Bring on the Chocolate and Red Wine: Supplement Your Migraines Away!


For as long as I can remember, I suffered from migraines frequently. Most of them were menstrual migraines related to fluctuations in hormone levels. Never were these killer headaches controlled by prescription medication. Instead, I relied on Excedrin Migraine for life-affirming pain free days. When Excedrin Migraine was removed from the market for a longer than expected hiatus, I found that I was allergic to the CVS formula of the same medication, so I suffered. Then I discovered that the Kroger formulation actually worked better on me than the original. I nicknamed it “Ralphscedrin” because here in L.A., our Kroger outlet is named Ralphs.

When I was in college, I was given a list of foods to avoid. All dark red foods and chocolate were taboo for migraine sufferers. At the time, I thought it was absolute hogwash, but I met people who swore they developed gnarly migraines after consuming red seedless grapes, and who is to argue with someone who believes they know the cause of their ills. While some foods may be triggers for migraines, the tendency to get migraine headaches is usually inherited. My mother also suffered from them. Chemical and natural additives to foods such as MSG and nitrates can also prompt the start of a headache. If you believe you have sensitivities to certain foods on the off-limits list which cause migraines to develop, eliminate those foods from your diet, and then add them back one at a time to see if they are really contributing to your pain.

In the last several years, my migraines started to develop as pain shooting up through the back of my neck, not pain from a tension headache but the kind of pain that makes you scream about wishing to die rather than suffer for one more minute. Of course, no one ever means that and we have to be careful what we scream about. Yet, in the moment, a bit of drama that’s bigger than the headache itself seems appropriate.

On a recent visit to my doctor, I confided that migraines were ruining my life. Surprisingly, she gave me a list of supplements that might help. They were all too familiar: Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), magnesium and coenzyme Q-10. I started taking all of them religiously about two months ago. Now, coenzyme Q-10 can be pricey, but Ralphs, yes, our same indispensable grocer, carries a Simple Truth version for about $8.00.

Tomorrow, of course, I will probably wake up with a migraine awful enough to eat the Inland Empire because I told you the secret to controlling migraines. However, for the last six weeks, I have been thinking to myself, Another day without a migraine. Yay! Apparently, migraines are related to nutrition, but it’s not about what we are eating as much as it is what we are missing from our diets. Of course, if anyone drinks enough red wine, a headache is sure to follow, so use common sense while consuming.

If you are a migraine sufferer, I urge you to check with your doctor and see if this supplement regimen will alleviate your pain like it did mine. Please, do it for all those pain-free days ahead of you.


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