Migraines and Potential Food Triggers in Chemically Sensitive Individuals:
Other hidden food dangers: the truth in MIS-Labeling:
The Danger Lurking in our Food Supply-the FDA is not protecting the consumer:
MSG is a known Migraine Trigger:
Chemically altered and manufactured Glutamate, known as MSG, can be a common trigger for migraines. MSG has been labeled one of many ingredients as an “Excitotoxin” that when consumed in large quantities along with natural Glutamate can create the brain to become over stimulated and can have long-term implications. Natural Glutamate is an amino acid found already as a naturally occurring substance in fresh food that is safe as it passes through the blood/brain barrier. MSG is an altered form and does not cross that barrier and as a result it builds up in the brain and becomes toxic over time. This trigger had been well researched by Dr. Russell L Blaylock who is a Boar-Certified Neurosurgeon is his book titled “Excitotoxins, the Taste that Kills”. MSG as a trigger has also been recognized by Berkeley University of California, NOHA, NHF and the American Nutrition Association as a few examples:
In her review of Dr. Blaylock’s book NOHA Honorary Member Beatrice Trum Hunter concludes:
Excitotoxinsis a valuable contribution to the understanding of the brain and the need to protect it from assaults that result in various health problems and diseases. It is a book that should be read by all health professionals. The work is understandable for concerned laypersons, too. The extensive reference list will serve as a useful tool for those who are laboring to have toxic substances officially banned, not to be permitted as intentional food additives. As noted by Richard C. Henneberry, PhD, “I consider it ironic that the pharmaceutical industry is investing vast resources in the development of glutamate receptor blockers to protect [the central nervous system] neurons against glutamate neurotoxicity in common neurological disorders, while at the same time, the food industry, with the blessing of the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], continues to add great quantities of glutamate to the food supply.”2
MSG is difficult to eliminate from the diet as it has many hidden sources. The manufacturer will say on the label “No MSG Added” but 99% of the time it will be on the list of ingredients in hidden forms like yeast extract, yeast protein, Glutamic acid, etc. Here a couple of links to identify hidden sources of MSG:
To know for sure if MSG is your trigger you would need to do a food elimination diet and this should be done with the approval/supervision of your health care provider. A few examples of what is done in a food elimination diet if you have not done one before:
Artificial Sweeteners can also be a Migraine trigger:
Aspartame, Splenda and NutraSweet may also be a potential trigger for those who are prone to Migraine Triggers as noted by Vanderbilt University, NBCI PubMed.gov as a few examples. In fact all artificial sweeteners have been linked as triggers as they too are classified also as an Excitotoxin:
Gluten can also be a Migraine Trigger:
Gluten may also play a role and trigger Migraines in those sensitive to it. You don’t have to be allergic to Gluten but can have sensitivity to it. Gluten as well as MSG have many hidden sources as well and are also as hard to eliminate from the diet. Like MSG the manufacturer can label the food item as “Gluten Free” but looking at the list of ingredients there will be a hidden source:
What makes some people more sensitive to chemical reactions?
IgG Antibody study is a landmark in studies for some people that are highly sensitive to food additives and chemicals. IgG antibodies are found in all body fluids. They are the smallest but most common antibody (75% to 80%) of all the antibodies in the body. IgG antibodies are very important in fighting bacterial and viral infections. IgG antibodies are the only type of antibody that can cross the placenta in a pregnant woman to help protect her baby (fetus). (From ncbi.nlm.nih.gov):
Histamine can also be a Migraine trigger.
Apart from the body’s own production we consume histamine with food. It is found in almost all foods, especially in those which have been fermented with the help of bacteria or other micro-organisms such as sauerkraut. People that are sensitive to weather changes are especially prone to this allergen. That would explain why as part of a Migraine Treatment plan an anti-histamine would be prescribed which in many cases is Benadryl.
Foods which contain significant amounts of histamine:
– fish (e.g. tuna, mackerel, anchovy, and tinned canned fish)
– cheese (hard cheese, Emmental, camembert, Roquefort, Brie etc.)
– processed meat (salami, raw ham etc.)
– vegetables (sauerkraut, spinach, tomatoes etc.)
