âChocolate, cheese can trigger migraineâ
Philippine Headache Society (PHS) president Regina Canlas said migraine is a debilitating illness affecting about 12 million Filipinos, including children.
‘Chocolate, cheese can trigger migraine’
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - August 30, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Apart from euphoria, health experts yesterday warned that chocolate and cheese could trigger migraine.         

Philippine Headache Society (PHS) president Regina Canlas said migraine is a debilitating illness affecting about 12 million Filipinos, including children. 

Migraine, she added, is not just an ordinary headache but a disorder involving recurrent attacks of moderate to severe head pain.         

“It is not just a single headache, sometimes it is a throbbing pain in the head that affects one’s quality of life. Unfortunately, migraine is widely misunderstood. People living with migraine may experience lack of empathy from employers and colleagues when frequent migraine attacks prevent them from delivering optimal work outputs,” she noted.       

Canlas said migraine is hereditary and children whose parents have the disorder are likely to have the same illness. Onset of pediatric migraine can be as early as seven years old for boys and 10 years for girls. Experts advised children, especially those who have family history of migraine to limit the use of gadgets since it can trigger attacks.         

She suggested a change in lifestyle for those with migraine. This may include avoiding food that can trigger the attack like chocolate, cheese, red wine, monosodium glutamate and caffeine.         

Migraine patients should also avoid emotional stress as well as physical stress and loud noise, intense smell, glaring light and prolonged television watching.         

Also identified as triggers of migraine headache are too much sleep or lack of it, high blood pressure and contraceptive pills.         

Canlas said migraine might also develop into a more serious disease such as stroke.

According to her, 30 percent of migraine patients are also suffering from depression.         

She added that migraine sufferers might take pain relievers although there are now available prophylaxis or preventive medications in the local market.

Philippine General Hospital (PGH) neurologist Martha Bolanos said anti-migraine medication could be expensive.

Headache experts, she added, are pushing for the inclusion of anti-migraine medication in the National Drug Formulary so this can be covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth.         

Migraine patient Christian Joy Fajardo said the disorder has prevented her from bonding with her young children and meeting clients. She also could not go out of the house when it is too hot because it can trigger migraine attacks.

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