food triggers a very dubious area

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Posted by gary ( on December 13, 1999 at 13:49:27:

In Reply to: Dietary Triggers posted by Nanci O'Sullivan on December 13, 1999 at 10:34:15:


this seems to be the first thing that both docs and CH newbies focus on -
"what am I ingesting that makes this happen ?"

from my own experience, and a sort of distillation of this topic over a long time discussion on CHMB, this is the impression I get:

1. alcohol is so close to being an absolute attack trigger for everybody - WHILE they're in a cluster - that we can call it universal for all intents and purposes

2. VERY LITTLE else shows up CONSISTENTLY in anything like a large % of clusterheads

3. Susan demonstrated very well what usually happens: about a list of foods, when she wrote: "all I can remember being told to avoid during series/cycle of CH"
EXACTLY the point - a lot of this info comes from what has been suggested to people by docs or others, they tend to forget that after a while, and convert the information to "fact", whether they have any real documentation, or repeated experience

4. it is somehow in most of our natures, to try to look for very simple, direct immediate cause & effect answers for the attacks, and we are VERY apt to find what we're looking for, whether it's there or not !

5. MOST of the trigger "lists" are just transplanted migraine lists, which was how almost all CH treatment was derived until recently-
and even then they aren't anywhere near "standard"

6. don't forget, it is VERY common for people making lists of such things to add a thing or two just because "it isn't good for you anyway, so why not list it, what could it hurt?"
ESPECIALLY if they have a personal food politics agenda
Well, what it hurts is an ACCURATE understanding of the dynamic of the disease

a good example of this is smoking-

it is quite common to see smoking listed as a CH No-No along with alcohol, on a lot of the health care info sites, etc

BUT - from the many times smoking has come up on CHMB, it seems the majority of us agree it seems to be irrelevant - whether we smoke or not, at the same time the majority of us agree that alcohol is an extremely aggressive trigger

that's my case - I was a heavy smoker, quit 6 years ago, and very glad of it - but it has made no identifiable difference whatever in my CH patterns

as far as the food triggers go,
to convince me, I would need to see an attack, that was completely out-of-pattern, follow ingestion within 15-30 minutes,
and have that happen several times over a lengthy period, before I would pay too much attention to it

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