Thursday, May 03, 2012

Migraine, Allergies and Food Triggers

I want to talk about migraines, allergies and processed foods.  There is a connection.  Now just to be clear - not for everyone, not everyone fits into nice cookie cutter definitions when it comes to the human body.  It`s a complex entity that often defies current theories.  However there have been some triggers identified that may be the cause of migraines in some people.  Processed foods and allergies are 2 of them.  Or as my doctor pointed out... could be a combination of the two...  I like my doctor, she doesn't stick to a black and white view of modern medicine.  Yesterday I went to see her to get some meds to fight the migraines.  I haven't had a migraine in at least 6 years.  And it's so frustrating to have them come back.
I'm not just having migraines with their tell tale auras, light and sound sensitivity, I'm also having some amazing throbbing in my sinuses.  Ever feel like your eyeballs were on fire?!  Holy mackerel, it's brutal.  And then last night I had some nice hives develop on my eyelids.  Oh when it rains it pours, doesn't it?  The thing about hives around my eyes is that it takes 12-24 hours for the swelling to really go down and my eyes feel foggy until it does.  If it weren't for the fact that the dogs keep making me laugh and NJ beat Philly last night (NHL) I'd be one cranky camper.  But I digress.

So what started all this crap?  I was fine.  I fight with my allergies year round and take 2 different pills and a nasal spray daily to keep them under control.  Anyone who reads this blog regularly has heard me rant and rave more than once about eating food that has followed the shortest distance between Mother Nature's hand and your mouth.  (In other words - with as little human intervention or 'processing' as possible)  These days we're hearing more and more about the evils of processed foods.  So there can't possible be any of that evil foodstuff in my house, right?!  Hey I can get sucked in just like everyone else as I make my rounds at the grocery store - lean, low fat, low cal - sounds great!

First thing my doctor asked me when I went for my appointment was if I had identified any triggers.  She emphasized that identifying the triggers would be the most beneficial in fighting migraines but she also acknowledged that it might not be easy.  The fact I hadn't had any is so long was a pretty good indication that my triggers were something I recently bought and brought into the house.  I had already thought of this.  The only things I've had different in the house are beer (for the playoffs!) and processed meat, some turkey bacon (bacon is bad enough but what kind of processing do you think it takes to make turkey into 'bacon'?!?!) and some deli meat.  Even though the deli meat was nice and lean...  Still it's 'processed'.

I've also been wondering about the chemicals on the apples I've been enjoying lately.  Just because it's fruit doesn't mean its innocent.  Apples are one of the worse fruits for chemical pesticide residue.  Lately I've been enjoying some really nice ones from the market.  But could those chemicals be causing my migraines?  It stands to reason that they could be.  I'll eliminate them too just to be sure. 

Last night I had 2 beers and today I'm fine so I'm going to cross beer of the possible trigger list (amen!).  Tomorrow maybe I'll try an apple...  Then we'll try to turkey bacon or deli meat....  If you really like deli meat for lunches try roasting up some extra turkey breast, chicken breast, roast beef or even pork on the weekend and thinly slicing it for sandwiches during the week.  You can season it any way you can!  One of these days I'm going to get a smoker and make my own bacon and ham...  Ah a girl can dream...

ps. my blood pressure was 114/74 or to quote my doctor "perfect"!  It's worth bragging about.

UPDATE:  I've tried all the possible triggers I could think of but have yet to have another migraine.  While that is good news it is a little frustrating not to know what caused them.  I guess the doctor was correct when she suggested it could be a combination of a couple of things.  However in the future if I have another migraine I will make notes of the things I have eaten and done before hand and I will note the time of year, weather conditions, etc.  I've heard of thunderstorms and drastic weather fluctuations causing problems for some people.  Of course now that I have medication and am prepared it's unlikely I'll have another migraine.  It's just Murphy's Law!

No comments: