Migraines: Commonest Causes & Cures
(Revision 6)

Rule #1: Some foods including milk products must be Fresh, Fresh, Fresh, Fresh. (Not cultured, not processed, not dried, not even sitting in the fridge for three days!)

1999 Craig Carmichael
Update: 3 notes and "treatment ideas" Nov 2005


This is not intended to be an all-inclusive treatise. It is mainly a personal set of observations based on my many years of experience as a perhaps typical migraine sufferer affected by most of the foods on a typical list of migraine-causing foods, though I have also taken some additional material from other sources. My experience and observations have paid off handsomely in the virtual elimination of my headaches. I suffered long-lasting headaches from mild to severe from adulthood, but I have been largely free from them for about ten years or so. (I am 44.) Being now normally headache-free, I can usually pinpoint the cause of any headache I do get, and the cause, unless I am ill, is almost invariably some particular food I have eaten.

Of course, there will inevitably be inaccurasies, distortions and limitations in a one-person viewpoint, and the reader is wise to take what is found to be valuable and discard anything worthless. Nevertheless, there are basic principles clearly outlined here that I have not found elsewhere. As far as I have been able to determine, I am the discoverer of these principles, or at least the first to write and publish them to assist other headache sufferers and to illuminate some new and more helpful directions for headache research.

First I must state that I'm lumping all 'vascular' headaches (i.e. not tension headaches & cluster headaches) together under the term 'migraine', whether or not they have all the migraine symptoms such as auras. There is a lot of confusion between these types, if indeed they are not merely differing degrees or symptoms of the same affliction: central nervous system (CNS) toxicity.

My basic conclusion is that recurring migraines (i.e. including vascular headaches) are caused by toxins in the system, often resulting from a type of food poisoning which only a minority of people are affected by. These toxins are probably caused by bacteria (or sometimes fungus), but they do not seem to break down and so once they are in the food, it is no longer fit to eat by the migraine susceptible in any form: as-is, recooked or used as an ingredient. Many of the foods affected tend to be oily, with other nutritional components as well.

I must stress that migraines must be a toxic type of reaction, not an allergic reaction as many suggest. The symptoms of a migraine from yogurt seem little or no different from one caused by paint fumes, recognized food poisoning or other CNS toxicity headaches. The basic key to headache avoidance is that certain foods must be shunned; others must be FRESH. Not CULTURED, not PROCESSED, not DRIED, not STALE, not even sitting in the fridge for two days, but very, very FRESH.

My doctor once told me he had read in a medical journal that 80% of migraine sufferers stop having migraines if they stop using dairy products. If this is true, then this writing may apply to at least four-fifths of recurrant migraine and headache sufferings, and likely a good proportion of the other fifth as well, as many of the foods listed below are non dairy and some milk products are "hidden" ingredients in other foods you buy. But there are some people affected by different things than most.

What makes it difficult to pinpoint migraine causes is the wide variety of migraine causing foods, the delay in the onset of the migraine, which like some types of mushroom poisoning is often up to 24 hours, and the all-important factor of the freshness of the food, which changes from day to day. An Edgar Cayce 'reading' relating the problem to food residues in the large intestine makes much sense as the digestive time taken for food to reach the large intestine would explain the long delay in the onset of the headache.

The time delay factor is a most important point. It means if you want to pinpoint the cause of today's headache at lunch time, you may well have to remember what you've eaten since yesterday morning, and if you eat several migrainous foods in a day, eliminating one or two may not cure your migraines or help to pinpoint the culprit foods. The situation is made more difficult because migraine-causing foods are found as ingredients in most prepared foods, and may be eaten unknowingly. And food that is fresh one day may not be good the next. Another major factor is that there are foods which may not cause migraines themselves but act as 'catalysts', multiplying the headache effect of any migrainous food eaten along with them.

