Is it possible that salt or sodium could trigger migraines?

Ask the Clinician Health Guide October 25, 2009
  • Full Question:



    Is it possible that salt or sodium could trigger migraines? It may be my imagination, but I think that when I eat too much salt, a migraine follows shortly or at least within a day. I have cut back dramatically on sodium, but still get migraines 2-4 times a month. I'd rather be able to use some sodium for flavoring foods, if it is not a trigger. Thank you, Priscilla.



    Answer:


    Dear Priscilla;


    There are over 150 food items that can be related to onset of migraines. If you have noticed the pattern you describe, then I’d avoid sodium if at all possible or know very well the sodium contents of different foods. It sounds like you have made the observation that sodium use is positively related to your headaches, if I read your comment correctly.


    If you haven't checked for other food triggers, doing so would be an excellent step that could help you avoid some Migraines. The best way to check for food triggers is with an elimination diet is the best way to do that. For more information and a workbook on this, see Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


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    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated October 25, 2009.


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