High Fructose Corn Syrup Migraine Trigger

by JA

I wanted to share a major migraine trigger my wife identified: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

This just about always gives her a migraine. Have you had others that noticed this as a trigger?

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Pepsi Migraine Trigger
by: JA


She has learned to sense one coming on and with Sumatriptan, which can stop it in about an hours time (lays down with ice pack on head). She still gets some headaches from random and unknown causes, your site will be helpful to us in watching for some of her unidentified triggers.

Maybe the HFCS trigger will help some of your readers identify another possible one (she used to love Pepsi but had to stop drinking it, plus HFCS is in so many products, it is hard to avoid.)

High Fructose Corn Syrup - A Trigger for Migraines
by: Holly

Thank you for contacting me. I have not had anyone else mention high fructose corn syrup as a migraine trigger, but that does not surprise me at all.

This is what a little research has uncovered from one of my fav's DrHyman.com:

The corn industry tells us a very different story to that of nutritionists and some doctors. The industry says that HFCS is just like natural corn sugar. This is not true says Dr. Hyman, in fact he says "That’s like calling tobacco in cigarettes natural herbal medicine."

The simple facts are that any form of sugar causes obesity and disease when consumed in large doses. Sugar is in everything, even the basic breads you buy, and the plain soda crackers. It is hidden. Be aware if you suffer from migraines. That’s all I can say.

I get nasty attacks from any sugar. I always assumed allergy. But when you consider this:

Any processed food, which high fructose corn syrup is, is far from natural and is harder for our bodies to digest. Dr. Hyman's article gives us a very grim picture of the rapidly absorbed glucose and fructose in HFCS that ultimately causes many problems in the body, to say it gently. Plus the fact that because HFCS takes more energy to digest, it actually depletes us in the long run, and he implies it causes leaky gut.

Some HFCS contains mercury and other contaminants not regulated or measured by the FDA.

Eat whole organic foods where you can ... please!

"Doubt and confusion are the currency of deception, and they sow the seeds of complacency. These are used skillfully through massive print and television advertising campaigns by the Corn Refiners Association’s attempt to dispel the "myth" that HFCS is harmful and assert through the opinion of "medical and nutrition experts" that it is no different than cane sugar. It is a "natural" product that is a healthy part of our diet when used in moderation.

Except for one problem. When used in moderation it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay, and more."

This is from the article 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You by Mark Hyman, MD

Has she eliminated her migraines completely? I do sincerely hope so ....

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Short Pain in Head

by Carol

Hello everyone,

My name is Carol and I am fairly new to this migraine stuff.

I am a school-teacher and I’ve had migraines for almost 3 years.

It all started with just a short sharp pain in my head, on the right side. Then it just got worse until I could not see clearly. Nothing I took seemed to reduce the pain. And then the vomiting came. Oh, so much vomiting.

I was diagnosed in an off-hand manner (almost dismissed) by my doctor nearly 2 years ago, but it took me until 4 months ago before I understood and began accepting the diagnosis. Between attacks I am fine, happy with life, but I struggle during, as I imagine most of us do.

I think I might still be in denial of this long term condition. I live in hope they will just go away.

I have come to the conclusion that stress is my major trigger of symptoms and crashes into an attack.

I wanted to share what I do to reduce stress now:

1. Each and every day, I practice relaxation/meditation/self-hypnosis, often with the guidance of recordings. I do this twice a day, late morning and late afternoon or early evening, for roughly 20 to 25 minutes each time.

I find this rejuvenating, and I think it not only reduces stress and gives me peace in the moment, but also is training me to be able to relax and also sleep more consciously and quickly when I need to as inevitable expected and unexpected stresses arise.

2. This may sound a bit clichéd, but during the hours or days when I’m feeling good, I notice myself feeling a sense of joy that I didn’t have when I could take feeling good for granted! When I notice this, I pay attention to it and really appreciate life.

3. I look for and pay attention to the small and larger beauty of nature. This could mean taking in the view around me at home, where I’m lucky to live in quite a beautiful place; it could mean (as now) noticing the crocuses and daffodils just beginning to bloom; it could mean enjoying watching my adolescent dog provoke my adult dog into playing and racing around in circles.

More than these three: I also am never without a novel; I exercise, which definitely reduces stress; and I write, which allows me to lose myself in my characters and their lives: great fun.

I hope this helps other sufferers cope with their migraines and stop triggers of stress. I have learned I need to make this the most important part of my day.

Bringing joy to myself brings peace and more energy to cope with the ruthlessness of the migraine attacks.

With much love,

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Migraine Reducing Tips for Coping with Stress
by: Holly

Oh Carol,

Thank you for sending in the tips that work for you in controlling stress in your life. Reducing or avoiding known migraine triggers is vital to surviving chronic migraine.

Stay well and stay in touch.

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My Top 6 Migraine Triggers

by Angel
(Thomasville NC USA)

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
Not eating
Certain light panels

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