To Your Good Health: Identifying triggers for migraine | Columnists

DEAR DR. ROACH: Is it true that fructose is a trigger for migraines? — L.J.S.

ANSWER: Migraine headaches are a form of episodic headache, often associated with nausea, as well as sensitivity to light and sound. There are many subtypes of migraine, including migraine without headache, and any given person may identify his or her own trigger for migraine. It’s possible fructose is a trigger for some people.

Stress and sleep changes are among the most common. Women sometimes get migraines around the time of menstruation. These are called catamenial migraines (thank you, Dr. Abby Spencer, who taught me that word years ago).

Among foods, caffeine and wine are very commonly identified triggers for migraine. Some people identify chocolate as a trigger, but it may not be. It’s possible to get food cravings, such as for chocolate, at the beginning of the migraine syndrome, so although it seems as though chocolate is the trigger, in fact the migraine caused the chocolate craving. Fructose, a sugar found in honey and fruit, is not a commonly identified trigger. It may be that, similar to chocolate, some people have a craving for fruit even before an aura, or the headache, begins.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I take 25 mg of Benadryl every night to go to sleep. Without it, I get a terrible night’s sleep. I recently read there is a link between Benadryl and dementia. Do you know if there is a correlation? — L.C.

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