Friday, March 18, 2011

Headaches and dairy

Even though I'm no longer vegan, I've never felt better physically than when I was vegan. FACT.

Which is unfortunate, because I think we all deserve to feel our best every single day. No one should have to suffer from daily headaches. I do. 

Every day around 5 pm, sometimes earlier sometimes later, I get a headache. It's like clockwork. It's so consistent, in fact, that if I've been preoccupied with something and lost track of time, my headache makes me realize what time it is. 

Every time I tell myself I'm going to tough it out, because I don't like to take medication when I don't absolutely have to. And every time I succumb to Exedrin or whatever is nearby and promises to alleviate my pain. 

According to, which I admit might not be the most unbiased source of information, dairy is one of the primary causes of migraines. 85% of people who were put on a strict diet that eliminated the primary causes of migraines (dairy, wheat, eggs, alcohol, packaged foods) reported a total absence of their migraines

Frankly, I'm at a loss. I don't want to suffer from these awful headaches everyday, but I don't want to give up dairy either...I must admit though, I have been indulging too much recently. 

This is one of the problems with being an all-or-nothing person like I am. I'm a Taurus, what do you expect? As much as I've tried to make myself be more gray and not so strict (or lenient), it just doesn't work for me. 

I bring this up because ever since I've become un-vegan, I've gotten a terrible habit of near daily cheese consumption! I love cheese, but I think I could live with eating it only when it's really good, expensive cheese and not just what's lying in the fridge, because it's there. 

Cheese also happens to be a trigger food for me. I don't know about you guys, but cheese is one of those foods that I find hard to resist once I've had a piece. It makes me crave more...and more. 

This, apparently, comes down to the fact that cheese has morphine in it! So it REALLY is addicting! 
Why do you treat me so bad when I love you? 
Bear with me here: Cheese has a protein called casein in it, which breaks down into casomorphins when digested, which produces an opiate effect. According to Neal Barnard, MD, “Since cheese is processed to express out all the liquid, it’s an incredibly concentrated source of casomorphins—you might call it dairy crack.” 

Because of my headaches and because of this most recent information, I think I'm going to try to limit my cheese consumption and see if I feel better. I've actually even been toying with the idea of getting an allergy test with my sister to see if there are other foods that could be causing my headaches. 

Do any of you have problems with headaches or feeling lethargic after eating certain foods


  1. I switched to soy milk or black coffee in the morning, and I try to stay away from dairy products until the evening. I found out that I can eat cheese sandwiches for lunch without feeling bothered (well, at least most of the time, and some cheeses work better than others). Funny enough, cheese at night is somewhat ok, I guess because I don't notice the effects in my sleep. Ice cream in the evening, great, in the afternoon, not so much. It also depends on stress levels - less stress, less problems. :-) I guess the best strategy has been to stay away from dairy-based sweets in the afternoon - muffins and the like just don't work for me that well... Keep up the good work, cuz!

  2. i had headaches every day for 3 years. my first advice would be to not go to pain killers for relief, but for pain relievers (the ones i took were a really low dose of anti-depressant and they worked). too many pain killers can bring up an intolerance (which happened to me) and actually make them worse!!

    but maybe go off the cheese for a bit and see how you feel? i'd say get rid of dairy for 2 weeks, then add it back in gradually and find the 'trigger point'. you might find it doesn't help at all! in which case you have some more figuring out to do ;)

  3. Thanks for the comments guys! I'll definitely try to cut out dairy, at least during the day time and see how I feel.


  4. It is so hard to give up on cheese! Even though you are aware of the benefits it can be so is totally a drug.

  5. Yeah i agree! I really struggle with it.
    Thanks for stopping by!


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