– alcohol (red and white wine, champagne, beer)
Biogene amines are also in chocolate, nuts, eggs, milk, pineapple,
papaya, strawberries etc.
An overload of the body with histamine causes health problems,
though not only if it is taken in orally from foods or breathed in, but the lack of
break down mechanisms also causes symptoms. Excessive amounts of
histamine can cause health problems in all people, and in individuals
with histamine intolerance even small quantities can lead to problems.
Tyramine can also be a Migraine Trigger:
Tyramine is a normally occurring amino acid found in all foods. Some foods contain a higher degree of Tyramine and can be a trigger in those who are sensitive to this. Aged and fermented foods and wine fall into this category as well as foods that are leftover for longer than 6-8 hours and are not consumed immediately or frozen before that time frame is up. To see if Tyramine is a trigger you would also need to do an elimination diet for the highest level Tyramine foods then slowly reintroduce them back into your diet. A Low Tyramine diet is endorsed by the NHF:
Caffeine can also be a Migraine Trigger:
Excessive caffeine consumption may or may not be a trigger for some people. On the NHF Low Tyramine Diet they state to use it sparingly but some Migraine Abortive medications contain caffeine to speed up the delivery process of the medication into the system, and also some Headache Specialists advise some patients to use caffeine at a minimum to speed up their pain medication response time. It depends on the individual and how they respond to caffeine as to how they use it. But it can be a food trigger as well.
As with everything else related to Migraine Disease, it is a process of elimination as to what will or will not alleviate Migraine pain when it comes to food additives. Food additives have and always will be a source of controversy and avoidance if one does not wish to pursue this avenue as a natural and safe way to try to alleviate some of their pain. Eliminating all chemicals is hard and again it’s not a guarantee it will cure Migraines, but it may alleviate the severity or duration in those that are chemically sensitive to the ingredients-not all Migrainers are that sensitive to these chemicals so it is based on your doctors recommendations and your own personal experience if you want to investigate further the role food additives might be contributing.
I have a real issue with those who say Soy is healthy and that there is “good” Soy and then there is “bad” soy. It is a marketing ploy used by many manufactures of various food and so-called “Health Supplements”. Research is growing and shows Soy linked to the growth of hormone induced cancers, especially breast cancer (treating oncologists will tell women with aggressive forms of breast cancer to cut out all Soy-hint there that it’s bad for you) it’s linked to bowel problems especially Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS) Autism, Sexual altering of our children during their formative years due to Soy Formula, and links to Migraines and a few other cancers and diseases. If you take Soy and manufacture and process it in any way it becomes MSG which is a worldwide recognized trigger for many conditions. Current “processed” Soy is a GMO and has been since 2011 but is just now coming to light and the consumer is now being informed and hopefully becoming educated about the dangers and risks involved in consuming Soy products, as well as other potentially hazardous food additives.
Soy can also be a Migraine Trigger, but also potentially a health hazard:
There is a risk of consumption of soy in those who have had breast cancer or the genetics for cancer that eating any form of soy can increase the cancer cell production. Leading again to the argument that soy is no good and there is no such thing as “good” soy or “bad” soy. Soy is soy and it contains extra estrogens that multiply breast cancer cells:
Some Oncologists ask patients to cut way back on the soy foods, saying the jury was still out on its safety for women with a history of breast cancer. “They’re thinking was that a little was probably safe, but said some other oncologists on the staff told their patients to avoid soy completely,”:
Supplements may contain high doses of concentrated sources of soy. These include soy powders, soy protein powders and isoflavone supplements. Genistein and daidzein are specific types of soy isoflavones. They are often sold as dietary supplements. We recommend you avoid these supplements due to the potential estrogen-like effects and lack of safety data:
If you have soy sensitivity, your body has trouble breaking down the proteins and sugars in soy. Any undigested soy sugars and proteins move through your digestive system. Eventually they get to the colon where they begin to cause you problems like diarrhea; cramping and trapped gas .Your bowels can be sensitive to the soy proteins themselves, which can cause the IBS symptoms:
There is a distinction between soy allergies and soy intolerance. Soy allergies affect around .4 percent of the population while soy intolerance may affect many more. Persons with intolerances to soy may develop symptoms associated with irritable bowel disease. The best way to determine whether a food is affecting the digestive tract adversely is to do an allergy elimination diet.
