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Tyramine-Free Diets

Millions of people deal with painful migraines. There are a variety of options for cures and treatments. One popular option is a tyramine-free diet.  Tyramine is a substance made in the body by the breakdown tyrosine, an amino acid. It occurs in certain plants, foods, and animals. It may also be made through fermentation and spoilage when food is cured or aged.

What are the Benefits of Tyramine?

This is how it works: your adrenal glands usually respond to tyramine by sending the ‘fight or flight’ hormone into your bloodstream, along with  dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Ultimately Tyramine gives you a boost of energy and, in turn, elevates your blood pressure and heart rate.

Lots of folks use tyramine and have absolutely no side effects. However, other people do experience a range of side effects.  The release of the hormone sometimes causes unsafe blood pressure rises, particularly when taken in large quantities.

Is a Tyramine-Free Diet Right for You?

Migraine TypesSome doctors also recommend a low-tyramine, or tyramine-free, diet to people who suffer from migraines. While some former migraine sufferers have had great success with this it is not yet proven by the scientific community. Tyramine-rich foods might compromise with how medications work in your body. For example, certain medications like monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including certain antidepressants and medications for Parkinson’s disease, can result in tyramine buildup. It is important to be aware of all possible interactions and discuss pros and cons with your doctor.

In certain instances, too much tyramine can lead to a fatal hypertensive incident. Remember, Tyramine’s side effects are most severe when you take it in large quantities. You might have physical problems like nausea, heart palpitations, headaches, or vomiting. If you feel you may be sensitive to tyramine or are taking MAOIs, be sure to report any side effects to your doctor.

How Do I Know How Much Tyramine is in Food?

You should try to limit your intake of tyrosine-rich foods and beverages If you are sensitive to tyramine or taking MAOIs. Read on to learn about how much tyramine is in certain foods.

Low- or No-Tyramine Foods

There are many low tyramine foods that are safe to eat.  Some of them include:

  • fruits and vegetablesMigraine Types
  • rice
  • raisins
  • noodles
  • coffee
  • peanut butter
  • soft drinks
  • cream cheese and butter
  • potatoes
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • ketchup and mustard

Moderate-Tyramine Foods

Cheeses have some tyramine but not huge quantities.  Parmesan, American, Havarti, and Brie cheese are pretty safe bets. Other foods with middle amounts of tyramine include avocado, anchovies, raspberries, and wine.

High-Tyramine Foods

High amounts of tyramine are found in fermented, cured, and aged foods. Examples include aged meats, dry sausages, salamis, aged chicken livers, and pickled fish. Also included on this list are soy, sauerkraut, pineapples, chocolate, sourdough breads, and some yeast.

In conclusion, you may want to monitor your tyramine intake if you are a migraine sufferer.  While it is not yet proven to work, it certainly will not hurt to limit your intake.

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