Here is my typical headache pattern from before I knew what was happening. The symptoms may sound familiar to many readers. I use milk for cereal from a new carton for two or three days in a row with no sign of a headache. This affirms for me that milk is not the cause my headaches. The fourth day, still five days before the (so-called) expiry date on the milk, again, but by this time it has gone somewhat migrainous, and the following day a light headache or 'almost' headache ensues. Having ruled out milk, I am in the dark as to its cause. So on this fifth day, more cereal, but by now the milk is very bad. IT STILL TASTES FINE!  IT STILL SMELLS FINE! IT STILL LOOKS FINE (to the unsuspecting eye)! The next day, a bad headache, that has obviously been 'coming on' for a whole day! The migraine is even worse on the sixth day: a serious multi-day headache. Now fresh milk is purchased to replace the empty carton, which still had three or four days before the expiry date. The migraine mysteriously clears up for no evident reason, the day after the last drink from the old container. (See below: milk - how to tell if it is migrainous.) I believe this food-aging factor is what makes migraines seem to 'build up' and last over a period of days. If you shop on one particular day of the week, it might help explain weekly patterns of headaches.

I found this interesting statement in a footnote in an Awake! magazine (Aug. 8, 2000): "[Some] people have a deficiency in the enzyme that metabolizes tyramine, a chemical found in cheese and other foods. As a result, when they consume such foods, these people can develop migraine headaches." Perhaps "tyramine" starts to build up in some foods as they lose their freshness.

There does seem to be more than one type of migraine-causing food poisoning, affecting different people. Just as honey grows a unique type of botulism harmless to adults but fatal to infants under two years old, so do old peanuts grow a mold that causes migraines to people who are not susceptible to most foods on the typical migraine list.

Don't be disheartened by the comprehensive list of migraine causing foods below. With some, it's freshness you're after, not avoidance. And, it is entirely possible to get along without any and all of them, although you certainly will have to read ingredients lists carefully to avoid skim milk powder and other such "rat poisons". Unfortuately, most common prepared foods such as TV dinners are usually 'laced' with one or two problem ingredients. (Going through the entire freezer shelves of a large supermarket one day, I found just two pre-made dinners in the entire selection which did not contain migraine causing ingredients.)

Forget about headache pills and other after-the-fact remedies. Once you've eaten the poison, the headache follows in due course, and until the system is cleansed, the pills are just alleviating the symptoms. They may have their value, but true health is definitely worth the effort of making the required changes to your diet. This is the real and more or less permanent cure.


MILK PRODUCTS

As mentioned above, these account for the bulk of migraines. But it is not the milk per se which is at fault, but the bacteria which so quickly grow in it: Fresh, fresh milk products, milk, butter and cream, are fine. I am going to break down the list into the many forms which milk products take, as there is considerable special to say about each of them. 'Avoid dairy products' is easy advice to give, but imposes a severe and partially unnecessary restriction on one's diet.


FRESH MILK AND CREAM: YOU CAN TELL IF IT'S GOOD OR NOT!

Fresh milk, cream or whipped creme is fine, but only if it really IS fresh. A typical container of milk from the grocery should have at least a week remaining on the so-called expiry date, and it will be good for two or three days in your fridge, if you keep it very cold and if you are lucky. Sometimes, it is no good even when you first open it. One dairy here now sells 'micro-filtered' milk, and it usually seems to last somewhat longer, often good for several days or even a week.

Like most migrainous foods, when milk has gone 'off', it still LOOKS fine, SMELLS fine and TASTES fine.

But, perhaps alone among foods, migrainousness in milk is in fact visible under close inspection. Pour the milk in the brightest light you can find, preferrably sunlight, with the light reflecting at you off the surface of the milk. For cereal, pour milk in the bowl before the cereal. If it is fresh, it will appear absolutely homogenous. If, however, there are fine 'more-opaque' white streaks or patches visible floating on the top, the milk has become migrainous and should be discarded or given to someone not susceptible to migraines. It takes a good light to see the white-on-white streaks. The heavier the streaking, the worse the headache will be.

