Can Eating Salmon Cause Headaches?

Did you know that for some people, certain foods may cause migraines or headaches? The American Migraine Foundation claims that these triggers are based solely on self-report and are not supported by research. However, some meals appear to cause headaches more frequently than others. While chocolate and alcohol top the list, seafood is another frequent culprit.

Tyramine may be to blame for headaches experienced after consuming salmon, particularly smoked or dried salmon. This naturally occurring substance is created during the fermentation or preservation process and is frequently found in pickled, smoked, or dried fish. More research is required, according to the American Migraine Foundation, to determine the relationship between tyramine and headaches. Instead of eating smoked or dried fish, they advise eating fresh fish.

Checking for additives and preservatives including nitrates and nitrites, phenylethylamine, salicylates, aspartate, and gluten is advised by the Cleveland Clinic when purchasing pre-packaged fish. Any of them could cause a headache.

The culprit is frequently the dietary ingredient MSG (monosodium glutamate). Although fish doesn’t naturally contain this substance, some sauces or marinades might. There is no connection between MSG and headaches, according to a review published in Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports in October 2016. However, researchers came to the conclusion that more research should be done to determine the relationship between nutrition and headaches and that avoiding certain triggers would be beneficial.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, you should keep a food journal. If food is the cause of the headache, it will do so 12 to 24 hours after consumption. As a result, you can go back and identify the pain’s possible origin.


Except when you have a sinus infection, sinus headaches are extremely uncommon. The majority of headaches that people mistakenly believe to be sinus headaches are actually migraines. See Sinuses Giving You a Headache for additional information on this. Most likely a migraine.

Of course, I can’t diagnose or offer medical advice, but I can tell you that salmon can occasionally cause migraines, so it seems sense that you might get one after eating salmon.

Does your family have a history of migraines? When you next visit your doctor, you should definitely bring up this issue.

You should be aware that while the answer above offers basic health advice, it is not meant to substitute for a qualified healthcare professional’s suggestions for diagnosis or treatment.

Six frequent foods to avoid if you have migraines

Posted: August 29, 2016 Do you experience migraines? If so, avoid the following six well-known triggers (common foods):

It’s critical to understand which meals can cause headaches so that you can avoid them.

There have been reports of migraines being brought on by alcohol (29–35%), caffeine (14%), cheese (9–18%), and MSG (12%). A naturally occurring chemical called tyramine has been connected to migraines. Aged cheese, smoked salmon, processed meat, fermented foods, foods containing yeast, and beer all include it.

A synthetic sweetener, aspartame is 180–200 times sweeter than ordinary table sugar. Many migraineurs assert a causal relationship even though there is no clinical evidence that it causes headaches.

MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate, is frequently used in canned and fast meals. Nitric oxide production is stimulated and specific brain chemicals are released as a result, which finally causes a headache. (Also listed under the codes “additive 621, HVP, flavor enhancer”)

The preservation of meats, fermentation, and the smoking of meats like fish and sausage all make extensive use of nitrates and nitrites. Sandwich meats like salami and smoked salmon as well as lettuce and spinach are foods high in nitrates.

Due to the presence of tyramine, histamine, and flavonoids in alcohol, particularly red wine, migraines are said to be triggered by this substance.

Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate are all frequent sources of caffeine. Caffeine is also found in certain painkillers. Although it has a direct impact on the central nervous system, how it behaves depends on how much is consumed. A 115 ml soft drink may contain 50 to 300 mg of caffeine. The effects of caffeine include irritability, sleeplessness, and restlessness. However, depending on the severity and frequency, it can both cause and treat a headache. It is advised to avoid caffeine as much as possible if it causes your headaches.

It’s also important to keep in mind that each of these meals may need to be consumed at a certain amount or “dose” in order to cause an attack.

Therefore, a small amount of chocolate may be acceptable as a treat, but too much chocolate may cause a migraine.

How much time will I be ill?

Ciguatera poisoning symptoms might linger for one to two weeks. The quantity of poison in your body will determine exactly how long they stay. Every time you consume a fish with the disease, the symptoms could return. Scombroid poisoning typically results in symptoms that last 24 hours or less. Any time you consume fish that hasn’t been adequately chilled, the symptoms could return. Scombroid and ciguatera intoxication seldom result in death.

Is Your Headache Being Caused by Tyramine?

For a few months, record all of your headaches. You and your doctor can use it to determine whether tyramine or another trigger is to blame for your migraines.

Record the time and day that the headache first appears. then respond to these queries:

  • Have you experienced any of the other typical headache triggers, such as changes in altitude, temperature, strong odours, bright lights, loud noises, changes in sleep patterns, or unusual stress?

Keep in mind that some meals might cause headaches to start up to 24 hours after you eat them. In order to determine whether tyramine is contributing to the issue, it may be helpful to include the items you’ve had during the last several days.

Mercury exposure is a concerning consequence of consuming too much seafood.

A person’s brain and spinal cord, as well as their central nervous system, may be harmed by the element mercury. Many different things can happen when the central nervous system is affected, from something as simple as getting a headache to problems like memory loss or muscle weakness. Therefore, if you consume a lot of fish, you can be consuming too much mercury and risk harming yourself unintentionally.