Several published studies, confirmed by CFSAN (Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) director Dr. Mike Shelby, have concluded that soy is an active estrogenic endocrine disruptor. Proper functioning of the endocrine system, especially during developmental time-frames must not be jeopardized. Overwhelming numbers of published studies conclude soy repeatedly jeopardizes developmental health. The fact that soy can feminize males and masculine females is evidence of soy targeting the brain:
“It appears there is a direct correlation between GMOs and autism.” –Arden Anderson, MD, PhD, MPH:
“When you process the protein in soy, you liberalize MSG,” Buchholz says, “so you’re basically manufacturing MSG when you make a product like tofu or miso or protein bars.”
Finding your food intolerances for Migraine triggers-including Soy:
Option #1 involves an elimination that lasts from 2 to 6 weeks, followed by a challenge. (and no one said it would be easy-because it’s not)
The elimination involves managing your diet based on the following criteria.
Eliminate all suspect foods:
• Wheat products – pasta, breads, processed foods, faux meat
•dairy products – milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, etc.
•corn products – tortilla, chips, polenta, cornstarch/thickeners
•peanuts – peanut butter, peanut oil
•soy products – tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy protein powder, faux food, soy oil
•glutinous grains – rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut, seitan, hops
•beef – this is usually more a problem with additives than with the protein itself
•pesticides and chemical spoilage retardants (especially sulfites):
Soy is contradicted in children w/allergy to cow’s milk-no soy formula or milk (Soy is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used as an alternative to cow’s milk in children who are allergic to cow’s milk. Although soy protein-based infant formulas are often promoted for children with milk allergy, these children are often allergic to soy as well)… Also Soy use is contradicted in the following Diseases/Illnesses: Cystic Fibrosis, Breast Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Kidney Disease, Urinary Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism, Asthma and Hay Fever as well as Migraines:
What is a GMO?
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
High-Risk Crops (in commercial production; ingredients derived from these must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project Verified products (as of December 2011):
- Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
- Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
- Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
- Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
- Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
GM crop industry and its supporters claim that GMO foods are safe and more nutritious.
On the contrary, the report shows how the majority of scientific and nutrition evidence discredits pro-GMO claims and instead reveals:
•GMO crops “are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops.”
•They “can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts.”
•They “are not adequately regulated to ensure safety.”
•They “do not reduce pesticide use, but increase it.”
•They “create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant ‘super weeds,’ compromised soil quality and increased disease susceptibility in crops.”
•They “harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems and reduce biodiversity.”
The devastating effects of GMO production:
This report not only brings together the scientific evidence for the health and environmental damage caused by GMO soy, but systematically documents that in GMO soy-producing areas of South America, a human tragedy is unfolding on a massive scale, with escalating rates of birth defects and cancer linked to heavy spraying of glyphosate and other chemicals. In the past, farmers had to use moderation in herbicide spraying for fear that it would kill the crop as well as weeds. But because GMO soy is engineered to tolerate glyphosate, the herbicide can be sprayed in massive amounts, often from planes, near homes, schools and villages, resulting in massive increases in cancer and birth defects. In addition weeds have responded by acquiring resistance to the herbicide, forcing farmers to use progressively more glyphosate as well as mixtures of other even more toxic herbicides:
If this doesn’t open anyone’s eyes to the truth of GMO’s I don’t know what will. They are slowly and systematically poisoning us and all just for profit-making us sick to see more doctors, more hospital bills, doctors bills and in the end more pharmaceutical bills. Is this why the public isn’t told these truths:
The difference between farm raised and wild caught fish:
A study published this week in a leading scientific journal found significantly higher levels of cancer-causing and other health-related contaminants in farm raised salmon than in their wild counterparts. The study, published in Science and by far the largest and most comprehensive done to date, concluded that concentrations of several cancer-causing substances in particular are high enough to suggest that consumers should consider severely restricting their consumption of farmed salmon:
Farmed fish may contain high levels of contaminants like PCBs, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE). According to research published by the Environmental Working Group, PCBs found in farmed salmon (at levels 16 times higher than in wild salmon) in U.S. grocery stores are in levels high enough to pose an increased risk for cancer.
