Monday, September 03, 2012

Migraine Pet Peeves: Judging My Diet

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I'd like to talk about a funny thing I've noticed about being a migraine advocate. Other patients sometimes seem to expect me to avoid all the possible migraine triggers that could affect anyone living with migraine in what I choose to eat with seemingly little regard for what MY actual triggers are or whether I've made a calculated risk to expose myself to a trigger.

Everyone's situation is different. Even though I share information to help you to make your own decisions about treatments, trigger avoidance, etc., I'm no one's role model. I'm just me, making mistakes and doing the best I can. I've been living this way for a while now, and I can say without a doubt, for me, the reality is that it doesn't matter so much what I eat or drink (with a few exceptions). I have about five days of migraine a week regardless.

When my migraines were episodic, my food and drink triggers made a more noticeable difference. Since I've been chronic for the past nine years, avoiding food and drink triggers hasn't seemed to make a difference with a few notable exceptions, such as red wine, which I always skip.

I've done completely organic and natural. I've done gluten free. I've done the strictest migraine elimination diet I could find. I've kept years worth of food diaries. And through it all I experienced 20+ days of migraine per month.

I don't mean for this post to come off as "do as I say, not as I do". Rather, I want to remind all of us how different we are. If I choose to eat something with preservatives or chemicals in it, that's my decision, just like it's your decision to eat that or not as you see fit based on your unique situation.

We're all individuals and can tolerate things to very different levels. If I or any other migraineur mention I happen to like something, don't take that as reassurance that it's okay for your body to ingest it. Do your own homework, read the ingredients for yourself and make your own decision.

You know how you hate it when someone says, "Have you tried, x,y, or z" to cure your migraines?" I hate that, too, and I hate it when people assume I'm not being responsible or that I'm a fraud as an advocate because I make a particular choice about how to manage my disease.

What are your biggest migraine pet peeves?

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.