Mental Punishment: A Massive Headache

Yesterday I had a massive headache. What from? I am not sure. All I know is that I got home and had to lay down from the throbbing pain. I was thinking that it could be due to my minor relapse. I ate some chips yesterday. I know, shoot me. But at the time I was enjoying them and didn’t think much of it. Plus, it was only one bag.

It all started when I went for a quick walk and stumbled upon 7 Eleven. Like a bug being drawn to a light bulb, I found myself entering the store and heading for the junk food aisle. Next thing you know I was paying for a bag of Lays barbecue flavored chips. My favorites.  I washed it down with a lot of water and figured it wasn’t that bad since I hadn’t treated myself for a while.


Then the headache began. It was approximately 2 hours after I ate the bag of chips. Weird. Is it mental? Am I punishing myself for eating that bag of chips by giving myself a headache? I think that may be the case. I don’t usually get headaches like that unless I eat some really crappy junk food. Maybe it’s my body’s chemical reaction to the unhealthy ingredients in the chips?

I’m not sure, but I do know that the headache was so unbearable that I had to lay down and close my eyes. Does any one have any idea as to why I got such a bad headache after eating the bag of chips? Has this happened to you before?

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About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

Community Thoughts (22)

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  1. becky pNo Gravatar says:

    It may have been the MSG in the chips. One of the worst headaches I ever had was when I had 3 different foods all with MSG in it.

  2. AndrewNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah it could be the msg. Normally you would have a bit of tolerance but if you haven’t eaten it for a while it can knock you back a bit.

  3. KimNo Gravatar says:

    Barbecue flavour? Could have been a double whammy of MSG/preservatives and the red food colouring on those things. Red dye gives a lot of people headaches.

  4. DanielNo Gravatar says:

    Believe it or not, I get headache from fat. Not sugar – fat! As soon as I eat too much french fries my head starts to feel really bad. Almost the same with chips.

  5. RobNo Gravatar says:

    I used to get headaches. My doctor recommended I get away from MSG, preservatives, and food coloring. I’ve pretty much cut all of those out of my diet and now the headaches are 99% gone. If you’d been eating healthy for a while, and then this sudden onset of “crap”(sorry!) rushes into your body, I would certainly categorize these items as prime suspects.

  6. KimberlyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m sure it was a physical reaction as others have stated. However, did you notice some of your language as you reported the story back to us? You went for a walk…awesome. But you just so happened to have some money with you and….you went by a 7/11 (I thought it was just a walk?) and you went in (now you’re shopping, not walking). And you saw your favorite chips (imagine, at a 7/11!!!) and you had some and didn’t think it was too bad because it was JUST one bag?

    You also said that you usually get headaches from eating junky food. Then the headache wasn’t a surprise, right?

    Mentally, you have guilt. However, you ‘fessed up. And hopefully got over that wicked headache. Now…did you get the lesson?

    I betcha did, Israel. 😉 Moral of your story…walk away from the 7/11. Don’t go in the 7/11 unless you have a real purpose. Maybe don’t take any money on a walk (could be risky to not but I never take any money when I go on walks). And drinking lots of water doesn’t negate eating junk. Your body was telling you very strongly that those chips are poison to your body.

    But hey, I have thrown caution to the wind and eaten junk, knew it and suffered for it. We’re only human. 🙂

  7. KimberlyNo Gravatar says:

    I didn’t tell you I was a weight loss/hypnotherapist in a past life, did I? Sometimes I miss it and think about getting back into it. But it’s a tough business to make a living at.

    Hon, you made this on one easy. Hee hee!

    • IsraelNo Gravatar says:

      I guess you didn’t but I should have known by how you broke it down. This is the exact reason why I blog. This sort of interactivity is priceless. Thanks again.

  8. MishaNo Gravatar says:

    My first thought was MSG, then I thought of the salt. You said you washed it down with water, so you should have been hydrated enough. Do you normally follow a low sodium diet too?

