Diet Can Impact Mi­graines

Wellness Update - - Content -

impo“One of the most rtant trig­gers for headache is the with­drawal of ca eine,” says Martin, who also sees pa­tients at UC Health. “Let’s say you reg­u­larly pound down three or four cups of co ee every morn­ing and you de­cide to skip your morn­ing rou­tine one day, you will likely have full edged ca eine with­drawal headache that day.”

Elim­i­nat­ing that morn­ing ‘Cup of Joe,’ con­sum­ing pro­cessed foods high in ni­trites or monosodium glu­ta­mate (MSG) and en­joy­ing too much al­co­hol are po­ten­tial headache trig­gers for in­di­vid­u­als bat­tling mi­graines, says Vin­cent Martin, MD, pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of In­ter­nal Medicine at the Univer­sity of Cincin­nati (UC) Col­lege of Medicine.

There are two di er­ent ap­proaches to prevent­ing headaches with diet. The rst ap­proach would be an elim­i­na­tion diet that avoids foods and bev­er­ages known to trig­ger headaches. The sec­ond ap­proach would be fol­low a com­pre­hen­sive diet whose very com­po­si­tion may pre­vent headaches, ex­plains Martin, co-di­rec­tor of the Headache and Fa­cial Pain Cen­ter at UC Gard­ner Neu­ro­science In­sti­tute and an ex­pert in the area of mi­graine. His con­clu­sions and others for mi­graineurs come af­ter per­form­ing an ex­haus­tive lit­er­a­ture re­view of more than 180 re­search stud­ies on the sub­ject of mi­graine and diet.

Martin’s two-part re­view, “Diet and Headache” is avail­able on­line in the schol­arly pub­li­ca­tion Headache: The Jour­nal of Head and Face Pain. It is co-au­thored by Brinder Vij, MD, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor in the UC Depart­ment of Neu­rol­ogy and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Medicine.

That said, too much co ee may also present a risk, no more than 400 mil­ligrams daily—one cup is 125 mil­ligrams—is prob­a­bly the max­i­mum for mi­graine pa­tients, says Martin. “Large amounts of ca eine can bring on anx­i­ety and de­pres­sive symp­toms as well as headaches,” he ex­plains.

An­other trig­ger for mi­graine is MSG, which is a avor en­hancer used in a va­ri­ety of pro­cessed foods, in­clud­ing frozen or canned foods, soups, in­ter­na­tional foods, snack foods, salad dress­ing, sea­son­ing salts, ketchup, bar­be­cue sauce, and heav­ily in Chi­nese cook­ing, says Martin, also a UC Health physi­cian.

“You elim­i­nate it by eat­ing fewer pro­cessed foods,” ex­plains Martin. “You eat more nat­u­ral things such as fresh veg­eta­bles, fresh fruits and fresh meats. MSG is most provoca­tive when con­sumed in liq­uids such as soups.”

Ni­trites are preser­va­tives food in pro­cessed meats such as ba­con, sausage, ham and lunch meat to pre­serve color and avor. Martin says a di­ary study found that ve per­cent of in­di­vid­u­als with mi­graine were sta­tis­ti­cally more likely to have an at­tack on days when they con­sume ni­trites. Use of ni­trites in foods has de­clined with stronger gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tion though check­ing la­bels re­mains a good idea, he ex­plains.

Al­co­hol is one of the most com­monly re­ported di­etary trig­ger fac­tors for mi­graine and stud­ies sug­gest vodka and red wines, es­pe­cially those with high­est his­tamine con­tent are prob­lem­atic, says Martin.

There is a lot of in­ter­est in gluten-free di­ets, but they are only help­ful in less­en­ing headaches if the in­di­vid­u­als su er from celiac dis­ease, which can be es­tab­lished by a pos­i­tive blood test or in­testi­nal biopsy, he adds.

There have been three com­pre­hen­sive di­ets whose very com­po­si­tion may pre­vent headaches such as low fat and low car­bo­hy­drate di­ets as well as those that in­crease the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and de­crease the amount of omega-6 fatty acids, ac­cord­ing to Martin.

Vij, who is also as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of the Headache and Fa­cial Pain Cen­ter at the UC Gard­ner Neu­ro­science In­sti­tute, says low fat di­ets re­strict the amount of fat in the diet to less than 20 per­cent of your daily en­ergy re­quire­ments.

“The beauty of th­ese di­ets is that they not only re­duce headaches, but may pro­duce weight loss and pre­vent heart dis­ease”, says Vij ,a UC Health physi­cian.

Low car­bo­hy­drate di­ets such as ke­to­genic di­ets can re­duce headache fre­quency, but it’s not some­thing to con­sider without strict physi­cian su­per­vi­sion. The diet lim­its car­bo­hy­drates more than the well-known Atkins diet, Vij ex­plains.

One of the most promis­ing di­ets for those with more fre­quent at­tacks of mi­graine is one that boosts your omega-3 fats while less­en­ing your omega-6 lev­els and that means toss­ing out polyun­sat­u­rated veg­etable oils (corn, sun ower, sa ower, canola and soy) in fa­vor of axseed oil, says Martin. Foods to con­sume would in­clude axseed, salmon, hal­ibut, cod and scal­lops while those to avoid would be peanuts and cashews.

hea“Per­sons with dache and mi­graine have more di­etary op­tions than ever. Ul­ti­mately a healthy headache diet ex­cludes pro­cessed foods, min­i­mizes ca eine and in­cludes a lot of fruits, veg­eta­bles, sh and lean meats”, Martin says. He adds, “Af­ter all, you w_ha_t_y_o_ are u eat.” —This in­for­ma­tion pro­vided cour­tesy of the Univer­sity of Cincin­nati HealthNews

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.