Everyone gets a headache now and then and it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, if you continue to have headaches, it’s vital that you find out what’s causing them. There are a lot of things that trigger headaches, with one of the main things being your diet.
At Pinnacle Health Chiropractic, Dr. Jason Ablett provides comprehensive care for headache pain. Dr. Ablett is a chiropractor with years of experience treating tough forms of pain, including headaches. He and the team assist you in figuring out if your dietary choices are bringing on your headaches.
Dietary problems that lead to headaches
The food you eat impacts your body in many different ways. For instance, it can make your stomach upset or trigger a migraine. Food triggers are common when it comes to headaches, and some of the common ones include:
Caffeine is what’s found in coffee and some forms of tea. It’s a common trigger when it comes to migraines and headaches, but is also used as a form of treatment for migraines.
You may experience a caffeine withdrawal headache if you regularly drink coffee and abstain from it for a day or two.
2. Processed meat
Bacon, ham, and lunch meat are all delicious — unless they’re causing your headaches. Processed meats contain nitrites, which are a type of preservative. Potassium nitrite and sodium nitrite are often found in processed meat and contribute to both headaches and migraines.
3. Aged cheese
If you’re a cheese lover, you may need to sit down for this one. Aged cheese has been shown to cause migraines in some people, due to the high levels of tyramine. This is the result of the aging process breaking down tyrosine, which is an amino acid.
4. Artificial sweeteners
Both aspartame and sucralose are artificial sweeteners that have been linked to headaches and migraines. It’s unknown why these sweeteners bring on headaches, but could be because they’re man-made.
If you’re gluten-intolerant, even a little bit of it can bring on a severe headache. Gluten is present in rye, wheat, and barley. It’s also found in bread, cereals, and other starchy products. Gluten is also found in foods you wouldn’t think of, so reading labels is important.
How to avoid food-induced headaches
If you suspect that your headaches are being brought on by food, there are ways to keep your headaches at bay. Dr. Ablett and the team provide you with the tools to figure out what’s causing your headaches. Some of the ways to avoid future headaches include:
Try an elimination diet
If you have absolutely no idea what’s triggering your headaches, an elimination diet can help. You pick a certain type of food and eliminate it from your diet for a few weeks. If you don’t have any headaches during this time, that particular food could be the problem.
Avoid packaged foods
Pre-packaged or processed foods often contain a lot of additives and preservatives. These have been shown to trigger both migraines and headaches. Keep your consumption of processed foods to a minimum if you’re suffering from chronic headaches.
Don’t skip meals
If you’re prone to headaches, try not to skip important meals. Food deprivation can actually bring on a headache instead of keeping it away.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Eating a diet rich in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein is a great way to avoid headaches. A nutritious diet is rich in vitamins and nutrients that can help you fight off headaches from the start.
Keep a food diary
A food diary is very helpful in figuring out what types of food are triggering your headaches. You simply keep a log of the food you eat, and when you get a headache. This can point you in the right direction of what specific foods are causing you pain.
Don’t continue to suffer from food induced headaches. Call our office today to make an appointment with Dr. Ablett. You can also schedule an appointment online using the booking tool on our web page.