This is Why Migraineurs Should NEVER Skip A Meal

I’ve discussed how sugar impacts migraines in the past, and today’s blog builds off of that. For migraineurs, foods with low glycemic loads are a much better choice than those made up of carbohydrates and other sugars. This is because sugar-loaded foods can lead to a spike in your blood sugar, resulting in long and short-term side effects. On the other side of this, skipping a meal can cause your blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low, triggering a nasty migraine.

Why Skipping a Meal Could Be Your Worst Trigger

For migraine sufferers, the key to avoiding untimely attacks is to make sure you never find yourself in a compromising situation, such as without food. One of the most important things you can do to prevent a migraine attack is to always keep your blood sugar levels steady. This means having healthy snacks readily available when you need them – whether you are at work, school, or running errands. When your blood sugar levels are abnormally low, it is called hypoglycemia, which can trigger a migraine or make symptoms worse. We know that food is one of the three main culprits of migraines, so why risk it?

Some healthy snack options to keep migraines at bay include:

  • Nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Rice cakes
  • Babycarrots
  • Greenapples

Migraines and Diet

We get tons of different important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from food, all of which the body needs to stay healthy and on the right track. The five important types of nutrients we need are:

  1. Proteins
  2. Fats
  3. Vitamins
  4. Minerals
  5. Carbohydrates

While each of these nutrients serves different functions, some are more important for migraineurs than others. If you go a long time between meals, your body isn’t getting what it needs to perform at its highest level, often resulting in a migraine attack. These migraines are usually more intense than others because of low blood glucose levels; however, keep in mind that there are many different factors that can lead to a migraine attack – both dietary and non-diet related. Similarly, not all foods considered “high-risk” for migraineurs will trigger an attack every single time. This is why it is so important to figure out what your food triggers are.

Tips for Treating Food-Related Migraines

Treating food-related migraines has two different parts: figuring out what foods trigger the attacks and making sure to never skip a meal. I often advise my patients to be wary of fad diets, as you may risk avoiding certain foods that carry important nutrients. One of my favorite ways to determine what foods and scenarios may lead to a migraine attack is by keeping a food diary and a migraine diary. Take notes about the attack, as well as what foods you ate (or forgot to eat) leading up to the attack.

Did you accidentally skip a meal? Stop at a convenience store for a bag of almonds or some fruit.  This, of course, is over-generalizing it abit, but no matter what your individual needs may be, establishing a pattern iskey to finding relief and dealing with migraine attacks.

Sources:

Migraine Again: Why Skipping Meals Can Trigger Migraines and How to Avoid It

Migraine Trust: Hypoglycemia Migraine.com: Migraine Awareness Month