You’re not alone if you’ve ever found that your head hurts after eating. This is known as a postprandial headache, which means “after feeding.”
If you have this kind of headache on a regular basis, don’t neglect it. Although some foods can cause or induce headaches. However, others are signs of underlying health issues that necessitate medical attention. Continue reading to find out what’s behind the post-meal headache.
Headache from Eating Certain Foods
A headache can be triggered by a variety of factors, like what we eat and drink.
Foods that cause migraines, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, can only do so when paired with other migraine causes. However, since this combination and any trigger, for that matter, is highly individualized. Hence, research into it is difficult.
There is no such concept as a migraine cause that is universal. However, in certain people, there are a few common reasons that may cause or lead to migraine attacks.
Migraines and headaches may be caused by drinking too much caffeine or going through caffeine withdrawal.
However, caffeine can help prevent migraine attacks, as per the American Migraine Foundation. Also, It can help with headache relief when used on a regular basis.
Caffeine-containing foods and beverages include:
Sweeteners Made from Artificial Sources
Use of artificial sweeteners is there in a lot of processed foods. However, there are sugar substitutes that we can use to sweeten foods and beverages.
However, these sweeteners have links to migraine. Aspartame is the migraine cause in particular.
One of the most popular causes of migraines is alcohol. As per one study trusted Source, alcohol was one of the most popular migraine causes for over 35% of the respondents.
Over 77 percent of those who mentioned alcohol as a trigger said red wine was a trigger.
Dehydration is a major factor in the development of headaches. It may be caused by alcohol.
Chocolate, after alcohol, is the 2nd most frequent migraine cause, per the American Migraine Foundation. According to them, it affects about 22% of migraine sufferers.
Caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine, both are there in chocolate. However, it can cause headaches in certain people.
MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a sodium salt of glutamic acid. It is found in our systems naturally.
Variety of foods uses MSG. Also, it is used as a food additive in several other foods. It’s otherwise safe to eat, hence, some scientists link it to migraines.
Meats that Have Been Cured
Cured meats, such as deli meats, ham, hot dogs, including sausages, all use nitrate additives to keep their color and taste. These foods may cause nitric oxide to be released into the bloodstream. However,it is assumed to dilate brain blood vessels.
There is some proof that nitric oxide may cause or lead to migraines Trusted Source.
Cheeses that Have Been Aged
Tyramine is a compound found in aged cheeses. So when proteins in food start breaking down due to aging, it forms.
The higher the tyramine level, the more the cheese has been aged.
Another chemical that has links to headaches and migraines is tyramine. Tyramine-rich cheeses contain the following-
- Blue cheese
Foods that Are Salty
Some people are sensitive to salty foods. Especially salty processed foods which may contain toxic preservatives. High sodium intake can raise blood pressure, resulting in headaches or migraine attacks.
According to Berk, chili peppers are much more probable than any spicy food to cause migraines. It’s possible that they respond to some pain receptors in the brain known as TRP receptors. They reduce the threshold for having a migraine, says the researcher.
Aspartame-Containing Foods and Beverages
Although experts aren’t certain why aspartame can cause migraines. However, Berk advises that people who are very sensitive to the additives prevent all foods containing it, particularly diet sodas.
You may think that allergies often cause symptoms like sneezing or even a runny nose, but this isn’t always the case. Food allergies, in reality, can result in a variety of symptoms, including headaches.
It’s likely that you’re allergic to a food and are unaware of it if you get headaches after consuming certain food or ingredients.
Intolerance to particular foods
Food sensitivity symptoms are almost always digestive in nature, unlike a food allergy. They can, however, cause a headache while eating in some people.
Stimuli that are Cold
A brain freeze, also known as an “ice cream headache,” is a form of headache that occurs when the blood vessels in the brain freeze. However, it happens after consuming frozen or extremely cold food or drink.
It’s cause is the changes in the blood vessels around those nerves in response to cold temperatures. This form of headache can be severe and last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. However, it does not require treatment.
What do you do if Your Migraines are Triggered by Food?
Try these suggestions if you think those foods are causing your migraines:
Begin keeping track of your headaches. If you’re not sure what’s causing your headaches, write it down if possible. Note causes like foods you consumed or activities you did just before your migraine began.
Determine who is the most likely source of the issue. If someone has very strong food causes, we recommend avoiding several foods. In general, doctors don’t recommend adopting specific migraine diets. However, research has shown that they don’t reduce migraine frequency or intensity.”
Make a consultation with a dietitian. “Weight loss, in particular, helps prevent migraines, and we also refer patients to a dietitian for that. This is not, however, a recommendation to follow a specific “migraine diet.”
Headaches can be excruciatingly painful and disrupt your life. Fortunately, there are certain lifestyle changes and behaviors that you might adopt to help you avoid them.
Consult your doctor if you suffer from headaches after eating a certain food. If food allergies and intolerances are the sources of your headaches, it’s critical to diagnose and manage them.
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