Green tea and headaches? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 09-20-2010, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a lifelong migraine sufferer, though I've been in an excellent remission.

I drink several cups of green tea daily and have for years. However, I've always just bought the fair-trade regular teabags. I went to a newly-opened Japanese store and bought their imported loose leaf tea. I've had POUNDING headaches both times so far.

I'm assuming this is because it's much more powerful. My question is, will this go away? I really want to keep drinking it. On another forum, there was a suggestion about this being "detoxifying;" but the headaches are pretty severe! I don't want to trigger a whole new bout of migraines, although these don't have an aura (yet).

Could there really be that much more caffeine in this stuff? I drink black coffee every day (1 or 2 little cups), in addition to regular black tea and green tea. The only difference is the kind of green tea I'm drinking.
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#2 of 12 Old 09-20-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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Is it possible that there was some sort of preservative on it that you're reacting to?? That gives me splitting headaches....
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#3 of 12 Old 09-21-2010, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I doubt it on the preservative. This was their premium tea, but I'll ask. I did just look up tannins and green tea and I guess it has lots of them, which is supposedly where some of the disease-fighting comes from. It's really disappointing, because it's so yummy and I believe healthy. I wonder if the fact that I didn't react to the tea bag-type stuff means that stuff doesn't work as well? The difference in the look, smell and taste of the "real" tea was dramatic. But it made me SOOO sick. If it's tannins, I think I'm out of luck; I can't touch red wine and some other foods for this reason. I did add lemon juice, which is supposed to help with this.
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#4 of 12 Old 09-21-2010, 04:58 AM
 
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Finally found some information on this! I googled and googled and came up with:

http://greentealovers.com/greenteahealthcatechin.htm
Read the part about catechins.

Sorry to hear about the migraines, I understand how awful they are. You may have to switch back to the tea bags that don't give you a headache, or specifically look for the lower catechin types of green tea.
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#5 of 12 Old 09-21-2010, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the link, Jaxinator. I can't remember when I have felt this sick. It's been 24 hours since my last cup of green tea and I am only barely beginning to be able to function after codeine dosing, which I never do. The reaction fron this second cup was much, much worse than the first. I am now convinced that it's the tannins, since I am completely allergic to red wine; though I can tolerate dark chocolate and apples and such.

Now my question is, since I can and do drink any amount of brands like Just Us! and Twinings green tea in tea bags, do they have ANY beneficial tannins (catechins)? I would imagine the studies on Chinese/Japanese populations showing benefits would have been done on the stuff that's more like the tea I can't drink, since that's the stuff from Japan. The Japanese guy had several types; this was the "least steamed" of the varieties. I guess I'll go back and talk to him. It's a little expensive to experiment at $14 and up per bag.

I have been in remission from migraines for 4 years, after having them weekly for 30 years; so I don't want to wake that sleeping tiger.
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#6 of 12 Old 09-21-2010, 08:48 AM
 
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I don't have any definite answers sadly. Even if the cheaper tea has less catechins, it still has *something* and any benefit you would get from the more expensive tea isn't worth the headaches and everything that goes with it. IMO, the stress on your body and the drugs you have to take definitely outweigh anything good you would get.
If I were in your situation, I would just go back to the bags and not stress. Some benefit is better than none.

BTW, I too drink a large mug (about twice the size of a teacup) of green tea daily. I'm going to start upping it to two large mugs, and try to get rid of the morning coffee, I definitely believe it's very beneficial. I've been drinking Wittard and Chelsea loose leaf green tea with jasmine.


I definitely know what you mean about the "sleeping tiger".
I don't know what I would do without codiene (which thank goodness is OTC where I am), luckily my migraines aren't often enough to get hooked on it
Congrats on being (mostly I guess) migraine free, it's such a good feeling.
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#7 of 12 Old 09-21-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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I'm sorry about the migraine. Ugh!

I'm a big green tea drinker too! I certainly hope the tea in the tea bags still have benefits as I usually get that since its cheaper.

Just a thought, but is it possible the tea you bought had any other herbs in it, or could it possibly have been contaminated with other herbs? Maybe there was something else in it you were reacting to?

That was my first thought, since it seems a bit strange that you would such an extreme reaction when you've been drinking green tea all along.

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#8 of 12 Old 09-21-2010, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, after 2 days I am finally recovering. I'm positive there's nothing in the tea besides green tea leaves. However, in my "research" (googling), it does seem to say that there are more tannins in the stuff that isn't steamed as long. I bought the stuff that was steamed the least, so I think I pretty much did the equivalent of sucking back a half-bottle of red wine; which would have made me this sick. Truly, though, I can never touch this stuff again. It wasn't just the headache part of the migraine, but the nausea too. Whatever it was, I need to make sure I can avoid it.

