Not About Food

Post dim-sum headache - Why? How can I avoid it in the future?


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Not About Food

Post dim-sum headache - Why? How can I avoid it in the future?

Dave MP | | Dec 29, 2008 05:37 PM

Yesterday, a fellow hound and I had dim sum at one of the well-known SF Bay Area places. We had an excellent meal at about 11 AM. Neither of us had had anything else to eat prior to this meal.

We ate a lot of food, and the food seemed to be of very high quality. We did probably eat more than we needed to, since we were quite stuffed when we left.

After dim sum, we did some shopping, and then had some frozen yogurt. Then we parted about 3:00, I developed a headache, which persisted throughout the day. When I spoke to the fellow hound today, I found out that she too had a headache (a migraine, in fact) all afternoon and evening. She also told me that this has happened to her before - i.e. every time she eats at this particular restaurant, she ends up with a headache.

I did some research into topics like MSG, etc. and found some old chowhound posts....I am not posting this to re-hash old topics. What I am trying to do is piece together some of the factors that led to my headache....and then try to come up with some solutions that will allow me to continue eating dim sum here without having any headaches.

Here are some thoughts about what might have contributed to a headache. Perhaps it was a combination of things. Any thoughts on this?

A) MSG - We mostly ate pretty standard dim sum items. I wouldn't necessarily think they all would have MSG, but I don't know. I eat out a lot, at all kinds of restaurants, so I don't think I'm particularly sensitive to MSG. I probably eat it all the time, and I don't usually get headaches like this. So I don't think it's solely to blame.

B) Tyramines - Our meal would definitely have been high in tyramines, which may trigger headaches or migraines as well. This post talks about that topic:

C) High fat content of food

D) Over-eating

E) Lack of caffeine - both of us usually drink coffee (though I don't usually drink much). And we had chrysanthemum tea at dim sum.

So perhaps the simple answer to all of this is to just eat less at this restaurant, and have a cup of coffee before I go (or have jasmine tea). But I am curious to see if anyone has had similar experiences who might have some solutions. I certainly do not intend to give up dim sum.

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