    Kimberly – excellent reply. There are so many ways we lead ourselves into making mistakes, and you nailed them.

  9. AnnNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe your blood pressure was really high.

  10. Blaine MooreNo Gravatar says:

    Growing up, I used to get cluster migraines. Basically, I would begin hallucinating until my vision was lost (things would get blurry, or I’d see splotches of color instead of what I was looking at, or I’d see non-stop “lightning”, and so on and so forth) – once my vision started to come back, then I’d get the headache part.

    I actually went blind for 2 weeks once in high school from a series of migraines, but thankfully, the headaches were only as bad as a mixed drink hangover so I was able to deal with it pretty easily. Some of the migraines I’d had when I was younger would have all of my muscles tensed for hours on end – it would take me 2 or 3 days to recover from those ones after the migraine had passed.

    The two biggest catalysts were stress and caffeine – so I eliminated both. I also found a doctor who wasn’t a moron and took some drugs that helped out, but since I have low blood pressure and the side effect was to lower your blood pressure, I kept trying to wean myself away from those until I didn’t need them daily anymore to keep from getting the migraines. (Actually, I think the lower blood pressure was the primary effect for most people that took it. Heheh.)

    My guess is that you have a combination of a physical reaction to something in the chips (MSG or food coloring or whatever) and that it was magnified phsychosomatically through your guilt for getting the chips. So, to avoid this problem in the future: Avoid binge eating, and reduce your stress and levels of anxiety. And next time you go for a walk, carry a bag of carrot sticks or something with you so that you can snack as you walk and won’t feel as tempted to visit the 7/11.

  11. DanielNo Gravatar says:

    This whole business of msg dumbfounds me. I’ve never heard of a person eating a packet of chips only to succumb to an intolerable headache. Or the Chinese food syndrome. But it seems that after researching this myself anecdotal evidence does exist, coupled with a healthy dose of scaremongering by the usual TV shows and authors wishing to sell a large number of book copies.

    Israel, from what i can decipher, an unknown number of otherwise healthy msg intolerable people exist in the population, they usually experience symptoms 1 hr after eating 3g or more of monosodium glutamate (msg). Foods that contain msg usually only treat food with 0.5g. The question is…how big was this bag of crisps? Was it definitely 1 bag? Did you eat anything that may have contained msg before the walk?

    Consuming msg in liquid form such as soup may enhance the likelihood of a reaction. Maybe the water you drank created a soup like meal?

    Some anecdotal evidence shows a link between severe asthma and the msg complex. Do you have asthma?

    I don’t expect you to answer these questions publicly, i just hope they help you find the cause of the headache.

    Also, a tip for the future, all monosodium glutamate used in food has to be labelled as msg but not all free forms of glutamate are monosodium. Therefore food manufacturers can label their food as msg free so long as it does not have monosodium glutamate within it. This does not guarantee that other forms of glutamate are not contained within the food.

    Very interesting post.


  12. DominikNo Gravatar says:

    It was probably the combination of fat and salt. I just bbq’d 4 lambchops, ate that with some rice. Now the chops have fat on them, but I salted them and added some salt to the rice as well. I almost never use salt (like 1x a month) and I should have remembered not to salt them and the rice. Anyway now I have a massive headache on my left side, like someone hit me in the head with a bat.

    Stay away from salt and the fat. Ouch…

  13. Tom HarperNo Gravatar says:

    I know that it’s been a long time since anyone has added to this thread, but just in case, I too have headaches when eating fried foods but I’ve noticed that it’s not just related to the eating of those foods.

    As a child I always knew when Mum was frying for dinner because I would get a headache as she was frying the food (chips, onions, pancakes…anything being fried) and this headache usually came on before I had eaten anything, so it couldn’t be just due to the eating of the food itself.

    I think that part of my problem is due to some product of the frying process, something released as the oil was heated. Has anyone else had this effect?

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