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09/25/2011 02:23 PM

Teen with headaches after most meals

Posts: 5
New Member

Over the past few years, I have been getting headaches and fatigue after most of my meals. For example, if I eat dinner, I suffer a headache for 3-4 hours and I feel very tired and fatigued. My only solution is to take Tylenol and wait for the fatigue to go away. Recently, the headaches have been getting worse and more frequent and I am worried about what is causing them. Also, it doesn't seem to be any certain food that is triggering this, I tried eating organic and vegan for a week and I got just as many headaches.

Thank you for your help.


09/25/2011 02:31 PM
Posts: 254

I'm sorry that you're having headaches. I'm interested to know if you've tried a gluten-free diet? It's weird that they start after you eat. Also, have you ever been tested for allergies. It could possibly be that you're eating something that you're allergic to. Have you had any imaging tests?

09/25/2011 03:48 PM
tortoisegirlPosts: 3370
Group Leader

Welcome to the group! Sorry to hear about your pain. Have you seem a doctor yet? If so, what did they say? Agree the first things I would think of are dietary--allergies, and common sensitivities (gluten, fructose, carbohydrates/sugars, etc).

Another idea is diabetes (type II). Your trigger could be eating a larger meal after not eating awhile, so you go from very low to very high blood sugar. Your doctor can either do a blood A1c test (blood sugar average over 3 or 6? months) or a fasting blood sugar test to rule this out. If it is suspected, you'd want to start testing at home. This would be more rare at your age unless you had a family history and were overweight, or it was late onset Type 1, but nonetheless something to rule out.

Have you tried eating 5-6 smaller meals during the day, balanced with fruit, veggies, protein, fiber, etc? I think some doctor visits for some consultations & tests as well as more dietary trials such as timing, quantity, food groups are great ideas. For example, I know I don't do well with large meals--I get blood sugar drops and fatigue and a bit more headachey and such in between, so I eat smaller meals. There may be a certain group of food that bothers you. Keeping a food log of what you eat each meal, when you get a headache, and if your treatment helped can assist you and your doctors.

In addition to eating less food more often, you could try just eating one food or sensitivity group for a meal and see if it bothers you or not. Its good you have probably rules out dairy since you tried a vegan diet. Good news is that it is very likely the cause can be found and it will be treatable. I would start by seeing your pediatrician or family doctor and discussing it with them (if you have a start of a headache/food log by then its great to bring it in). There is no reason you should be suffering with these headaches. Best wishes.

09/25/2011 04:48 PM
Posts: 488

It definitely sounds like something you are eating is causing your head pain and lethargy and so it may be necessary for you to do a full elimination diet to find the culprit. This involves eliminating all moderate to high salicylate, amine and glutamate foods for a period of at least 4 weeks (1 week is not nearly enough) and then gradually introducing foods from each group to see which ones you react to. It would be best to make an appointment at an allergy clinic to seek advice and be supervised by a qualified dietition. It can take a couple of months to work out what you are reacting to, but once it is identified the headaches and lethargy should go away as long as you eliminate it permanently. Best of luck.

Post edited by: suki17, at: 09/25/2011 04:50 PM

09/28/2011 03:37 AM
EnbeePosts: 1556
Senior Member

I would agree that it sounds like a food intolerance is causing the issue. I would say that doing an elmination diet is probably the way to go. It can take a month to figure out whether you are intolerant to something and you have to slowly reintroduce food groups to make sure you are able to eat them. Try talking to you doctor about some blood tests and advice on elimination diets. If that doesn't work there are other tests you can have to see if it's something more complicated.

10/25/2011 05:06 AM
Posts: 442

Gluten. Anytime I have gluten this is EXACTLY what happens to me.

I tested negative for Celiac and for allergy testing, but elimination diet showed otherwise. My GI tract is completely healed after eliminating gluten. It takes up to 6 months to completely eliminate within the body, so you won't start seeing results for a few weeks. For me, I saw a difference the first week and by month 4 was feeling fab!


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