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HomeAnswersNeurologymigraineWhat ingredients or products can trigger migraines?

Kindly tell me about the common foods or ingredients that trigger migraine.


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Divya Banu M

Published At March 11, 2019
Reviewed AtJanuary 2, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

What ingredients or products can trigger migraines, and why this is the case? Some common foods or ingredients I have heard of are alcohol, aged cheese, chocolate, nitrates, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and artificial sweeteners. Is there any truth to these? Are there any substances in common household products (like cleaning products) that might trigger migraines?

Answered by Dr. Aida Abaz Quka


Welcome to icliniq.com. Yes, it is true that all these types of food may trigger migraine headaches. It depends on individual properties because not all individuals are sensitive to these substances. The underlying mechanism is thought to be vessel constriction and dilation, which is part of the physiopathology of migraine headaches. Other substances contained in cleaning products or cooking can trigger migraine too, depending on individual sensitivity. Other triggering factors are bright lights, sunlight, cold weather, etc.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Aida Abaz Quka
Dr. Aida Abaz Quka


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