Migraine Triggers: Stopping the flares

The Migraine Fix

If you suffer from chronic migraines and not finding long-term relief from current therapies, give our office a call today (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can help!

Migraine triggers, the key to The Migraine Fix

The statistics are astounding. As many as 14 million people experience chronic daily headaches, and of those, 90% report that migraines interfere with their daily lives and ability to do their jobs, and contribute to other health issues, like depression and anxiety (Foundation, 2015). Interestingly, only about 4% of migraine sufferers seek care for their headaches, and nearly half of them are never diagnosed. Some people who suffer from migraines also have food allergies or intolerances. This co-occurrence is more common than might be imagined.

Fix your migraines by finding the triggers

Referring to a previous analogy, find what is fueling the fire and you can put the flames out. Step one in finding the treatment for unexplained migraine headaches is to first identify the triggers. For most people, that trigger is food related. Since 20% of migraines are caused by food allergies or intolerances (Sinclair, 1999), testing for these may be the missing link in properly diagnosing and treating migraines.

The first step

The first step is to detect if the blood has any antibodies to specific food proteins. The test exposes the patient’s blood serum to antigens found in specific foods or other allergens that are being tested and measures if there are IgE or IgG antibodies present. IgG antibody testing is a reliable method of identifying possible allergens in patients experiencing IBS, gluten sensitivity, and migraines.

Migraine triggers: Is it food allergies?

The link between migraines and food allergies was discussed in a previous blog and suggested that food allergies may play a part in how migraines are triggered. In a recent study, patients with migraines were tested to see if there was a relationship between migraines and IgG food allergies. Patients with migraines were found to have a statistically significant elevation of IgG levels compared to a control group. The study also found that those patients who then eliminated the identified food allergens from their diet were able to control their migraine symptoms without any pharmaceutical intervention (Hernandez, 2007).

Getting to the root cause

Whether or not your migraines are food allergy related can be determined through proper screening. Unexplained migraines, specifically those that may not respond to pharmaceutical intervention, may have a dietary cause. Knowing about any food triggers will allow you set a specific dietary plan with your doctor and put you in control not only of the treatment but also the prevention of migraine headaches.

If you suffer from chronic migraines and not finding long-term relief from current therapies, give our office a call today (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can help!

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She specializes in chronic and complex cases and commonly treats neuropathy, fibromyalgia, migraines, autoimmune, and infertility cases. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free  and Keep Calm and Zen Out available on Amazon.


Foundation, M. R. (2015, September 15). Migraine Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 15, 2015, from Migraine Research Foundation: www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/fact-sheet.html

Grant ECG. (1979). Food allergies and migraines. Lancet , 966-969.

Hernandez, A. e. (2007). Food allergy mediated by IgG antibodies associated with migraine in adults. Rev Alergy Mex , 54 (5), 162-168.

Sinclair, S. e. (1999). Migraine headaches: nutritional, botanical, and other alternative approaches. Altern Med Rev , 4 (2), 86-95.

Sensenig, J. e. (2001). Treatment of migraine with targeted nutrition focused on improved assimilation and elimination. Altern Med Rev , 6 (5), 488-498.

Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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