My husband experienced a bout with bad headaches. Could it be his diet?


My husband experienced a bout with bad headaches last July. After months, they finally went away. He constantly “diets”, eats a lot of Snack Well products, drinks 0% fat milk and fruit and 1 or 2 diet colas per day. Has had every test for headaches, outside of allergy tests. After several months of being headache free, he has again started with severe headaches. I can’t convince him to see his doctor, because all tests showed nothing “wrong”.

He takes 25 milligrams amtripoline nightly to sleep. This now isn’t helping him with his headaches.

Could this be his diet? One doctor told him it was. Any information I can print for him to read would be appreciated. He insists it is not “stress” and insists he does not need to see our company EAP man for talking/possible stress/anxiety. He is convinced it’s his diet…yet continues to live on Snack Wells, bananas, fat-free milk. He is 53 years old.

Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

What else did his doctor say about your husband’s headaches? Headaches are serious and bothersome to people who have them. First, his doctor should rule out any physical cause. Some headaches require prescribed drugs to control. I would encourage your husband to seek assistance in determining the cause including considering stress or anxiety and be receptive to treatment.

Headaches can be aggravated by sex hormones as some women get headaches when they menstruate. This same problem is not demonstrated in men, however.

Actually, caffeine can improve some people’s headaches and yet worsen others. While SnackWell products, skim milk, bananas and other fruit are low fat, any diet that includes few foods is not healthy. Perhaps if he has been dieting and not eating a balanced diet, he may be deficient in several nutrients. The place to start is eating a balanced diet that while reduced in calories contains a variety of food groups. See the Food Guide Pyramid topic for more information on eating a balanced diet.

I have found a very good reference for headaches and migraines. Read “Dietary Triggers for Migraine” by Agnes Peg Hartnell RD and G Scott Tyler MD. This book contains “over 200 migraine-free recipes”, “a list of foods to be avoided, consumed with caution or dangerous to some individuals” as well as a “food purchasing guide”.