Why do I have a headache after eating meat?

Fact Checked

A small percentage of men and women suffer from migraines and other severe headaches every now and then. If you seem to experience a severe headache every now and then, you are not alone. Even though the usual contributing factors include anxiety, stress, lack of sleep and overworking, there are also diet-related factors to consider. There are certain foods that can trigger or aggravate headaches in some individuals such as meat. In case the symptoms are severe or persists, it is best to consult a doctor for proper assessment of the condition as well as timely treatment. You can enroll in a course on first aid today so that you are ready with the steps to take to ease the pain.

What is the exact cause?

Tyramine is the substance that is produced in various foods that is capable of triggering migraine and tension headaches. Several meats including poorly stored meats and fermented meats are high in tyramine. If an individual is on the verge of a headache, consuming tyramine-rich meat will only instigate its onset. If the individual is currently experiencing a headache, the meat will only aggravate the length or intensity of the symptoms experienced by the individual.

If the individual is currently experiencing a headache, the meat will only aggravate the length or intensity of the symptoms experienced by the individual.

What are the meats to avoid?

The best way to maintain low intake of tyramine is to avoid fermented sausages including salami, pepperoni, mortadella and summer sausage as well as limiting intake of processed meats to only 4 oz. per meal. Aside from the sausages, processed meats such as deli meats, hot dogs and bacon contain substances known as nitrates that can also contribute to headaches once eaten in excess. Many meat dishes that contain cheese which is another common trigger for headaches must also be avoided. These foods must be reduced in amount or avoided in the diet in order to prevent a headache from occurring.

Safe options

Poultry, fresh fish and eggs are low in tyramine and are less likely to trigger headaches. In case the individual can tolerate dairy products well, low-fat and skim milk as well as cottage cheese are also good sources of protein that are low in tyramine. Soy cheese, soy milk, beans and lentils are also rich in protein and low in tyramine.

Considerations to bear in mind

The other usual triggers of headaches include red wine, chocolate, nuts, dairy products, caffeine, peanut butter as well as pickled and fermented products such as pickles, sauerkraut and canned artichokes. Once you suspect that certain foods trigger the manifestation of the symptoms, it is recommended to eliminate them from the diet.

In case the symptoms are evident, it is best to avoid these foods completely. If several foods seem to contribute to the occurrence of the symptoms, it is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor to ensure that vital nutritional needs are met.

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