migraine: Don't Pull the Trigger

I am constantly at war with my migraine triggers. I guess they are called "triggers" because I may as well be pointing a gun at my head. My triggers are like Russian roulette, only worse... I never know how many bullets are in the gun.

There are times when I can have onions on my burger and not be affected at all. Onions are one of my triggers, but I love them, and feel that they are what makes the burger a burger. Other times they hit me right behind the left eye. There is no way to know. Sometimes it can take up to three days, before I feel the impact. Other times, it is immediate.

A few years ago, I read the book, Heal Your Headache The 1,2,3 Program, by David Buckholz, M.D., in which he talked about how we each have a trigger tank. That tank is sometimes running on low, and other times, it is filled to the top. If the tank is low, a trigger may or may not push it over the line. Some triggers may immediately make the tank overflow, causing a migraine. Everyone has a different size tank. People may have the same triggers, but the fill-line level of the tank may be different.

Onions are a migraine trigger of mine that sometimes cause me problems, while wintergreen is a trigger that ALWAYS hits me where it hurts (the head, of course). Just the smell of wintergreen will push me into what I call "a Gran Mal" migraine.

I found it beneficial to try an elimination diet, in order to determine my food triggers. I found that my triggers include onions, hot peppers and other nightshades, citrus, fresh bread, aged cheese, and processed or aged meats. It is important for me to stay clear of any of these triggers.

It is difficult because I like each of those foods, but they obviously do not like me.
By eating any of these trigger foods, I am putting bullets in the gun.