Top tips on having a migraine free Christmas

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This time of year has to be one of the worst for migraine triggers – all that planning and shopping – the smells, the crowds, the noise, different foods, the lights, visiting friends and family, heightened emotions ……. all possible migraine triggers. And remember triggers are accumulative…

My top tips on having a migraine free Christmas…

1) Try to stay calm – remember mediation and beuyko breathin

g – it will all get done and if not its not the end of the world – and remember delegate! Remember Christmas is about the time you have with your family and friends not that you forgot the sprouts!

2) Avoid the crowds – shop on line – make a list and hit the PC – this includes the food too. Supermarkets are bad on a normal day, but during a Christmas frenzy they can be a migrainers hell. If you do have to go – go either first thing in the morning or very late at night, many are open 24hrs now – or better still send someone else

3) Try to stay to the same sleep pattern – Late nights and even morning lie-ins can cause an attack.

4) Eat and drink regularly: mealtimes and the types of foods can change over the Christmas period. So watch what your eating if you have food triggers. To keep blood sugar levels stable – avoid too many sugary snacks and remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

5) Be prepared for those flashing or flickering Christmas lights – try wearing tinted (sunglasses) when they are around (always carry them with you).

6) Get some fresh air and exercise and don’t spend long periods in front of the TV or a computer screen.

7) Get someone else to do the Christmas dinner or go out to a quite restaurant – the stress of pulling off a big roast can cause an attack as can the let down after.

8 ) Plan for a night out – rest the day before and have nothing planned for the day after – remember to take your triptans with you and have a ‘get me home quick plan’

9) Please do not hit the pills – take the amount you are allowed – you do not need a rebound headache come new year

Do you have any tips you can share?

4 thoughts on “Top tips on having a migraine free Christmas

  1. Forty years ago, when I was in my twenties, I used to suffer regular migraine attacks. One day while browsing in the library, I came across a book on nutrition and diet by the former nutritionist and then TV scientist, Magnus Pyke.
    As I always did, I looked in the index under migraine and found an entry. Turning to the relevant page, I found that Dr Pyke had commented that a frequent cause of migraine was a chemical, now unfortunately forgotten by me, but which occurred in rollmop herrings, cheddar cheese and Marmite. I had never eaten a rollmop herring in my life, but at that time had cheddar cheese and cream crackers with Marmite every day in my lunchbox and had done for some years. I stopped eating those two items and stopped having migraines. Just like that!
    I regret now not having written to Dr Pyke to thank him for changing my life! I hope that this comment might help somebody too!

  2. I have now had 4 aura attacks since New Year and feel totally washed out. I am suspecting several triggers, cheese, coffee, not having a regular bedtime and something I can’t control – hormones or lack of them (peri menopausal) and then I get stressed because I don’t have the energy to do all the stuff that needs doing. I need to chill out and sort out some structure and proper routine to help stop these attacks.
    I have just looked up Magnus Pyke and the chemical he was talking about was Phenylethylamine.
    After reading through various pages something struck me. Occasionally I drink Guinness and Red wine. At the weekend I drank half a bottle of Red Wine when we went out for a meal and Wednesday I had two pints of Guinness at our local comedy club I am now wondering if that caused a build up in trigger causing chemicals? Also I have had four recent attacks and possibly drank a pint of Guinness around the same time! Worth thinking about. Now getting the vegan daughter to cook a fresh vegan stir fry. Put some goodness into my body.

    But I found the following useful;


    Tyramine, a compound known as an amine, is produced from the natural breakdown of the amino acid, tyrosine. Tyramine can cause blood vessels to dilate, and this may be what starts the migraine chain-reaction in some people. Foods high in tyramine include brie, cheddar, blue cheeses, feta, mozzarella and parmesan; aged, canned, cured or processed meats; onions, olives, pickles, avocadoes, raisins, and nuts; soy sauce, canned soups, soup, tofu, miso, tempeh, and many alcoholic drinks such as red wine and beer – quite a list!