I've been drinking 5-6 cups of regular green tea in teabags for YEARS without incident. I drink black coffee and tea, too. I probably shouldn't, because I'm anxious anyway; but I'm pretty sure caffeine isn't the problem.

I'm going back to the nice Japanese man's store in the next few days and seeing if there's something milder I can try. The one thing I'd like to know is if I could adjust over time, but I think the reaction was just too severe to risk anything remotely similar.
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#9 of 12 Old 09-21-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three~Little~Birds View Post
Is it possible that there was some sort of preservative on it that you're reacting to?? That gives me splitting headaches....
Can you please elaborate on this for me?

I used to get migraines on average of once per quarter. Now I get them about every two weeks.

I know that it isn't directly tied to my intake of coffee, wine, or tea.

I do know that I get them when I visit a really polluted place, as well as dropping down in elevation I think? But then I also get them rather randomly.

Should I be keeping a food journal?
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#10 of 12 Old 09-22-2010, 04:57 AM
 
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Keep an everything journal, lol

For sure keep a food journal, and I would also just jot down everything you do for the day. I know it sounds like much, but triggers can be so many different things and the best treatment (IMO) is avoiding as much as you can. I've been doing that so my doctor and I can work out the (second) best treatments.

For example, mine are cleaning products, which I never bothered to narrow down, I just got rid of everything.
Scented candles/room sprays
I think also big cities get to me, the pollution, the noise, all that good stuff. Although I was in Paris for a few days and it wasn't too bad.
I haven't noticed anything food related. I eat mostly whole foods. (well, try to )
Oh and flying long distances!!! I hate that one, I can't avoid it.

Other people have reported random things like onions (which is apparently somewhat common, who knew). Some people say MSG. Some people stress.

Things you can write down: What you were doing, where you are, what you were using, how the headache feels, how quickly it came about, where it's located, how long it lasts, the severity (maybe a 1-10 scale) and what you did to try to get rid of it.
If you decide to visit a doctor all that information will be helpful.
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#11 of 12 Old 09-22-2010, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with Jaxinator on all this. The other thing that helped me a lot was trying to figure out what prolonged/alleviated my migraines once they occurred.

My triggers:
Dehydration. BIGGIE. I discovered this when I had a huge spate of migraines while nursing dd. I can't believe I'd had them for decades and not figured this one out.

Red wine and now, apparently, green tea. Tannins, it turns out; but not all tannins. I can eat dark chocolate and blue cheese, but can't even smell red wine.

Perfumes of all kinds.

Too much visual stimulation, especially fast-moving things like video games. A big no-no.

Tons more, but those are the deal-breakers.

When I DO get migraines, the worst thing I can do is get up too quickly from lying down and then reading/using the computer too soon. I tend to try to get back to business as soon as the aura has gone and the ice-pick has left my head. Big mistake. Must continue lying down for as long as possible. Lots of ice.

Coffee at the onset of a migraine will help, but I know it's a deal with the devil.

I think it's supposed to be huge doses of soluble aspirin that has been shown to really help. I've done it and it does and it's either that or the heavy-duty prescriptions.

Acupuncture has gotten me into my only multi-year remission.

I don't ever get just one migraine. It's either none or several at a time.

They suck.

Good luck.
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#12 of 12 Old 09-23-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carfreemama View Post

Acupuncture has gotten me into my only multi-year remission.
Acupuncture is amazing! I had debilitating allergies when I was pregnant with my 3rd child and I didn't know what to do (since I couldn't take anything being early on in my pregnancy) so I decided to try acupuncture having heard good things and frankly just being curious. It was amazing! The change didn't happen right away or all at once. It was more gradual and "2 steps forward, 1 step back" kinda thing but after six sessions of acupuncture (all I could afford) I was virtually allergy free and stayed that way for 2 years! It also pretty much eradicated my neck & shoulder tension which used to bother me so much that I was constantly begging my husband for massages. That also stayed away for about 2 years. I don't know what magically happened after 2 years but I'm hoping to get more acupuncture in the future (my allergies have been a pain lately . Anyway, on the migraine note, I use a Baltic amber necklace to reduce my headache pain and it works great! I don't get actual migraines but I have heard from others that do that it works well to prevent them and if they do come, they're of a milder sort. It works because the amber secretes an oil into the skin that is a natural analgesic (pain killer) and anti-inflammatory. Many mamas use them for their teething LO's too but don't think to use them for "adult" issues.

All natural, hazelwood & Baltic amber necklaces that relieve eczema, reflux, teething pain, migraines, etc. We have Soap Nuts too!www.hazelaid.com
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