'Acidophilus milk' is deliberately bacterially contaminated and highly migrainous.

So-called whipped cream from a pressure spray can is migrainous.

I keep milk pressed against the frost-plate at the back of the fridge. I have to be sure not to mistake any little ice-lumps for un-freshness streaks. I normally leave milk out of recipies calling for small amounts of it (eg: cookies) as the food can be better trusted to remain unmigrainous a few days in the fridge.



BUTTER

I have never had a headache I've attributed to butter. Since butter is consumed by the teaspoon rather than the cup, I don't think even slightly old butter is enough to cause a problem.


BUTTERMILK

In theory, fresh buttermilk should be okay, but the buttermilk usually sold in stores is cultured buttermilk, i.e. bacterially contaminated and a definite migraine food.

In addition, cultured buttermilk is used by many places like 'Muffin Break' and 'Tim Hortons' in their muffins, donuts and other baked goods. In the grocery, check out the ingredients list on such products, watching for this and for skim milk powder. I have found bran muffins without migrainous ingredients. Unfortunately, there is a growing and vexing trend to not listing ingredients on baked goods made by so-called in-store bakeries. You have to ask to find out. If the staff can't tell you, assume the worst.


SKIM MILK POWDER & WHEY POWDER

These are migraine causers beyond all proportion to the amount contained in any food to which they are an ingredient. I don't know why they are so bad, but I have learned to avoid most foods in which they are present. Other dried products (like parmesan cheese and dried citrus peel for herb tea, for example) are also terrible.

Many, many pre-made products such as TV dinners and meat pies, ice cream, baked goods, prepared sausage and sandwich meats and even some breads contain one or both of these powders. Companies seem to delight in adding skim milk powder for no apparent reason to foods which would otherwise be quite palettable to the migraine susceptible.

Note: I discovered in 2003 that skim milk powder is made from stale milk approaching its "expiry date" (ie, long since expired), returned from the grocery stores to the dairy.


ICE CREAM

The fact that most so-called ice cream has as its first ingredient 'modified milk products' says it all. What, actually, does this term mean? And shouldn't it be called 'ice modified milk products'? The next ingredient is usually 'skim milk powder' and maybe 'whey powder'. If you are migraine susceptible, your system certainly won't stand for very much of it.

I have, however, found exactly one brand of ice cream (so far) that is USUALLY just fine: Haagan Dazs. I have eaten many containers of it without any ill effects. However, even they do sometimes have bad batches that cause me headaches, and I've learned to discard these after one serving. Unfortunately there is no way to tell without eating some. Watch out for particular flavors such as chocolate that may contain migrainous ingredients. (Their 'rasberry gelaato', which contains no milk or other migraine-prone products, is also very good.) If you can get good ice cream, it is especially valuable as being frozen it is the only milk product that you can keep for long periods of time.

The first ingredient in Haagen Dazs ice cream is actually cream, and there is no powdered milk. (I'm surprised the condensed and concentrated milk products they use doesn't render it harmful, but they seem fine.)

I recently tried another (cheaper) brand of ice-cream which claimed cream as its first ingredient, and found it to be very bad. I haven't experimented since. Note: I later found Breyers natural vanilla to usually be good, but like Haagen Dazs there are too often bad batches..

Note: I understand that most ice cream, like skim milk powder, is made from milk that has gone bad in the groceries and returned to the dairy.


CHEESE

Typical block cheeses seem to be very good at causing migraines. After all, they are made by bacteria, and they're partially dried, too, I think. Such 'spoiled milk products' (as I deem them) get worse as they sit in the fridge. I eventually learned never to touch them. Dried parmesan cheese is especially bad.

I have, however, found that cream cheese can be okay, usually. I don't know why. Eating cheesecake is a bit like Russian Roulette, just fine maybe five times out of six... Like the Haagen Dazs, I've found no way to tell except by eating it.

