Foods that may trigger migraines

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Karen Wood was relieved when she finally found something that would address her migraines.

She has been a patient at the Novant Health Winston Neurology Headache clinic for about four years.

Wood says the first thing she and her doctor did was take a good look at her diet to see if certain foods were triggering her migraines.

“I found out I have several food allergies which would trigger the headaches, so we eliminated a lot of those things,” Wood said.

“There's not a lot of science behind foods that trigger migraines, but most migraine patients do find that certain foods can be a trigger for them,” Dr. Lollie Hagen, a neurologist at Novant Health Winston Neurology Headache Clinic, said.

Hagen says as a good rule of thumb, people with chronic migraines should avoid aged foods.

“Aged cheeses are a big one, for a lot of people that tends to be one that gives them headaches. Sometimes the yeasty beers will give people headaches,” Hagen said.

The National Headache Foundation provides an in-depth list that breaks down foods that are OK to eat, ones that should be eaten with caution, and foods that should be avoided altogether.

Wood says changing her diet did help, but she decided to take her progress a step further with Botox.

Botox is an FDA approved treatment for adults with chronic migraines if the patient has 15 or more headache days in a month.

Wood says there was a time when she would experience as many as 28 in a month.

“I've been headache free for 22 days this month in 28 days. That's really good,” Wood said.

“It's a new lease on life,” she added.