Migraines and preservatives in food

Recently I have been conducting some animal experimentation. The animal under investigation is me. I get migraines, frequently. They are not always terrible, but still unpleasant and usually accompanied by vision impairment. The vision impairment is debilitating because for the 30 minutes or so that it lasts, I cannot read, write or drive.

A few months ago I was talking to my sister who happens to have a sulphite (preservative) allergy. This is something I haven’t tried removing from my diet before. I’ve tried most of the other triggers – chocolate, coffee, alcohol and cheese. So a few months ago, I eliminated all preservatives. It was fairly easy. Dried apricots was the only real thing I had to give up and also my regular margarine. Most margarines contain preservative but I managed to find one without it.

Since that time, I have not had one episode of vision impairment until yesterday. At first I thought bugger, I can’t blame the preservative, but then I thought about what I’d eaten that day. For breakfast, I ate some muesli. It was newly-bought muesli rather than my usual home-made stuff and one I hadn’t eaten before so I checked the packet. Sure enough, preservative was listed in the ingredients. This was on a box of Vogels, “super natural” muesli. I should have known better I suppose but was in a hurry when I bought it and you would think that muesli which claims to be “super natural” would not contain preservatives.

I realise this is hardly a robust experiment, but if it continues to work for me, then I’m clinging to it.