Migraines often occur the day after an event such as a party, church social, or sporting celebration. These migraines may happen because it can be difficult to avoid a trigger by simply saying "No."
What many people don't realize is that triggers (see party triggers below) can work in combination and compound the effect, especially when other factors are also in play. For example, you may be able to get away with drinking a single small glass of wine at home once in awhile, but couple it with other foods, excitement, and overactive hormonal rhythms and you could be playing with fire and paying the high price of a migraine.
Food and drink generally are part of any celebration. Tempting foods are served without labels containing there ingredients. Your favorite aunt won't hear of you not at least trying a big helping of her special dish that may be loaded with the secret spice mixture consisting of MSG. She has a big smile as you down the food and you have a pounding migraine the next day as a consequence.
Red wine is a well know major trigger, but are you prepared to refuse it when your host offers you a glass of wine to join in on the celebration? Being ready to refuse with a prepared answer may save you hours and even days fighting a horrible migraine. You shouldn't expect others to know what might bother you; rather you should be ready with a good explanation as to why you must decline the offer.
Since there is simply no way of knowing what is in the things served at parties or potluck dinners, the best advice may be - when in doubt don't eat or drink it and politely decline. There is no shame in saying that you suffer from migraines that can be triggered by some foods and drinks and that you can't afford to take a chance at getting one from eating that cheese cake or whatever else is offered to you.
And watch out for those dishes that may have been bought at a store and "replated" as they may be loaded with MSG, nitrates, L-tyrosine, and other "do not touch" ingredients lying in wait to set off a migraine in you. If your first bite says "yummy, this tastes different," perhaps a bit salty, put it down because more than likely that good taste is MSG.
Party Triggers. The following is our list of key foods and drinks to avoid at parties:
- Almonds and nuts Lots of these around at parties, but don't eat them.
- Wines, especially red wine - instead you may want to try a drink made of cranberry juice, club soda and a clear alcohol.
- Cheeses - especially the cheese balls.
- Sausages, little wieners, and other such things floating around in a crock pot full of the special BBQ sauce that may be loaded with MSG.
- Snack mixes - these are party and office favorites that may contain MSG to heighten the flavor of the ingredients found in these tasty treats.
- Chocolate - I hate to mention this hard to resist confection, but for some people it can be a real problem.
- Beer - this is a fermented beverage and can cause problems for some - don't kid yourself into thinking it is not a trigger
- see more triggers
If you have any questions or are in doubt about something, ask for our advice - it is factual and free.