Migraines: Can I eat cheese?

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Millions of individuals all over the world experience migraine headaches. When it comes to migraines, they are characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head that can be accompanied by sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, vomiting or visual problems. Some cases only cause minor discomfort but some episodes can be severe that it can disrupt with the daily activities of the individual.

Migraines can last for hours or even days and there are various triggers that tend to vary from one individual to another. The usual triggers include the diet, sleeping patterns and even psychological issues such as stress and depression. In the dietary aspect, cheese is one factor that affects many individuals who have migraines. An individual can prevent a migraine attack once he/she know which cheese is safe and those that should be avoided.

When it comes to migraines, they are characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head that can be accompanied by sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, vomiting or visual problems.

What are the types of cheese that are safe?

If an individual suffers from migraines, the fresh types of cheeses that do not undergo the process of aging are not likely to trigger a migraine attack. Fresh cheeses include ricotta, farmers, American, cottage and mozzarella. In some cases, there are varieties of mozzarella that are aged, thus it is best to carefully check the labels. Take note that some individuals are usually able to tolerate certain types of processed and soy-based cheeses.

Aged cheese

The cheeses that go through the aging process are considered as triggers for migraine in many individuals. The aged cheeses usually include blue, cheddar, Parmesan, brie, Gruyere, Gouda, Swiss and sometimes mozzarella. Always bear in mind that cheese ages at varying amounts of time, depending on the variety. It is best to pay close attention to the types of cheeses eaten and whether or not a migraine occurs. This can help determine if aged cheese is one of the migraine triggers for the individual so that it can be avoided.

What is tyramine?

The reason why aged cheese generally triggers migraines and fresh cheese does not is that aged cheese contains tyramine which is a trigger for migraines. Tyramine is formed in foods as they age or are fermented. Take note that the fresh types of cheeses does not include as much tyramine as aged cheeses, but the individual should be careful until he/she is familiar with his/her personal migraine triggers.

Consideration to bear in mind

The individual can consume aged cheese excluding cheddar if he/she is currently using MAOI medications. It is recommended to eat not more than 4 ounces of aged cheese in a meal. If there is processed meat, the combination of meat and cheese should not be more than 4 ounces. Always use caution and consult a doctor first before experimenting with cheese.

By determining the type of cheeses that can trigger a migraine attack, it can help the individual avoid the right ones. This can help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks the individual will experience in the future.

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