I don't know about cottage cheese. (Now that I think about it, I'm sure I haven't had any in at least ten years!)


YOGURT

There is no such thing as 'fresh' yougurt. The bacterial contamination that makes it yogurt is definitely a strong cause of migraine.


SOUR CREAM

I think this is probably a migraine causer, but my experience with it is quite limited. The term 'sour' keeps me at a distance. But it is used in some cheescake recipies and I have eaten various cheescakes (of unknown ingredients), often without any ill efects.


MIGRAINE AMPLIFIERS: ALCHOHOL OR GELATIN

Alchohol does not normally cause migraines in my experience. Neither does gelatin (found in jello, soups & meats including chicken & fish). BUT if you eat migrainous foods at the same time as having alchohol or gelatin they appear to magnify the headache by many times. Enough tainted product to give a mild headache by itself instead will cause a crippling migraine lasting the entire following day.

Indeed, it was a bowl of yogurt & jello on two separate occasions which both resulted in severe migraines the next day that finally triggered the initial realizations of the true causes of my headaches and the many observations I record herein. Gelatin is reputed to help the body absorb vitamins and minerals from vegetables, which is excellent for your health, but apparently it does the same with migraine-causing toxins.

My other worst migraines have been from wine & cheese or cider & pizza, for which I had always blamed the moderate quantity of alchohol consumed, even though at other times I had had considerably more alchohol without ill effects. Alchohol seems to have a similar absorptive effect to gelatin - at least for migraine toxins.

There are some people who do seem to get migraines from alchohol itself, or get them from specific drinks, especially red wine. These people are separate cases, usually not affected by most of the 'typical' migraine foods mentioned here.


CHOCOLATE

Chocolate often causes quite a headache. It is usually processed with alkali, which seems like a suspicious way to treat a food. Milk chocolate is probably made with highly processed milk products that are themselves migraine causers, and in addition hydrogenated oils may be in the ingredients.

Chocolate not only gives me headaches and zits, but it also makes me itch, (perhaps a personal alergic reaction). For all these reasons, I avoid it like the plague, including chocolate flavours in foods and cookies containing chocolate. Carob seems to cause similar problems, in my limited experience with it.


MILK Substitutes

Perhaps not surprisingly, these seem to attract the same sorts of nasty bacteria as real milk. Fresh soya milk is only good when very fresh, and boxed soya is only good for a few days after opening (refrigerated, of course). I eventually went back to real milk. So, I've never tried checking out whether soya gets 'streaky' when it's off like real milk does.
I think 'rice dream' would better be denominated 'rice nightmare' - I only tried it once!


CHEESE Substitutes

Some of these are cultured, or contain processed milk products, so they're as bad as real cheese. A few such as 'vegen-rella' are good for a few days in the fridge before they go 'off'.


MARGARINES

These, in my experience are not migraine causing in the amounts usually consumed. That it is the small quantities you use that makes it okay is illustrated by the fact that they usually contain skim milk powder, which causes headaches when consumed in any quantity.

If I may digress, hydrogenated oils seem very hard on your system. According to health magazines, they contain trans-fatty acids not found in nature, and are highly suspected as prime culprits in heart disease. They give me zits and are no doubt a major cause of acne (if not the main cause)! Margarines made without hydrogenation such as Becel have no such effect on me. It is heartening to see them being used more and more, with new brands constantly appearing.

So even though they don't cause headaches, avoid foods with hydrogenated oil or margarine, or unspecified margarine, in their ingredients list. Unfortunately, this includes many, many products.


EGGS

Fresh eggs do not normally, in my experience, cause headaches until they are at least two or three weeks old. Egg ingredients in foods such as mayonaisse, miracle whip and baked goods seem fine.

