A silent migraine is a migraine headache without the headache pain. It’s a neurological disorder that includes some type of vascular event. The accompanying aura is now believed to be a neurovascular event that may trigger the headache.
Also known as an ocular headache, it’s an atypical migraine but has many symptoms that are typical of a full blow migraine headache including visual aura, speech and auditory problems; muscle pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, mood changes and irritability, fatigue, frequent urination and changes in bowel habits. Because the pain in the head is absent, it is often mistaken for other ailments like a stroke. A silent migraine can be triggered by a number of causes, with certain foods being one. Identifying and eliminating the offending foods may provide long term relief from future attacks.
Vegetables and Fruits
Legumes are often one of the culprits causing silent migraines. Beans such as fava, lima, pole, garbanzo, pinto, navy and Italian green beans may trigger your migraine. Additionally, pickled and fermented foods may cause problems. Note the effects on your body after eating sauerkraut, kim chee, pickles, raw garlic, onions and olives.
Fruits that are sometimes involved in setting off a silent migraine headache are figs, prunes, papayas, avocados and overripe bananas.
Alcohol and Caffeine Beverages
Alcohol in all forms, but especially red wine, is associated with migraine headaches. Test each type of alcohol by only consuming one kind at a time to see what kind of results you have after drinking it. You may find only one type triggers your migraines or all alcohol may have to be avoided.
Some people find caffeine triggers their silent migraines while others notice it relieves them. If you drink a lot of coffee or caffeinated soda, you may get headaches when you attempt to stop. Reduce your consumption slowly, over time to avoid caffeine headaches. Observe whether your experience silent migraine symptoms or simple tension headaches from drinking caffeine.
Chocolate is a big trigger food for some people who suffer from silent migraines. Chocolate is loaded with various chemicals, some that soothe and others that aggravate. If chocolate is a trigger for your migraines, it is best to avoid all chocolate and then slowly test different types of chocolate to see if one less stimulating then another.
Aged cheeses are often the most reactive trigger for any kind of migraine headache. The older the cheese the more problematic it may be. Cheese contains tyramine, which is a chemical that has been associated with the development of migraines. The longer a cheese is aged, the more tyrosine is present. Tyrosine may also contribute to raising your blood pressure. The list of cheeses to avoid is long and includes Gouda, Stilton, blue, brick, Brie, Camembert, Gruyere, romano, parmesan, cheddar, provolone. Roquefort, muenster, feta and processed cheese slices, which contain MSG, a food additive known to cause a variety of symptoms.
Although many of the foods mentioned are considered healthy superfoods, not everyone responds well even to the best foods. If you experiences silent migraines or other headaches and health symptoms from eating any food you may be allergic or highly sensitized to that food. Stop eating it and do a trial to see how you react when you reintroduce it.
Additionally, various chemicals and food additives can be a contributing cause. Substances like MSG, artificial sweeteners, food colorings, pickling and curing agents or any other flavor enhancer may be the cause. Read labels carefully and avoid these additives.
WebMD: What are Silent Migraines?
Mayo Clinic: Migraine
Relieve-migraine-headache.com: Fine the Connection — Diet Headache Migraine Simple and Easy Food Choices
University Health Services at University of California: Migraine Triggers
Relieve-Migraine-Headache.com: Silent Migraine
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