fireandearth: (kiwi)
[personal profile] fireandearth
I've been avoiding gluten (to varying levels of success) for about 6 months, and I think that maybe gluten isn't really the answer. My migraines have decreased, but not consistently. Every month isn't better, but some of them have been significantly better. I'm still trying to figure out what the culprits are. I've gotten away with eating some gluten enough times that I'm starting to doubt it's responsible.

Lynk suggested a gluten-testing experiment where he makes me a couple of loaves of very simple bread with no preservatives - just flour and water and yeast and salt - and I try eating a lot of it for a week and see what happens. That's the purest test I can come up with.

Right now citric acid is highest on the list of suspects. It's in almost all of the candy that sets me off, as well as many other foods, like Papa John's pizza. And I already know that citrus can be a problem in sufficient quantity. I'd like to buy some citric acid and directly test that. I can find small containers of it designed for canning, but I'm not sure quite how to test it yet. It's not really meant to be consumed by itself.

Lynk pointed out this weekend that the months where my migraines were best were when I was trying to figure out what I could eat, and therefore not eating as many different things and not eating a lot of processed or gluten-replacement foods.

I want to stop guessing and know what the answer is already. Part of the problem is that hormones are also a contributing factor, so I often wonder whether something I ate was a trigger that isn't strong enough to show itself depending on where I am in my cycle (which is difficult to monitor now that I have an IUD).

Gluten, soy, preservatives, MSG, dairy (aged cheeses are high in tyramine) are all worth testing.

Tyramine is high in several (but not all) of the foods that set me off. I need to test more nuts directly. I know almonds, walnuts, and pecans are triggers but I haven't tested all of the rest. Peanuts and pinenuts are safe. Caffeine is a known trigger.

Date: 2015-10-21 03:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would suggest working with an allergist on this. Gluten, for example, is rarely the culprit in migraines, although it can be an issue in celiac or other gut disorders. Here's an article about the issues in self-testing for allergies:

Date: 2015-11-06 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How are you tracking all of this?

There are smart phone applications (also desktop but the phone makes it more handy) that you can input what you've eaten/drank and add any reactions that you've had later in the day. Over time (we're talking 6-12 months) you'll have data that can be shown of "what I ate" vs "reactions". If you're only tracking migraines then that will purify the data. I think some of these apps can also track for hormonal changes and your cycle.

Speaking of which, do you track your cycle beyond start/stop of your period? Like doing the mucus/vagina temp check? Yay womanhood. That may provide you with some extra data.

You could also track weather (especially barometric pressure, and brightness of sky/sunlight). They may not be direct triggers, but combinations of small changes might be contributing (e.g. cycle + weather + food + stress).

For testing additives (like citric acid), maybe find a recipe that calls for it in some small amount and see if you can strip out the other ingredients and just put that small amount in a glass of water or something. Probably tastes like ass, but hey. For Science!

Date: 2015-11-11 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are so many apps, and I don't recall the name of the one that I used a long time ago, but it was similar to this app called Symple.

Scroll the images and you'll see how it works. It's a "symptom tracker" that makes sense of what you ate/drank, what activity you had, and what you felt like. Over time (at least 6 months I'd think), you should see some patterns emerge.


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