Incredibly, eggs seem to be expiry dated for up to about 50 days, so don't buy them without well over a month left on the date. If the yolk 'stands up' and the white doesn't run like water in a frying pan, the egg should be okay. If the yolk breaks or the white spreads a lot when the egg goes into the pan, it isn't fresh. Only quite old eggs will float in water.


ORANGES, LEMONS, etc.

Like milk products, citrus fruits are on many 'migraine lists', but it is my experience that the fruit itself is fine unless it is quite un-fresh to the point of tasting 'off'. Then they certainly are migraine causing. Beware of groceries selling their old oranges as 'fresh' squeezed orange juice, and discard if it tastes funny.

What definitely is migrainous is citrus PEEL, which contains a lot of oil in contact with the air even while growing. Lemon or orange peel is often used as a flavor ingredient in cookies and other baked foods, and is a common herb tea ingredient. In my experience, it only takes a few cookies containing citrus peel or a couple of cups of herb tea to cause a headache. Herb teas without citrus peel should be checked out carefully by migraine susceptible people as dried migraineous ingredients seem much more potent than un-dried ones. But many teas, such as mint, are probably fine.


PEANUTS

There is a mold that grows on peanuts that gives some people migraines, and these are people who may not be susceptible to the other foods I mention; they are a separate type of migraine cause. I know two people who have learned about migraines from old peanut butter! If you think you might be, be sure your peanuts and peanut butter are fresh. And then, keep them in the refrigerater, where they will keep a very long time. This is a best anyway as rancid ('stale') oils are not good for your system.

It seems to me that highly processed peanut butters with 'preservatives' and long ingredients lists simply mask the rancid taste of the stale peanuts. Get simple peanut butter with just peanuts & salt. If you can find jars on the shelf where the oil hasn't yet separated to the top, or the top of the peanut butter flows a bit with the oil when the jar is tilted, you know it was very recently ground. If your grocery refrigerates fresh peanut butter, that's probably the one to use as it lasts very well in the fridge. Of course with any of them, one may still wonder whether the peanuts were fresh before they were ground...

As an alternative perhaps almond butter is worth a try. Almonds apparently contain a lot of iron with phosphorus in a combination that is very easy to digest, and are reputed for that reason to be a potent anti-cancer food even in a dose of two or three a day. Perhaps they don't grow the same mold as peanuts. Anyway, this is in the 'experimentation' category, and the cautions about non-fresh oils remain.


WHEAT GLUTEN

Another special migraine ingredient toxic to only a limited number of people seems to be gluten. Those susceptible have to use alternative gluten-free flours and gluten-free breads. Again, this is not related to the rest of the list and I have no personal experience with it.


BANANAS

Bananas are a definite migraine food. Avoid them. Unripe bananas are by far the worst, but even ripe ones are usually no good. The bananas sold in stores don't ripen naturally - they are packed in bags of ethylene gas and ripen suddenly when the bags are cut open at the grocery. Small amounts of ethylene gas are a natural ripening agent, but...


AVOCADOS

Avocados have also caused me migraines. An avocado dip I'll use, but I can't safely eat even a half of one 'in the shell'.


CARROT JUICE

Carrot juice is excellent if immediately frozen or used with 24 hours. After two or three days it will be good for a migraine. (After four or five days, it turns into a hideous jelly-like glop, and I hate to imagine the effect of eating/drinking it!) Frozen carrot juice can be thawed in water and used immediately.


MEATS

One doesn't normally think of fresh meats as migraine causes, but if they aren't fresh they certainly can be. My own policy now is to freeze any raw meat I'm not definitely going to use within 24 hours.
Chicken is especially bad, and can cause migraines if left in the fridge for two days before cooking. I have also, on occasion, had chicken that is already bad when I buy it. Make sure it has today's date on the package when you purchase it. It seems best to use it or freeze it the same day.


