June of 2016 brought about a flurry of media activity surrounding the idea that migraineurs had low levels of some vitamins compared to non-sufferers. The good news story was based on some preliminary findings presented at a conference. When researchers present findings of studies at conferences they are usually results that have yet to be published in the scientific literature. Therefore they have not passed the rigors of peer review; the quality control mechanism for research and we need to consider the results cautiously. Keep on reading!
When I first met Stuart, he was prone to nocturnal leg cramps. We’ve all had them, that jolt in the night from the intense pain of the calf muscle cramping up for no apparent reason. Migraineurs can have these across many nights, so much so that it becomes just a part of their life.
I was having a bit of a look at my writings over the past few months to figure out where I should be taking us on this journey. The thing that stood out to me was the number of times I used negative verbs like stop, avoid, remove and limit, in contrast to helpful verbs like consume, eat or binge. It’s been a big blog of “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”. Well, other than the whole series on chocolate.
I’ve decided to make a change towards positivity. Not what we shouldn’t be doing, but what we can be doing to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. They say that to change a mindset you need to do something for at least 5 weeks. So here we go, a change to positivity and things we need to do more of. Keep on reading!
I’m a bit late getting posts out this weekend. It’s been one of those weeks. Actually a couple of weeks. We’ve been suffering through a series of migraines. It’s exhausting for Stuart to have them every other day. As for me, it’s a struggle to figure out what is causing them so we can stop the migraines. It took a while, but we finally determined the offending food item and have stopped consuming it. Ta da! The migraine beast is back on its leash.
The migraines were caused by food that had been grown in contaminated soil. Food security is a complicated component of the migraine puzzle. I’ll discuss the science in future blog posts. For now let’s get back to something more enjoyable, chocolate.
One of the challenges I faced as a step-parent was creating a unique birthday tradition for the boys. It needed to be different from the bio-parent’s celebration, but familiar enough to be fun. I went for cake, chocolate of course. Keep on reading!
Hard to believe, but we are two months into our journey to tame the migraine beast. If you’ve been playing along at home we’ve covered a lot of ground over the past eight weeks. So let’s start with a recap, then we’ll treat ourselves with some chocolate. Yes, you heard me right, chocolate, because my friends, there is no scientific reason or evidence that chocolate is a migraine trigger. Keep on reading!
“The flavour rule is that flavour rules.”
The baker Peter Reinhart has a most eloquent way of describing the greatest challenge for food creators, from home cooks to master craftspersons to commercial manufacturers. No matter how healthy it is, if it doesn’t taste good, we’re not going to eat it. Keep on reading!
According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition, MSG, the abbreviation for monosodium glutamate, is defined as a causative agent of headaches. Unfortunately, the most recent review of the scientific studies on humans found no correlation between MSG and headaches. The authors believe that the relatively few number of studies, only 10, combined some poor experimental design means that further research is needed to determine if MSG causes headaches.
Well that’s good, because just about every migraineur will tell you that MSG is a trigger. Keep on reading!
If you’ve been playing along at home, congratulations on a month of living preservative free. It’s a huge first step on the road to managing the complexity of migraine triggers. The simple lifestyle changes that you’ve committed to have started to stop feeding the migraine beast. Keep on reading!
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” -Julia Child
I love Julia’s take of food and life. Feeding ourselves can be such a sensual act. The whole concept of a diet is denial. But you can feed yourself and put the NO beast on a diet without limiting your choices. It’s all about balance. Keep on reading!
The importance of the nitric oxide pathway in human physiology came about with the discovery in the 1980s that it was the primary mechanism for dilation of blood vessels, vasodilation. Up until then, nitric oxide was a gaseous pollutant, a by product of industrial activity. Please don’t confuse nitric oxide, with nitrous oxide, or more commonly known as “laughing gas”. They are two very different substances; so for the rest of this post I’m going to use the official abbreviation NO when I refer to nitric oxide so you don’t think about laughing gas.