Migraine headaches may be linked to double-jointedness. It”s true, so if you have the ability to touch your toes or can tuck your feet behind your head you might want to invest in some aspirin. A recent study shows that women who are double jointed many have to deal with migraines on a far more frequent level than their less flexible counterparts. While the exact cause of migraines remains a mystery, they are thought to occur when blood vessels around the brain become quickly dilated and then inflamed. The resulting pain can be debilitating, often leading to fatigue or vomiting. If untreated, symptoms can last for hours or even days. Of course this brings about the question of what causes migraines and what are some of the unlikely sources of getting them.
- Alcohol was found to be the highest contributor to migraine attacks. Dark colored alcoholic beverages such as red wine, whiskey and bourbon were more likely to cause migraines than light colored alcoholic beverages. It is suggested that people prone to alcoholic migraines, or alcohol hangover headaches, should stay well hydrated and consume foods high in fat and sugar to reduce the absorption of alcohol if they choose to drink.
- Caffeine is another common cause of migraine attacks according to research, however, the effect of caffeine changes according to the dosage. High doses of caffeine—300 milligrams or more—may cause headaches, where as low doses of caffeine—50 to 300 milligrams— can lead to benefits such as increased energy and headache alleviation. Caffeine withdrawals also cause migraines, so people who want to stop drinking caffeine should decrease their consumption gradually over the course of several weeks.
- Tyramine, a compound derived from a naturally-occurring amino acid (protein component), is also a common migraine trigger. Tyramine is found in fermented, pickled or smoked foods such as aged cheeses, beer, smoked fish, yeast extract, fermented soy products, sauerkraut and cured meats. Fava beans are also a natural source of tyramine.
- Aspartame, an artificial sweetener sold under the trade name “Nutrasweet,” can cause migraines in certain people as well. Although studies of aspartame are inconclusive, it is reported that people who consume 900 to 3000 milligrams of aspartame daily over long periods of time may be prone to experience migraines.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sodium nitrite, which are used to preserve and enhance the flavor of foods, can also lead to migraines. MSG is a flavor enhancer commonly found in Chinese restaurant meals, soup bases and bouillon cubes (e.g., Goya Sazon), some brands of beef jerky, and Asian condiments. Cured meats that are pink in appearance, such as bacon, cold cuts, hot dogs and cured ham, contain sodium nitrite as a preservative.
So while you can twist and contort your body in various ways to win acclaim at parties you might go a little sparse on the red wine to attempt to counteract the possibility of an intense headache.