PREPARED MEATS, WIENERS & SAUSAGES

Those things that come in bubble packages like a manufactured item have so many ingredients that some are almost bound to be a problem. Look especially for skim milk powder and MSG.

Another reason to avoid these (and ham) is nitrates and nitrites added as preservatives. Whether or not these are headache causing, and they are on some migraine lists, they are known carcinogens which may well be at least partially responsible for a lot of the many annual deaths from stomach & bowel cancer (which have killed more non-smokers that I have known than all other forms of cancer, though I don't know a statistically significant sample of cancer victims).

According to one source, pig meat, which makes up the bulk of many prepared meats, is not entirely digestable and thus is hard on the body and should not be consumed. My own experience tends to support this theory.


MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE: 'MSG'

This can be a migraine causer not only to typical migraine sufferers, but apparently also to some persons who seem unaffected by most of the usual migraine foods. Beware of Chinese foods unless known to be 'MSG-free', and look out for it as an ingredient in packaged meats, etc - and apparently even in roasted peanuts! It seems its chief purpose in food is to make you crave more of it!

And, MSG is also a hidden and unnamed ingredient occurring within other ingredients. It is alwys present in sodium or calcuim casseinate, yeast derivatives (autolysed y., y. extract, y. food & y. nutrient), textured protein, getatin and glutamic acid. It is sometimes present in hydrolized plant protein, fermented products and even in some 'natural flavors'.

Perhaps the presence of MSG is related to the magnification effect that gelatin and alchohol have on the effects of migrainous foods. (Somebody else is welcome to study this.)

Most of this MSG information is taken from the web site 'Migraines and MSG' (www.magicnet.net/~btnature).


MISCELLANEOUS FOODS

Aspartame is on many migraine food lists. I can drink "Barqs" and "Mug" rootbeer without problems but get a headache from "Presidents Choice" rootbeer. Some "Mrs. Dash" seasonings contain lemon peel and have caused me headaches.


UNCLEANLINESS

One one occasion I suffered strong migraines for several days running, without being able to determine a food cause. Finally, I noticed that a cup I had been sipping water from for perhaps a couple of weeks had a visible build-up of scum - algae or whatever - on the inside! Since it was just water, I had been just rinsing the cup every time I refilled it instead of washing it properly. The headaches vanished with a clean cup.


COFFEE AS A COMPLICATING FACTOR

Coffee seems to be a very confusing factor in migraines, either making them worse or preventing, curing or alleviating them.

I don't know for sure, but since coffee is made from an oily bean that is dried, it seems like a very good candidate for itself containing migraine causing toxins, and I suspect that often it does. It may well be that the caffeine is medicinal but that you are adding more toxins to your system as you drink it, or maybe not depending on the individual beans. This might help to explain the varying results of treating migraines with coffee.

In retrospect, I think one of the things that has greatly assisted me in pinpointing some of the less obvious migraine foods (unfresh meats, etc) has been the fact that I stopped drinking coffee and tea a couple of years ago, and so they aren't present to confuse the issue.

Headaches seem to come on much faster after consumption of tainted food now and seem to be of somewhat shorter duration, but whether this is due to the absence of caffeine or to the fact that I'm now normally toxin free or a combination of both, I'm not really sure.


PILLS

Pills are dried, often oily things. One niacinamide tablet was good for a 24 hour migraine. Others, like vitamin C and beta carotene capsules are fine. But getting your vitamins from your foods is normally the healthy way.

A lotion a doctor prescribed me for itching once (apparantly a known CNS toxic substance) gave me a violent multi-day migraine. (It was useless: the severe itching was from bulk-eating fudge cookies, before I knew about chocolate's effects on me.)

I can't comment on other medications, except to say that the advice to use acidophilus milk when on antibiotics is really bad advice for the migraine susceptible!

