People have suffered from migraines for ages; today, researchers believe that many migraine headaches caused by food allergies can be prevented simply, without the need for prescription drugs. Treating migraines, a neurological disorder that causes crippling headaches and nausea, may be a matter of isolating immune reactions to certain foods. Here are ways you can find out if your migraine headaches are caused by food allergies.
Scientists have not found a cure for migraines, but they have known for many years that certain factors increase your odds of having a migraine attack, and have compiled a list of 100 migraine triggers in food, weather, scents, and behavioral patterns. Based on the theory that migraine triggers cause a chemical reaction in the brain that produces migraine headaches, scientists have devised a way for migraine sufferers to reduce migraine frequency, simply by avoiding triggers.
Migraines are an autoimmune reaction
Current research puts a twist on the migraine trigger theory, attributing food allergies- not chemistry- as the cause of migraine headaches. So, for some, migraine headaches caused by food allergies are suffering from an autoimmune disorder, a breakdown in the immune system.
Normally, your immune response kicks in when your body is under attack from viruses and bacteria. With autoimmune disorders, your immune system incorrectly labels certain factors as dangerous, and proceeds to destroy them, triggering inflammation.
Scientists believe that with migraine patients, certain foods trigger an allergic reaction, produce painful inflammation, stomachaches, and nausea, all of which are symptoms of migraine headaches.
Study confirms food allergies in migraines
To confirm the theory of migraine headaches caused by food allergies, scientists in Italy conducted a double-blind study focusing on 30 patients diagnosed with migraine headaches.
By measuring IgG antibodies (which are associated with autoimmune disorder), scientists were able to detect which foods caused high levels of IgG antibodies in the blood for each patient.
When given a diet that restricted foods that produced the IgG antibody, migraine patients saw a dramatic reduction in migraine frequency.
Still, migraines were not eliminated, and migraine headache severity remained the same.
Test for migraines from food allergies
Not all tests for food allergies are effective; skin testing and blood tests are sometimes inconclusive. To find out if you have a food allergy, your doctor must conduct a blood screening for Ige and IgG antibodies to specific foods, and measure your response to about 100 foods known to trigger allergic reactions, including migraine headaches from food allergies.
For treatment, your doctor may advise an allergy blocker- sodium cromoglycate, which may be taken orally before meals, and may effectively prevent food allergy-induced migraines.
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Like this? Read more:
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Evidence for an immune-mediated mechanism in food-induced migraine from a study on activated T-cells, IgG4 subclass, anti-IgG antibodies and circulating immune complexes
Migraine Headaches: Food and Drink That Cause Headaches
Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: a clinical double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial
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