Sunday 25 February 2018

What happened when I gave up caffeine?

Some claim that caffeine is their ultimate migraine trigger whilst others argue that an espresso and coke is what helps them the most during a migraine.

I never thought caffeine seemed to bring on a migraine for me or be particularly useful during an attack but after reading the 
Walton centre information sheet on chronic migraines I decided it would be worth a try cutting it out.

This info sheets talks about the importance of eliminating caffeine in patients with chronic migraine as it enables preventative medications to work more effectively.

I thought it had got to be worth a shot!

I gave up all caffeine for 5 months. This included; tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and of course chocolate.

I’m a big tea drinker so initially found the first few weeks very hard, missing my morning cuppa! I soon got into drinking peppermint tea instead which was a great caffeine free alternative for me.

For those who say they could never give up their morning coffee… trust me you can! If you’re in chronic pain day in day out, you will try anything!

Secretly hoping that giving up my favourite tea and chocolate would somehow help my headaches I persevered through several months caffeine free. It definitely gets easier just like most things although sweets are not the same as an Easter egg come Easter Sunday!

I didn’t see any real change in my head after 5 months so decided I had probably given it long enough and would reintroduce caffeine back into my diet.

I did this in the best way I can imagine possible, with a real chocolat chaud (pretty much liquid gold) in the French alps! It was delicious.

Subsequently I have occasionally tried a strong coffee during an attack to see if it can kick it, but with no real success.

Have you tried eliminating caffeine for your migraines? Do you think it’s a trigger, help, or doesn’t make a difference to your migraines?


  1. That sounds a lot like my experience with cutting out on caffeine. It made no difference. In the opposite it seems like being able to drink a really strong coffee in the morning occasionally stops a migraine attac. No major one but once in a while it does work.

  2. I had migraines for over 20 years and never had any form of caffeine. That didn’t seem to matter to my body. The attacks were frequent and severe and medication didn’t touch them. While this is true for me and my body, I would be so happy if it worked for others.

  3. I tried cutting out caffeine but like you I found it did nothing for me. Also tried cutting out diary and lactose since my GP mentioned they might also be triggers. After crying over my cheese loss (haha) I realised it didn’t make a difference either so as it stands I have no triggers really or at least none I’ve worked out yet!