A note here that may be useful: ASA (Aspirin) is often denied to migraine sufferers because their stomachs react to the pills. On those now-infrequent headache occasions, I can use aspirin if I have it with food. A piece of toast, for example, the aspirin(s), CHEWED UP in another bite of toast (yes, do it: yetch!), then some more toast (whole wheat of course). This prevents a lump of ASA from being concentrated against the stomach lining. Water afterwards is optional.


OTHER CULPRITS

Except for this paragraph, this section is not my writing. It quotes verbatim the entire heading Chemical Culprits on the web page www.nih.gov/health/chip/ninds/headac/. It identifies several food and non-food headache chemicals, overlapping with some mentioned above. It illustrates the common thread: migraines are caused by toxins, not allergic reactions, regardless of whether the toxin is in an un-fresh food, is a chemical food additive, or is from a non-food source.

Repeated exposure to nitrite compounds can result in a dull, pounding headache that may be accompanied by a flushed face. Nitrite, which dilates blood vessels, is found in such products as heart medicine and dynamite. Hot dogs and other meats containing sodium nitrite can also cause headaches.

"Chinese restaurant headache" can occur when a susceptible individual eats foods prepared with monosodium glutamate (MSG)--a staple in many Oriental kitchens. Soy sauce, meat tenderizer, and a variety of packaged foods contain this chemical which is touted as a flavor enhancer.

Vascular headache can also result from exposure to poisons, even common household varieties like insecticides, carbon tetrachloride, and lead. Children who eat flakes of lead paint may develop headaches. So may anyone who has contact with lead batteries or lead-glazed pottery.

Painters, printmakers, and other artists may experience headaches after exposure to art materials that contain chemicals called solvents. Solvents, like benzene, are found in turpentine, spray adhesives, rubber cement, and inks.

Drugs such as amphetamines can cause headaches as a side effect. Another type of drug-related headache occurs during withdrawal from long-term therapy with the antimigraine drug ergotamine tartrate.

Jokes are often made about alcohol hangovers but the headache associated with "the morning after" is no laughing matter. Fortunately, there are several suggested remedies for the pain, including ergotamine tartrate. The hangover headache may also be reduced by taking honey, which speeds alcohol metabolism, or caffeine, a constrictor of dilated arteries. Caffeine, however, can cause headaches as well as cure them. Heavy coffee drinkers often get headaches when they try to break the caffeine habit.


MAGNETS, PILLS, BIO-FEEDBACK and LUCKY CHARMS

The many ideas touted as headache cures (with or without any apparent scientific or medical basis) treat the symptoms without coming to grips with the problem, the toxins ingested. This is not preventative medicine, merely treatment of the symptoms or sometimes even plain hocus-pocus. It is amazing that so much effort is devoted to finding antidotes to poison and so little to its identification and elimination from the digestive system.


SUSCEPTIBILITY AND RESISTANCE PATTERNS

There has been a lot written about migraines as related to exercise, sleeping and eating patterns, stress, weather and daily activities. Certainly the body has widely varying levels of resistance and susceptibility at different times, and phenomena such as Saturday morning headaches (usually after sleeping in) are obviously not just co-incidence.

But most headaches are really just a symptom of having consumed something the body can't handle well. My basic experience is that if I don't eat migrainous foods, I don't get serious headaches regardless of the timing and level of daily activities and environmental conditions (non-toxic conditions, that is!), and overall I feel more well - there isn't a "sub-headache" lurking in the background. Susceptibility and resistance are not important if nothing is attacking you.


SOME TREATMENT IDEAS

While this paper is about headache prevention rather than cure, there are a few things that seem to help.

One is if a migraine is starting or in progress, to drink quite a lot of liquid. Perhaps this helps to get the food residue moving through the large intestine faster. (Perhaps the liquid is part of the help from coffee?) I also make sure I eat, with the same aim. (This works best if can do it before you get to the puking stage, and if you don't consume anything that might be migrainous.)(BR>
Headache pills can also help. Maxalt and Ibuprophen are of assistance to me. Imatrex is used by some.