Antibiotics and other drugs used in fish farming sift to the sea floor and seep into open waters. As with antibiotic use in feedlots, there’s serious concern that overuse can create drug-resistant strains of disease that can wipe out wild populations. A dye called canthaxanthin is also used to color farm salmon, which would otherwise be grey. (Salmon in the wild absorb carotenoids from eating pink krill; this contributes to their naturally pink color.) This dye has been shown to adversely affect sight when consumed in large quantities:
If you try to purchase “Free Range” vs. “Cage Raised” meat and poultry, you may not be getting what you’re paying for:
USDA utilizes informal working definitions for animal care labeling claims such as “free range” and “grass fed.” These terms currently have no regulatory definition. USDA-FSIS pre-approves product labels based on producer testimonials only. The agency does not check on-farm compliance with meat and poultry claims. USDA-AMS neither preapproved nor verifies label claims for shell eggs. Thus, compliance with labeling claims is not verified, with the exception of claims associated with third-party certification programs. It is likely consumers grossly over-estimate the animal welfare significance of
This article is very disturbing, and like me you may want to stay away from chicken and eggs for a while. So very sad, cruel and again-misleading the public.
When buying Organic vs. its counterpart, are you really getting your money’s worth for nutrition and pesticide control?
When I first started working on my article it sort of snowballed, as you can tell. From food additives to how our food is raised and marketed. The Truth in Labeling law has not been enforced which we know that all too well. Especially those of us who are very sensitive to food additives-the manufacturer can put “hidden” sources and get away with it. And there are too many “hidden sources” to memorize. One has to take a couple of index cards to the grocery store to double-check to make sure they are buying safe foods. As for farmers the FDA has readily and freely admitted they cannot investigate and inspect every farm and slaughterhouse to see if they are in compliance, nor can they visit the farms to make sure their produce is indeed “organic”. There is a lot of money to be made in the food industry and it’s at the consumers expense both monetary and health wise. There are a lot of lobbyists that pay major money to have these chemicals, fillers, additives and harmful farming practices allowed into our food chain. And we sit back and wonder why cancer, autism, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Migraine Disease, MS and other autoimmune disorders are on the rise. And why too we are getting more antibiotic resistant and superbugs are on the rise-they inject our food with it from day 1 and of course as a nation we are anxious to rush to our doctors and get antibiotics when we have a sneeze or sniffle that annoys us. And we need to wonder too why our children are all of a sudden in this century are all of a sudden disoriented to their sexual orientation at such a young age, and why girls are developing at an alarming rate, and the children are getting taller than in the past few generations before this modified and altered food system took root and skyrocketed out of control. The FDA is not out for our interest-the consumer, they are out for the Lobbyists and Special Interest Groups, and Washington will not step in as Congress and the House are practically run by Special Interest Groups. Or should we say “bought and paid for”. We as the consumers have to dig and research and become ardent label readers and try to make the best choice we can when it comes to grocery shopping. And if you buy organic your best bet to get the closest thing to the “real deal” is buy from local farmer’s market-farmers you can build a relationship with, because what you buy at your grocery store is not always “organic”. And that my friends is the sad part of why we are all becoming a very sick, obese and diabetic nation with illness abounding in an alarming rate and why our children are becoming so very sick and obese as well. And there is no one willing to step in and put a stop to the madness.
Of course this is just my opinion, but after checking out the provided links that I used as research guides I’d like to hear any valid database counter arguments. I could have put in more links but that would have been overkill I think. It’s a starting point for you to check out on your own and to start you on your own research if you choose to do so. After all if you don’t have your health you don’t have much to look forward to so you better fight for it while you can and fight for your children, and grandchildren, etc……………………. A well educated consumer is a well educated patient. When you suffer from Chronic Illness with Comorbid Conditions it would only make sense to investigate all avenues and eliminate all possible triggers. Why add fuel to the fire that is already ablaze in your body?
Until next time be a safe, happy and healthy consumer and patient. Blessings to you all. Julie