    Phenylethylamine is an organic compound produced naturally in your body as a by-product of the amino acid phenylalanine. It is believed that some people who suffer with migraines have difficulty breaking down phenylethylamine. Foods high in phenylalanine include pork, beef, lamb, fish, beans and chocolate.


    Histamine is an organic nitrogen compound involved in our immune response. It is also involved in the production of nitric oxide in the body, which causes blood vessels to widen, increasing blood flow. Foods high in histamine include champagne, tofu, beer, red wine, sausages, blue cheese and parmesan cheese.


    Phenols are a large group of chemical compounds found in plants, that are responsible for controlling the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors, therefore protecting the plant from infections and UV radiation damage. It is thought that migraine sufferers have difficulty breaking down these compounds. Foods that contain phenols include, berries, citrus fruits, apples, peaches, apricots, pears, plums, grapes, cherries, onions, artichokes, potatoes, red cabbage, gluten grains, rice and soybeans.
    I got this from Condition – Migraine misery? Foods and herbs may have the answers.
    By Debbie Paddington Dip ION

    Well what an organic way to have possibly found a trigger. Looking up information that somebody else has posted and worked backwards from there.
    Blinking Migraines!!!!!!!!!

  3. Sorry about this but I have just found the following post on a forum. I am off to take my anti-histamines.
    I am a new member of this forum and my English might not be very good, because I am from Germany, but I have had very bad migraines for over 20 years and now I have found the basic cause for my migraines and I want to let you know about that, because it might help other migraine sufferers, too – surely not everybody, but some of you, I hope.
    I tried nearly everything to improve the migraines which I have experienced sometimes 3 or 4 days a week. Only Sumatriptan helped. Last year I read an article from Austria about a relation between histamine and migraine. I always thought that there might be a connection between food and migraine but I was never able to detect the foods which caused the migraines until I read that article.
    In the last five months, I avoided every food which contains a lot of histamine, and I haven’t had a single migraine since then!!! (Except two occasions, when I ate food containing histamine to proof my theory). Three months ago, I had a blood test done, which showed that I haven’t got enough enzyme (diamine oxidase) to catabolise histamine in the body, which means I have an Histamine intolerance. I have read in another thread in this forum, that some some of you have experienced that they don’t get migraines when they take an anti-histamine against allergies. It also helps me, but the best way is to avoid food/beverages with high histamine levels. (I also avoid MSG, because it needs the same enzyme to be catabolised). My doctor told me to take an anti-histamine pill before eating when I cannot avoid food containing histamine (in restaurants, for example).
    Food with high histamine levels (or foods that cause a release of histamine in the body) are for example: tomatoes, ripe cheese, salami/pepperoni, gammon, bacon, soy sauce, spinach, pork, some fish (especially tuna, trout or conserved fish), liver, yeast-extract, vinegar, wine, beer, strawberries, oranges, lemons, bananas, walnuts, maybe chocolate and many more. Many drugs (medicaments) are a problem too, because they bring down the enzyme-level in the blood. Conveniece food is also a problem, because it nearly always contains MSG or yeast extract. Maybe you will find more information on the internet. In my case, the reaction to food comes within 0-38 hours, which made it more difficult to find out, because the reaction takes sometimes long.
    When I told my doctor, that I do not get migraines anymore when I avoid high-histamine-food, she said to me: “Yes, it is well known that histamine in food can cause migraines.” But none of my doctors who I have visited in the last 20 years has ever told me. And that is the reason for my posting: I want to let other people know that histamine is a possible reason for migraine. Maybe this information will help some of you, it is definitely worth a try.

    Best wishes

  4. I’ve had migraine headaches for 8 years since my car accident. My neurologist told me I needed drugs and I could not work. After just three weeks treatment by Dr. Groman, I am now headache free and I can be a person again! Check out Abundant Health Chiropractic Center in Boca Raton, FL!

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