Migraine Clinics Iowa City IA

Many migraine sufferers have their own equivalents of pepperoni pizza and paprikash—certain foods that set their migraines in motion. But a good many haven’t realized such a connection even exists between their headaches and food, or at least they haven’t yet identified their triggers.

Ana Recober-Montilla
(319) 356-2957
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Neurology

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Thomas J Grabowski
(319) 356-8753
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Neurology

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Patrick William Hitchon, MD
(319) 356-2775
200 Hawkins Dr Neurosurgery
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: American Univ Of Beirut, Fac Of Med, Beirut, Lebanon
Graduation Year: 1974

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Morvarid Karimi, MD
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Westfalische Wilhelms-Univ, Med Fak, Munster, Ger (407-24 Pr 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1999

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Ahed Hanna
(319) 356-1616
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Neurology

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Adam W Jackson
(319) 356-1616
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Neurosurgery

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Nicole Marie Kehn, MD
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Neurology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ne Coll Of Med, Omaha Ne 68198
Graduation Year: 2001

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Chandan Reddy, MD
(319) 356-2772
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Neurological Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2005

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Peter N Bartel
(319) 356-2256
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Neurology

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Patrick W Hitchon
(319) 356-2775
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Neurosurgery

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Healing Foods—The Great Headache Caper

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By Judy Gruen

Rhonda Cadle loves pepperoni pizza, but she has given it up for good.

Pamela Yeager used to savor the veal paprikash served at a local restaurant but now avoids it at all costs.

These women gave up foods they loved not because of calories, cholesterol, or fat—but because they discovered, after some detective work, that these foods almost always triggered headaches for them.

Many migraine sufferers have their own equivalents of pepperoni pizza and paprikash—certain foods that set their migraines in motion. But a good many haven’t realized such a connection even exists between their headaches and food, or at least they haven’t yet identified their triggers. The connection is easy to miss, in part, because other factors such as stress, hormone fluctuations, fatigue, weather changes, and hunger all can also bring on a headache. These factors accumulate until, like the proverbial straw on the camel’s back, the addition of just one more aggravator—be it a food or something else—can push you over the edge toward a headache.
With so many contributing factors, ferreting out the food trigger often poses a Sherlock Holmsean challenge. “It would be logical to think that a trigger food would cause a headache every time you consumed it, but that’s not the case,” says David Buchholz, MD, associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins and author of Heal Your Headache (Workman Publishing, 2002). “There are also many potent non-dietary triggers that pile on the layers that lead to migraine. If the total trigger level is low, you’ve got a wider margin of error with your diet.”

The fact that food triggers vary among individuals further complicates matters. The same foods don’t prompt headaches among all migraine sufferers, making hard-and-fast rules impossible. Consequently, doctors find headaches notoriously difficult to treat and frequently overlook culinary culprits. “Though migraines are generally not prompted by a single food or other environmental element, doctors often underestimate foods as a risk factor,” says Roger Cady, MD, vice president of the National Headache Foundation and director of the Headache Care Center in Springfield, Missouri.

Find the connection
Teasing out which foods trigger your headaches pays off though: Find the trigger; mitigate the migraines. To discover your triggers, Cady and Buchholz recommend keeping a headache diary that records your food intake, activities, and environment (weather, office surroundings, lighting, odors, and so forth). When a headache strikes, looking at the entries for the past 24 hours will help you spot recurring aggravators.

Rhonda Cadle did just that. “The migraines were running my life,” says Cadle, 42, a registered nurse who would get hit with migraines about twice a week, each one lasting up to three days. In her diary, Cadle began tracking what she ate, her stress level, odors she was exposed to, the weather, and her hormonal cycle.

Author: Judy Gruen

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