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Preventing A Valentine's Day Headache

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- February 14 is right around the corner, and no one wants to spend Valentine's day, or the day after, with a severe headache and some of its accompaniments – nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound. And you certainly don't want your gift to be the culprit in producing a headache.

The National Headache Foundation is the premier educational and informational resource for individuals with headache, their families, physicians, allied health care professionals, and health policy decision makers. In this role, the Foundation is providing tips on avoiding a " Valentine's Day Headache."

1. Who doesn't want to receive a beautiful red heart box, filled with delicious chocolates? If you or your Valentine experience migraine, and know that chocolate is a trigger, try non-chocolate candy. It's an opportunity to eat those candy hearts with the sentimental messages.

2. You want to make this day special, and a toast with bubbly would enhance the celebration. But wait!! If you decide to drink champagne or other alcoholic beverages – practice moderation – sip your drink slowly and avoid drinks with straight alcohol. Red wine is definitely a usual suspect for triggering migraine headaches.

3. A dinner with that special someone is planned, but you can't get a reservation until 8pm. That may be 2 hours after your usual meal time. Fasting or skipping meals can trigger a headache, and waiting for a late dinner reservation may pose a "headache hazard." Eat a healthy snack prior to dinner. At dinner, avoid foods that are known to produce headaches in sensitive individuals, such as ripened cheese, processed meats, and those containing MSG or low-cal beverages with aspartame. Monitor your caffeine intake and avoid or limit colas, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

4. A popular gift at Valentine's Day is a bottle of perfume or after-shave. Or perhaps, you would like to present your sweetie with a fragrant bouquet of flowers. But for many, certain odors can trigger a headache and you don't want your present being banned from the house. Try a different option – diamonds are a girl's best friend!  

You will want to make Valentine's day memorable – but you don't want that memory associated with a terrible headache.

The National Headache Foundation (NHF) exists to enhance the healthcare of individuals with headache. The NHF accomplishes its mission by providing educational and informational resources, supporting headache research, and advocating for the understanding of headache as a legitimate neurobiological disease.

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