Vegetarianism and migraines? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-25-2009, 05:03 PM
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I just got back from vacation in California, and on my first day there I got really sick. I used to get migraines for about two or three years, from age 15-18ish, but then they suddenly stopped and I hadn't had one in 4 years (except on this last vacation.)

Well anyways, I was on vacation, and on the first day I got hit with a horrible headache that was different from any migraine I've ever had. It was absolutely awful and I was throwing up everywhere. I went to an urgent care, and they sent me to the hospital because they were concerned I had a hemorrhage (which I didn't, thank God.)

Anyways, so while I was at the hospital, the doctor asked me a whole bunch of questions, including if I had a change in diet. I told him I had recently (3-4 weeks earlier) given up meat. He told me that that was great, but that I should consider still eating fish if I suffer from migraines. I was in too much pain to ask for more details, but does anyone know why he said this? I've googled on it and can't really find anything supporting this.
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#2 Old 08-25-2009, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelanieS View Post

does anyone know why he said this?

Yes. He said it because most doctors neither know nor understand veg*n nutrition. To them if you're not eating meat, then you need to eat fish because not eating meat is obviously the cause of all your problems.



Migraines, from what I've read is either caused by or exacerbated from low magnesium levels depending on who you read. Pumpkin seeds are a good source. So are flax seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds.



It could also be from food sensitivities, too. I suggest tracking your food intake at a place like nutritiondata.com to see if you're ok nutritionally or if you're reacting to something you've eaten. If nothing turns up from the tracking, then see a doctor but take your nutritiondata.com info with you so you can dispel his/her feelings that you're deficient somehow.



Best of luck and I hope you get it sorted out.
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#3 Old 08-26-2009, 03:04 AM
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Sorry to hear that, migraines suck.



I have migraine-like headaches. I'm not sure if it's full blown migraine because the headache isn't unbearable, but I have some migraine-like symptoms (light sensitivity, nausea, sometimes slightly slurred speech). It sucks and no painkillers seem to work :/. My headaches have been getting worse in the past few years, but I really don't think it has anything to do with my diet. Migraines run in my family and my mom suffers from them too (her migraines are really bad and she takes meds to prevent them).



One thing I noticed when I quit coffee for about 2-3 weeks: Once the initial headaches and grumpiness had passed, I had no bad headaches. Usually I have one bad headache about once a week. I'm not completely sure if it's related because it was such a short time, but I'm trying to reduce my coffee drinking again to see if it's any help.
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#4 Old 08-26-2009, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelanieS View Post

Anyways, so while I was at the hospital, the doctor asked me a whole bunch of questions, including if I had a change in diet. I told him I had recently (3-4 weeks earlier) given up meat. He told me that that was great, but that I should consider still eating fish if I suffer from migraines. I was in too much pain to ask for more details, but does anyone know why he said this? I've googled on it and can't really find anything supporting this.

He might have said this because fish meat has omega-3 fatty acids which are said to reduce the frequency of migraine. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for everyone though, not just for people suffering from migraine. The good news is, you can also get omega-3s from a cruelty-free source: ground flaxseed. There are vegan supplements too.
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#5 Old 08-26-2009, 09:15 AM
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I find it suspicious that this happened on vacation. You were fine for weeks at home, but go on vacation and it happens. This could have several possibilities.



1. stress of getting ready to go on vacation, caused tension migraine

2. lugging heavy purses/luggage put strain on big band of muscles that run around the bottom of your head in the back and join up with the shoulder muscles

(these are both things I have to watch out for)



3. you recently gave up lots of caffeine drinks, which would have started migraines right away, not in a few weeks



4. You were dehydrated and/or had not eaten well because you were so busy getting ready



5. you ate something there that you don't usually eat and it gave you a migraine. There are foods that will do that, if you are sensitive to them. I keep a food diary, everyone should.
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#6 Old 08-26-2009, 10:39 AM
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Thanks for all the replies!

I go on vacation pretty often, about once every month or 2. I read that it could be because of the change in weather... most often when going somewhere to a lower temperature with higher humidity, and I came from Vegas and went to San Diego.

I also think it was strange that I hadn't had one in 4 years and this one was very different from all of the other ones I've ever had. I'm sure it was just coincidental that I had one after going vegetarian but was wondering why he suggested fish still. In any case, I'm sure it wasn't related and I'm going in for a follow up with my regular doctor to sort things out.
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#7 Old 08-26-2009, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinoa View Post

He might have said this because fish meat has omega-3 fatty acids which are said to reduce the frequency of migraine. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for everyone though, not just for people suffering from migraine. The good news is, you can also get omega-3s from a cruelty-free source: ground flaxseed. There are vegan supplements too.



I was thinking the same thing. Fish is the most obvious source of omega-3 in an omni diet, so if the doctor thought you needed more, it would be the first "food" he'd likely think of. But he probably should have given you more detail about why he was recommending fish, to clear up the confusion. And as Quinoa pointed out, there are vegan sources of omega-3 - I use ground flax seed and fortified soy milk as my sources.



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#8 Old 08-26-2009, 01:17 PM
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I put 2 tsp of grnd flax seed in my soy yogurt and it makes it nice and thick and filling
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#9 Old 08-26-2009, 01:22 PM
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I agree that the pressure/climate change probably had something to do with it... I get migraines from that sometimes.



Also, have you started eating more peanuts lately? Peanuts and peanut oils can trigger severe migraines in many people. I can't eat peanut butter or any peanut product because I get pounding migraines, complete with nausea. Blech!



Hope you find out the cause!



~Julie

"I remember the days when we talked for hours/And we were young, we thought we had superpowers/We weren't our problems, our age or our paychecks/And we weren't taking anybody's $h*t."
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