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Reader's Mail: Can Chocolate Help a Headache?

Q. Is there a study about how eating chocolate can help a headache? I have never really liked eating chocolate, but recently when I had a headache and upset stomach and medication didn’t fully take away the pain or the upset stomach, I tried a chocolate candy bar and started feeling better. So that’s why I’m asking. I suffer from cluster migraines and have for nearly 35 years.

A. The occurrence is probably coincidental, and sometimes migraines can spontaneously abort. However, in chocolate there is a certain amount of caffeine, which can be helpful in the treatment of migraines. As you probably know, in certain individuals with food sensitivity as a trigger for migraines, chocolate can actually be a major culprit.

Seymour Diamond, M.D. 
Executive Chairman of the National Headache Foundation and Director Emeritus and Founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic, Chicago, IL

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