The Best Diet for Cluster Headaches
If you’ve suffered from cluster headaches, you’ve probably experienced what it would be like to give birth…but through your brain. The pain is one of the worst, described as severe headache that is felt between your temple and above the eye and is usually on one side of your head. Reportedly it only affects about two people in every thousand but this may be an under-estimate. If you’re one of the unlucky ones, you not only know that they can last between 15 and 30 minutes, but the treatment can also vary. Whether you’ve tried (and most likely failed) to self-treat by using over-the-counter medications, or have gone to the doctor to receive oxygen or Sumatriptan injections and other preventative drugs, there’s also a more simplistic way to control these horrific pains happening inside of your skull: watching what you eat and drink. Here are a couple do’s and don’ts that will hopefully alleviate your agony.
DO NOT Eat Chocolate or Drink Coffee
I know. Chocolate is one of the guilty pleasures that usually sends the most gratifying sensation to your insides, but it can potentially cause your cluster headaches to be triggered due to caffeine constricting the blood vessels and increasing the sensation of pressure in your head. This is a well established food trigger in migraine but less known for cluster headaches. Roughly 22% of self reported cases linked chocolate to their head pain. Try healthy alternatives to this diabolical cacao goodness, such as dried fruits or treats made from carob.
DO Drink Ginger Tea
Gingerol, which is the active ingredient in ginger, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant. Not only does ginger help relieve stress because of healing properties and aroma, it also helps to relieve nausea, which also causes cluster headaches. You can either get pre-bagged ginger tea, or make your own by grating about a teaspoon of ginger with two cups of water and bringing it to a boil.
DO NOT Drink Alcohol
You may enjoy a glass of wine or two or seven each evening, like to take down a few beers with some friends on an occasion, or prefer to take a shot of whiskey on the weekends. Whichever is your preference, alcohol is a main trigger of cluster headaches. During the time-frame when you are more susceptible to experiencing this suffering, normally during the Spring and Summer, you’re more sensitive to the effects of the alcohol because it causes the blood vessels to dilate and that grants the oncoming of the cluster headaches.
DO Eat Foods High in Magnesium
Suffering from cluster headaches may mean your magnesium intake is low. Foods like green vegetables, peanuts, spinach, bran cereals, and baked potatoes are great to help prevent these headaches from occurring because magnesium soothes and relaxes muscles.
DO NOT Eat Smoked or Processed Meats
Cluster Headaches can be triggered by foods that contain nitrates, which is found in smoked and processed meats. Cutting these completely out of your diet and consuming baked meats instead can lower the frequency of your headaches.
As painful as these cluster headaches are, they can be treated. A combination of good doctors’ care, exercise, and a good diet will help reduce and hopefully eliminate your pain altogether.