Is it true that onions, cheeses, chocolate can trigger migraines?

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  • Full Question:

    I have been suffering from severe migraines for the last 20 yrs or more. Someone had told me that eating onions, salt, cheeses or chocolate can make migraines come on. I was wandering if that's the truth. Thanks, Rebecca.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Rebecca;


    It's quite true that some foods can trigger migraines for some people. Since you've had migraine for over 20 years, this is something your doctor should have told you about long ago. Has your doctor ever discussed triggers with you at all? That's a very important discussion because some triggers, such as foods, are avoidable. Knowing what our triggers are can sometimes help us avoid some of our migraines, so trigger identification and management is one of the most essential elements of migraine management.

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    In case your doctor hasn't discussed triggers with you at all, we're going to give you information that will help you explore both the issue of any food triggers you may have as well as other triggers:

    We very sincerely hope this helps. If you have more questions on triggers - foods or others - please feel free to post a comment below and ask them.


    Thank you for your question,
    David Watson, MD, and Teri Robert


    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialists and director of the Headache Center at West Virginia University. He and Lead Health Guide Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Watson or more about Teri Robert.


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    Please note: We cannot diagnose, suggest specific treatment, or handle emergencies via the Internet. Please do not ask us to diagnose; see your physician for diagnosis. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can't answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.


    We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.


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    Last updated October 24, 2014.


Published On: October 24, 2014