Merry Christmas everyone! Christmas time is most people’s favorite time of year because we get to spend time with our families and are surrounded by all kinds of treats that you don’t get to make or have an excuse to eat any other time of the year. This time of year can also be a very stressful time for those who have chronic migraines or any type of chronic pain because while our friends are going crazy with the sweets and eating until their hearts content that approach is not always an option if you have chronic pain and want to keep it bearable. You have limits as to how much sweets you can eat to keep your pain managed and if you surpass that limit you will worsen your symptoms and there is nothing worse than high pain on a holiday! People who have chronic pain are always fighting some sort of craving some we can fight some we give into and choose not to. I have a craving of some kind almost every day some I fight some I don’t feel is necessary to. The holidays can be a difficult time for chronic pain sufferers because while we are still battling somewhat weird cravings during holidays and want to indulge we can’t and sometimes our friends and family get to these sweet before we have even had a chance to try it. I crave so many things because of migraine some are normal while others are quite bizarre and I don’t know why I crave them. What do you think of my cravings?
Icecream– When you are having a high pain day the last thing you are going to reach for is broccoli, asparagus, or really anything healthy at all but what your pain is really telling you is chocolate! High pain days you just want to eat something for comfort and for me personally that is ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. I can’t usually satisfy these cravings because we don’t always have these things in the house but if I go to the store I pick some up or indulge a little if we have some around.
Peanut butter- I have been having the same breakfast for a couple of years now which is peanut toast. Sometimes people wonder do I ever get sick of that and the answer is no I do not. I don’t really care for the toast part but peanut butter is one of my cravings that I have on a pretty consistent basis and can satisfy but I can’t really just skip the toast and eat peanut out of the jar because that would be dangerous and there would be no telling how much I would eat since I love it so much and is my weakness.
Tortillas- I have some weird cravings sometimes and craving just tortillas is one of them. Lately, I haven’t really wanted a traditional sandwich but I want something more like a wrap or quesadilla. A quesadilla might be harder for me to make so occasionally I make just take a tortilla and throw a piece of turkey in it. Most people might think that’s weird and tastes kind of strange which it kind of does and needs something more but for my migraine cravings that is enough because I don’t usually care or notice much of difference between good and bad taste.
Pasta- I have always loved Italian food but have never really craved it but now I am finding myself craving things like pasta nearly every day. You can take zucchini slice it up thin, add some parmesan cheese and make it taste sort of like pasta to make it a healthier option but on high pain days it is not something I want and I will notice if you try to trick me. Vegetables don’t taste the same as pasta no matter how thin you try to make it and although I usually will choose the healthier option on lower pain days I will not on higher ones. My brain is telling me carbs, not vegetables and the only way I will feel any sort of comfort if you force vegetables down my throat when I am having a high pain day. My disability makes preparing pasta difficult because I can’t stand for long periods of time and the stove in my current home is not accessible for me to where it would be safe if I tried.
Salty foods-If you have migraines no reputable doctor will tell you to eat more salt because high sodium diets tend to worsen symptoms and is not the solution to managing migraine pain. Personally, I don’t crave salt but I do crave crackers and things that are high in sodium can help relieve my symptoms when I am having a bad pain day and can take pain that is unbearable and make it bearable. When I am feeling a migraine coming on I usually will have ramen soup and take a nap and that generally won’t totally prevent a migraine but it can help make me feel a little bit better. I am not sure why things high in sodium help my symptoms but I’ll take it because there is probably a medical reason why this happens and helps my symptoms but I just don’t know what that reason is. I would be interested to know why salt relieves migraines symptoms because I am kind of curious.
When you live with migraines or any type of chronic pain it is likely you will have some sort of craving on a pretty much every day. Some people may think that that the solution is simple and to just give in to your cravings and feed them all! I am not one to say that you should never feed your cravings but I think you should every now and then but taking that approach when you live with chronic pain may not be the best approach and may, in fact, worsen your symptoms if you go too wild with it. Sometimes you just have to remember when you’re in pain it’s the pain triggering these cravings and not all your cravings have to be satisfied but sometimes it’s best if you try to fight them because they are not always things you want or need. I can’t tell you how many times I had a craving and then when I went to satisfy that craving I thought to myself “this is gross and I don’t really want this”. Your brain on migraines can be interesting and can trick into thinking you want something when you don’t. When you have a high pain day all you really want is pain relief right? You don’t really need all this food to eat while in pain because the reality of it doesn’t really help improve any of your symptoms but only gives you comfort until the pain subsides. Do you have any weird food cravings?