Diet analysis

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Diet analysis

Post  Migrainegirl on Wed 29 Aug 2012, 9:51 pm

I have kept a headache log for many years, but I have never treied keeping a log of what I ate. It just seemed like too much trouble and I had not ever noticed any consistent problems.

However for the past 5 months I've been tracking everything I eat or drink on Loseit, a program that helps you lose weight (I've lost 25 pounds so far--yea!). So it occurred to me I could go back and correlate my headache log with my diet log to see what turned up. This is what I found out.

I had a total of 45 headache days ot of 151 for a rate of 30% overall.

On days of my cycle or just before I had a headache 15 out of 32 days (46.8%). This is statistically significant at p =.02. (meaning there is less than a 2% chance that it is higher just by chance). So I can say with confidence that my cycle is a trigger.

On days I traveled, I had a headache 7 of 23 days (30%), which is not different than normal.

On days I ate sausage or bacon, I had a headache 10 of 22 days (45%), which is statistically significant at p=.06

On days I ate pepperoni pizza, I had a headache 4 of 6 days (66%), which is statistically significant at p<.05.

On days I had orange juice, lemonade or limeaid, I had a headache 15 of 41 days (36.5%), which is not a statistically significant difference from normal.

On days I just had lemonade, I had a headache 4 of 4 days (100%), which is statistically significant at less than 1%.

So, in addition to my cycle, which I was pretty sure of, I found that the chemicals in prepared meats (bacon, sausage, pepperoni) are a significant trigger. I never suspected this. I think because I can eat it half the time without a problem. But the analysis shows I am more likely to have a headache on the days I eat it, compared to the days I don't.

I had become suspicious of lemonade, which is what prompted me to do the analysis. And indeed it's a problem, so no more of that. Limeaids and orange juice don't seem to be such a problem though. At least not from this analysis, although both had a slightly higher incidence rate.

As for travel, although this analysis doesn't show a significant correlation, I'm going to leave it as a trigger. Mainly because in the 30% of cases where I do get a headache, it comes on immediately, like 30 minutes to an hour after getting off the plane. It's just too clearly linked in those cases to ignore.

Taken all together 85% of my headache days are related to one or more of the factors listed above. I don't know what causes the other 15%, but that's a pretty good majority. I can't do much about the travel or periods, but I can certainly cut out the offending foods. So it was a worthwhile exercise.
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Re: Diet analysis

Post  Cluelesskitty on Wed 29 Aug 2012, 10:30 pm

It's interesting findings, isn't it.
I am glad it turned out to be helpful after all.

I too think some foods are making are sick, even if sometimes we do get away with eating it with no plm. but on the whole,
certain things do trigger episodes for us. glad you was able to figure out which ones are those.

As for citrus drinks, well citruses are commonly and rather on the top of the migraine trigger list, so hmm.... -there? lol

Risa

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Re: Diet analysis

Post  30yrsofheadache on Thu 30 Aug 2012, 5:10 am

Good work. I hope eliminating some of those will help you. I have wondered about some foods being a sometimes trigger. I should keep a food and migraine journal, but I always forget and try to enter days worth at one time. Any suggestions?
Hugs,
Cindy

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Food Triggers and More

Post  777Trinity on Thu 30 Aug 2012, 3:03 pm

I have to agree that food processing chemicals and nitrates will trigger migraines. Artifical sweetners are bad triggers too.

When I travel, its a given; the migraine will come. Flourescent lights are also a given, almost every public place is lit by them.

I am on a glutin free and sugar free program with no artificial sweetners at all right now. This week is my 5th week on this. I've lost 8 pounds, which is good, my skin looks better and I am noticing a difference in my overall energy level...better.

Our oldest daughter is expecting, her doctor told her no processed foods and no processed meats during her pregnancy...that tells me we probably shouldn't eat that stuff either.

GMO products trigger migraines as well. The only oil that is not GMO now is olive oil. Go online for a list of non-GMO foods, you will be surprized at who IS making GMO products too.
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Re: Diet analysis

Post  Migrainegirl on Thu 30 Aug 2012, 11:05 pm

Cindy, I found Lose It was very easy to use for recording food intake. It is a free App for iPhone and iPad. Probably on Android too, but I haven't checked. Or you can log on to their website, also free. As I was really trying to lose weight I've become quite consistent at entering after meals or by the end of the at latest.
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Re: Diet analysis

Post  30yrsofheadache on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 4:50 am

Thanks, I will look into that.
Cindy

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