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Broccoli Headaches?!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Broccoli, carrots, peas and apples will sometimes trigger very bad headaches at the base of my skull. It's not like a normal headache.. the feeling is difficult to explain. The pain doesn't throb, but it surges every 10-or-so seconds for a couple of hours.

I understand why carrots might be a trigger (found some info on the net), but as for the others.. haven't been able to find anything! Has anyone heard of this or experienced the same?
post #2 of 9
Maybe you could do some more research online or talk to your doctor. You might want to consider a food journal and an elimination diet to figure out what foods trigger your symptoms and what you need to cut out so you don't have any problems.

I personally don't have any problems with those foods however I do have several medical conditions that are made worse by me having artificial sweatners (Splenda especially!!!!) and caffine such as in coffee or tea so I usually stick to decaf. I'm also lactose intolerant- however through elimination diets and food journals i've been able to figure out which foods I can tolerate in small doeses, which ones I can't tolerate at all....and if I need to take lactose pills/etc with what i'm eating...

It's all about listening to your body and making smart choices good luck!!!
post #3 of 9
I've known several people who had migraines that were triggered by food allergies. It sounds like it might be something like that. I can only recommend that you avoid the foods that cause you a headache for now and see your doctor. It may be possible that you could take a low dosage of medication and still be able to eat those foods, or it may be that you just have to avoid them.
post #4 of 9
My first thought was that the first three all share in the fact that they're high moderate to high in oxalates. Apples are pretty much a useless fruit, though.

Off hand I know that oxalic acid binds calcium, I'd have to look up as to what else is interacts with.

ETA: Supposedly oxalates deplete glutathione, can cause inflammation, affect zinc and the immune system. I'm not saying this is what is happening, but it is the obvious link those vegetables share. You could try eating some beets, pears, kiwis or other fruit/veggies high in it and seeing if they possibly cause a headache, too. Keep a track of what foods bother you and how they are prepared.

If that happens to be the cause, it would explain why you were fine with these foods before as something could have easily changed within your body.
post #5 of 9
It could be that you have an allergy to the food.
post #6 of 9
My mom developed food allergies - the nightshade family, which is potatos, tomatos, peppers and eggplant. They triggered wicked headaches. I don't know what in the food you're allergic to, but that really sounds, as others have pointed out, like a food allergy! Sounds like it's time to schedule an appointment with an allergist/immunologist.

Laurie
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the help everyone! I really hope it doesn't turn out to be an allergy. I can't afford to go to a doctor right now, so like some of you said, it's just something I'll either have to avoid or keep track of through an elimination diet & journaling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
ETA: Supposedly oxalates deplete glutathione, can cause inflammation, affect zinc and the immune system. I'm not saying this is what is happening, but it is the obvious link those vegetables share. You could try eating some beets, pears, kiwis or other fruit/veggies high in it and seeing if they possibly cause a headache, too. Keep a track of what foods bother you and how they are prepared.

If that happens to be the cause, it would explain why you were fine with these foods before as something could have easily changed within your body.
Now that's intelligence I never would have come across during my search! Many, many thanks for the detailed information! I second that you are a human encyclopedia.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittybernard View Post
Now that's intelligence I never would have come across during my search! Many, many thanks for the detailed information! I second that you are a human encyclopedia.
There's actually a very simple explanation for why I knew the first part. I have turtles, they eat veggies, thus I must be careful and balance their diet - too much oxalates are bad for them.
Some of the other info comes from research that's been done on fibromyagia and chronic illness.

Whatever it is, you could try keeping track, look for a pattern, then eating less of those foods. However if it is oxalate related you can't do an elimination diet with that - you need some and most foods have it. You best bet would be to consult a doctor at some point to make sure that headache isn't a warning sign from something else.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittybernard View Post
Broccoli, carrots, peas and apples will sometimes trigger very bad headaches at the base of my skull. It's not like a normal headache.. the feeling is difficult to explain. The pain doesn't throb, but it surges every 10-or-so seconds for a couple of hours.

I understand why carrots might be a trigger (found some info on the net), but as for the others.. haven't been able to find anything! Has anyone heard of this or experienced the same?
food triggers vary widely from person to person. i get migraines from eating chicken, fish & almonds. broccoli, bell pepper & pineapple will cause depressive-type symptoms in me. the so-called 'headache' diet has loads of things allowed on it that i can't tolerate, & disallows things that don't cause me any issues whatsoever.
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