We are doing pretty good, though we aren't following it exactly as I have a problem with the fact that I am suppose to feed him processed cheeses, that have additives and chemicals in it. That just doesn't work for me. Instead he is getting a very limited amount of cheese a few days a week and that seems to be working okay. He has only had two headaches since we started the new diet, so I am thinking we will keep with it, eliminate everything then after two weeks start adding things back in, one a time, a bit like feeding a baby new foods. One at a time, if that item causes a headache then they are out and if not then they can stay.
I have had a few people ask for more information on the diet, so here is a better breakdown. You can also find information on http://www.headaches.org/.
The first phase of the diet was to do just a few things to see if they would help before moving on to the whole tyramine free part.
1. Don't skip meals, this can cause hypoglycemia and trigger a headache
2. Avoid caffeine. All of it.
3. Avoid alcohol.
4. Avoid foods that contain nitrates, nitrites, and mono sodium glutamate (MSG), this is when label reading comes in very handy. Foods that contain this are processed meats like lunch meat, hot dogs, sausages, pepperoni, canned hams, etc. They will not be present in fresh meat. MSG is also found in many other packaged foods like chips, cookies, and canned soups. It is also found in large amounts in Chinese food.
5. Avoid chocolate, all of it.
6. Artificial sweeteners.
Give it a try for two to three weeks and see how it goes, track your headaches on the calendar and see if they improve. If not you can try the full diet.
Allowed- decaffeinated coffee, fruit juice, club soda, non-cola soda, limit caffeine to 2 cups a day.
Avoid- chocolate, cocoa, and alcohol
Meat, Fish and Poultry:
Allowed- fresh or frozen turkey, chicken, fish, beef, lamb, pork and veal. Limit to 3 eggs per week. Tuna or tuna salad
Avoid- aged, cured, or processed meats, including ham, pickled herring, dried fish, chick livers, bologna, sausage, any food prepared with meat tenderizer, soy sauce, brewers yeast
Allowed- Milk, cheese-American, cottage, farmer, ricotta, cream. Limit yogurt to 1/2 cup per day.
Avoid- cultured dairy- buttermilk, sour cream, chocolate milk. Cheese- cheddar, brie, bleu, Camembert,
Gouda, Stilton, Swiss, mozzarella, Roquefort, Parmesan, provolone, Romano.
Breads and Cereals:
Allowed- commercial bread, English muffins, Melba toast, bagels, hot and dry cereals.
Avoid- hot, fresh homemade yeast bread, bread or crackers containing cheese, yeast coffee cake, doughnuts, sourdough bread. Any product containing chocolate or nuts.
Potato and Pasta:
Avoid- containing cheeses, nuts or chocolate
Allowed- any except those on the avoid list
Avoid- Beans ex: pole, broad, lima, fava, naby, pinto etc... snow peas, pea pods, sauerkraut, onions (except as flavoring) olives, pickles
Allowed- all expect those on the avoid list, limit citrus to 1/2 cup per day, 1/2 banana per day.
Avoid- avocados, figs, raisins, papaya, passion fruit, and red plums
Allowed- cream soups made from foods allowed in diet, homemade broths
Avoid- canned soup, soup or bouillon cubes, soup base
Allowed- fruit allowed in diet, any cake, pudding, cookies, ice cream without chocolate or nuts, no yeast
Avoid- chocolate ice cream, pudding, cakes, cookies, pies, mincemeat pie
Allowed- sugar, jelly, jam, honey, hard candy
Avoid- chocolate candy, syrup or carob
Allowed- salt in moderation, lemon juice, butter, margarine, cooking oil, whipping cream, white vinegar, commercial salad dressing
Avoid- Pizza, cheese sauce, MSG, yeast, yeast extract, meat tenderizer, seasoned salt. Mixed dishes- macaroni and cheese, beef stroganoff, cheese blintzes, lasagna, frozen TV dinners)
As you can see there are lots of things on the allowed list, and with a bit of thinking and planning it is simple enough to avoid the other foods. We have cut out everything on the avoid list with the exception of a little bit of cheese from time to time. We have two more weeks then we will start adding in foods a little at a time.
Good luck to those who suffer from migraines. I know your pain. I hope this may help you.