Additionally, there is increased worry regarding mercury exposure’s consequences in pregnant women. A fetus’s brain is developing quickly during pregnancy, so adding too much mercury to the mix can cause brain damage or visual problems. For this reason, depending on the type of fish chosen, pregnant women are advised to keep their fish consumption to no more than 2-3 servings per week.

Why do I get a headache after eating smoked salmon?

According to Dr. Mauskop, “nitrates and nitrites influence the nitric oxide system in the brain.” “A migraine attack causes the release of nitric oxide.” After consuming smoked and cured foods, the headache that results could appear minutes or hours later.

Does salmon help with headaches?

  • According to research, consuming fatty acids from specific fish can lessen the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
  • These fatty acids are present in greater quantities in salmon, tuna, and sardines.
  • Experts advise including a small amount of fish in your normal breakfast, lunch, and supper options if you don’t particularly enjoy fish.

If you suffer from migraines, you might want to think about eating more fatty fish and krill oils.

According to a recent study examining the effects of food on migraine frequency and severity in 182 U.S. participants over a 16-week period and published in the BMJ.

The bulk of participants (88%) were women. The participants were 38 years old on average. 67 percent of the participants met the requirements for chronic migraine, experiencing an average of 5 to 20 migraine attacks per month.

The H3 diet, which includes more EPA+DHA fatty acids, the H3-L6 diet, which includes less linoleic acid, or the control diet (average U.S. intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids).

The precursors of your body’s natural pain signals are already known to exist in these fatty acids.

According to research, compared to the control diet, the H3 and H3-L6 diets may reduce the number of migraine headache hours per day as well as the number of moderate to severe headache hours per day.

Greater reductions in headache frequency were observed in the H3-L6 group compared to the H3 group, suggesting that reducing dietary omega-6 linoleic acid may have further advantages.

Does salmon cause headaches?

A recent 16-week randomized controlled research found that a diet high in omega-3 rich fish, such as salmon, cod, and lake trout, decreased the frequency and intensity of headaches among migraineurs.

“Even while the findings are noteworthy on their own, there is still the question of what would happen if you stick to the diet for a longer period of time. For example, what if you do it for a lifetime? It’s quite encouraging “she claims.

Why does eating fish give me a headache?

You can acquire one of two types of food poisoning from eating fish. Ciguatera poisoning and scombroid poisoning are what they are.

Symptoms of ciguatera poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Headache, muscle aches, and itchy, tingling, or numb skin are other symptoms that can develop. Numbness in the lips, tongue, or mouth region can be a warning sign. You might taste something metallic or think your teeth are loose. Your capacity to detect hot or cold conditions may alter. When something is chilly, you could mistakenly believe it to be hot.

After consuming the contaminated fish, symptoms of scombroid poisoning appear 20 to 30 minutes later. They consist of stomach ache, hives, nausea, vomiting, and facial flushing (becoming red). Other allergic reactions have these characteristics. The presence of scombroid poisoning does not indicate a fish allergy.

Warm-water fish are susceptible to the bacterial pathogen Vibrio vulnificus. The ocean, other seafood, and shellfish—especially oysters—all contain it. It can be acquired by eating tainted fish. It is spread through contact with fish or the ocean (through an open cut). It is not widespread or spread by others. The signs and symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain, which are typical of food poisoning in general. High fever, chills, low blood pressure, skin redness, swelling, and blisters are more severe symptoms. A more serious infection may develop if the bacteria get inside an open wound. Once that takes place, it may spread throughout your bloodstream and endanger your life. A diagnosis is made based on blood and stool tests. The blisters on your skin may also be examined by your doctor.

By avoiding eating seafood and shellfish that are undercooked, you can lower your chance of exposure. Kitchen tools should be cleaned in hot, soapy water. If you have an open wound, put on gloves before handling the fish. As soon as your cut or wound has healed, stay away from the ocean.

The infection is frequently treated with antibiotics. In severe circumstances, where a cut or incision was infected with the bacterium, you might need surgery or an amputation.

What meals make you feel groggy?

It’s firstly significant to note that patient self-reports, rather than randomized scientific studies, account for the majority of data about potential food triggers of headaches. Despite the absence of scientific evidence, the following foods and beverages are frequently mentioned as potential headache triggers:

  • soups made with bouillon or meat extracts (not homemade broth or bouillon cubes that do not have MSG or “all natural preservatives” on the label)
  • Hot dogs, sausage, bacon, lunchmeats/deli meats, pepperoni, and other cured or processed meats are among the meats that contain nitrate or nitrite.
  • Products that include monosodium glutamate (MSG) include soy sauce, meat tenderizer, Asian meals, and a number of packaged goods. MSG is a prevalent substance that is often hidden; keep an eye out for these popular aliases: sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed yeast, and monopotassium glutamate

Can omega-3 lead to headaches?

BLOG: Could Your Diet Be Interfering With Your Thoughts? While oxylipins formed from omega-6 fatty acids aggravate pain and can cause migraines, those derived from omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have pain-relieving benefits.