Are you wanting to find out how you can be managing migraines with diet?
Migraines affect 15%-20% of men and 25%-30% of women due to excessive dilation of the blood vessels in the head, and when they do strike they can be quite debilitating.
In addition to this, this vasodilation causes the nerves that are wrapped around the blood vessels to stretch. This stretching causes the nerves to release chemicals which manifest in pain, inflammation as well as additional enlargement of the blood vessels.
Migraine attacks are often preceded by visual disturbances, nausea, suppressed appetite and drowsiness, and once you have had a migraine the chance of getting another one are increased.
Food allergies or food intolerances play an important role in the management of migraines. Research shows that by eliminating the allergens or food intolerance, the prevalence of migraines is greatly reduced or eliminated. The most common triggers for migraines are:
These foods may initiate migraines as they contain a chemical called histamine. An investigation into histamines has shown there to be a relationship between increased histamine levels and migraines in susceptible people.
An enzyme called diamine oxidase (histaminases) breaks down histamine prior to absorption. The level of this enzyme has been found to be reduced or deficient, in a person who reacts to dietary histamines, such as a migraine sufferer. This can be assessed in a genetic test such as 23andme
An imbalance in your sex hormones, particularly excess estrogen compared to progesterone can trigger hormone related headaches and migraines. There are a number of reasons that this may occur like poor detoxification of hormones, excess stress leading to high cortisol levels which will deplete progesterone, thyroid issues and digestion issues like leaky gut.
The best way to get an accurate picture of what is happening is with an adrenal hormone test and a saliva sex hormone test which measure the bioavailable hormones, knowing exactly what is happening with your hormones allows for more specific treatment options.
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. He is a registered naturopath with the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) and works with clients from all over the world via video or phone consultations. He is a degree qualified naturopath from the Endeavour College of Natural Medicine in Australia with 18 years of experience. He uses advanced testing methods, nutritional medicine, herbal medicine, and lifestyle advice to help you stay healthy. He is a Kalish Method-trained practitioner that keeps updating his education with Chris Kresser. Michael completed Dr. Terry Wahls practitioner training program, a 12-month program with ongoing training that helps understand the underlying cause and treatment of MS and autoimmune conditions. He keeps up to date with the latest research into health and natural medicine through the Metabolic Fitness Pro course with Dr. Bryan Walsh.