Some people who suffer from migraines also have food allergies or intolerances. This co-occurrence is more common than might be imagined.
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.
Give our office a call today (425) 686-4498 to learn more about how to find a solution for migraines and to get your digestion back on track!
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free 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.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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