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Expert advice on advanced diagnosis and treatment of painful headaches and migraines from the leading headache clinic in New Jersey.

Food Allergies and Headaches

Gabriel Santos - Thursday, April 10, 2014

Payman Sadeghi, MD

Could A Food Allergy Be Causing Your Headaches?

A headache can come on strongly and suddenly, but before you reach for the pills, think about what you ate or drank most recently. More and more medical studies are suggesting that it is the food we eat that could be causing those pounding, unexplained migraines and headaches. 

Recognizing Your Food Friends And Foes

A headache is one of the most common health complaints in America and the problem appears to be;getting worse. While many of us are happy to exchange our hard earned money for pills and potions, few of us look into the cause of our headaches and what we can do to prevent them from occurring in the first place

There are three types of headaches that could likely be caused by an allergic reaction. They are:


     Cluster headaches

     Sinus headaches

Years of food allergy studies and published data has suggested that food allergies could be the trigger for persistent and frequently occurring headaches. This does not apply to all patients but many people have found that by avoiding certain foods they noticed a marked reduction in the amount of headaches they experienced.

Keeping A Food And Headache Diary

    If you are worried about the amount of medication you are taking or medication is no longer working to bring relief from your headaches, it could be time to get acquainted with a food diary. By keeping a record of everything you eat and drink and the times you experience a migraine or headache, you may start to see a pattern emerging. You can also read our feature on how to keep a daily headache diary and monitor your symptoms effectively.

    When you notice a pattern or you realize a food may be causing you pain, it can be an enlightening and relieving experience, because this information puts you back in control. For example, some headaches can be triggered by chemicals that occur in foods naturally and also food additives. Monosodium glutamate (that strange substance often added to Oriental foods), phenylethylamine (found in chocolate), tyramine (found in cheese) and alcohol (no surprises thereJ) have all been found to cause headaches in some patients. Another culprit is aspartame - the artificial sweetener that is found practically everywhere in our modern society. 

    By simply omitting these foods or substances from your daily diet or finding substitutes that cause you no problems, you can avoid those headaches and migraines you were once experiencing, for good. At The New Jersey Headache Institute, we look into all of the reasons why you may be suffering from painful headaches or migraine. Our experienced and friendly headache experts can work closely with you to help to identify whether there are any foods or chemicals that are bringing about this pain and help you to say goodbye to headaches once and for all.

    Get your headache diagnosis today. Call us at 908.315.5707 or use our contact form to book a consultation.

    Dr. Payman Sadeghi is the co-founder of the New Jersey Headache Institute. He studied medicine at Nordestana University and finished his Internal Medicine internship and Neurology residency at the University of Texas.  Dr. Sadeghi has completed an electromyography super fellowship as well as many epilepsy and neuroimaging fellowships. At his residency in Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch Dr. Sadeghi gained extensive experience diagnosing and treating headache and migraine patients. That residency, along with Dr. Sadeghi's medical curiosity and his varied clinical experience, has made him a specialist in headaches and their treatment.

Dr. Sadeghi was also a clinical assistant professor during his time at the University of Texas. He is a member of the American Headache Society, the National Headache Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Sadeghi is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Persian.


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