Chancellor's Check-Up: What You Eat May Cause Headaches - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/19/03

Chancellor's Check-Up: What You Eat May Cause Headaches

Though the most important causes of headaches are not necessarily foods, certain foods and eating habits can contribute and even cause the pain.

Dr. Randolph Schiffer from the Texas Tech Medical Center says chemicals in specific foods can be responsible for headaches. He says that the groups of foods in general that will cause headaches are the ones that have an amine chemical in them like Tyramine.

These substances may cause blood vessels to constrict and relax, possibly causing headaches. These compounds can be found in red wine, beer, aged cheeses, and some chocolates. These substances are produced naturally in these foods and gives them taste.

Dr. Schiffer adds that other ways that foods can contribute to headaches are by their absence. Many of us know if we skip lunch, whether we have a migraine or not, often by 4:00, we start to have a headache.

Psychological associations called conditioning can almost certainly exaggerate headaches. The random association between a headache and a certain food could become habit-like, so the same food triggers the memory of the previous headache.

We all have our favorite foods, but it's important to eat in moderation certain foods that can be more problematic.

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