Freedom from migraine pain: Eliminate mould and empower your diet

After five days of lying in a dark room in bed with a migraine with no relief from any natural remedies or pain relief I tried, I knew I needed to make some changes to prevent this from ever happening again. 

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If you have experienced migraine headaches, you know the excruciating pain and sickness that can accompany this type of headache. I had experienced migraines as a teenager but had grown out of them and found they had stopped by drinking lots of water and staying hydrated.

However, when they started again in my mid-thirties, even after I had put my autoimmune conditions into remission, I knew I needed a fresh focus on my health. 

Migraines are debilitating headaches that affect millions of people worldwide. While the exact cause of migraines is still being studied, there is growing evidence to suggest that histamine, a naturally occurring compound in the body, may play a role in triggering these painful episodes.

In this article, I am going to share my own experience of overcoming migraines and how by identifying the root cause of my migraines, I was able to overcome them for good. 

On top of this, I will explain the relationship between histamine intolerance and migraines, along with dietary recommendations that include magnesium, quercetin, and vitamin C to help manage and prevent migraines.

When my migraines started again, I was spending a lot of time on my screen as it was during lockdown, so all my client appointments were virtual. In addition to this, I was doing a lot of work with a US company, so as well as the day-time appointments, I also took virtual video calls in the evening. 

This was the obvious explanation at the time - too much screen time. I invested in a good pair of blue light-blocking glasses which I would wear every evening, and as a result, I saw improvement in my sleep, but I continued to get migraines. 

To provide some background, I moved from London to Yorkshire during this time, so we initially rented a lovely apartment in a period property. However, I noticed a damp and musty smell in our en-suite bathroom that percolated into our bedroom, and the shower leaked. Over time, it became apparent that mould was growing in the bedroom wall right by where I slept, and shower, as the spores had become visible on the ceiling and even started to settle on shampoo and shower gel bottles. 

You see, migraines are often triggered by histamine. Histamine is a chemical compound involved in various physiological processes, including regulating sleep, immune response, and dilation of blood vessels. In those with migraines, it is believed that histamine may contribute to the onset of headaches by causing blood vessels in the brain to expand, leading to inflammation and pain.


What can trigger histamine production in the body? 

Amongst other things, histamine production can be triggered by histamine-rich foods like avocado, fermented foods and citrus, pollens, and, you guessed it, mould toxins.

At first, it took me some time to put two and two together. The five days I lay in bed, with the damp wall behind me, likely further contributed to my symptoms. Only when I moved our bed to be closer to the window did I start to experience my symptoms less, and I realised that mould toxicity was likely the cause. 

And that is where mould testing can help you to determine the root cause of your symptoms. I often run mould testing for my clients who are experiencing joint pain, migraines, brain fog and other neurological symptoms and who may be exposed to mould toxins on a daily basis. You can find out more about my mould toxin testing package on my website.

Over time, increased histamine production in the body can lead to histamine intolerance, leading to more migraine episodes. 

Histamine intolerance refers to the body's inability to effectively break down histamine, leading to an excessive accumulation in the bloodstream. Research suggests that individuals with migraines may be more susceptible to histamine intolerance, making them more prone to experiencing migraines triggered by histamine-rich foods and other environmental factors such as pollens, mould toxins and changes in pressure. 

There is also a genetic susceptibility to histamine intolerance if you have variations in a gene that encodes for an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO) which helps to eliminate excess histamine in the body. You find out if you have this genetic variation through DNA profiling.

There are also ways that you can manage your histamine levels and migraine severity with certain nutrients, which when I was suffering from migraines, I often relied upon to help me feel better as soon as possible and gave me some relief from pain. 


Nutrients to help relieve pain from migraines

Here are my top three nutrients to help relieve pain from migraines caused by histamine intolerance:

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in various biochemical reactions in the body, including regulating blood vessel tone and neurotransmitter function. Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation may help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Good food sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. 

Quercetin

Quercetin is a flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been studied for its potential to reduce histamine release and mitigate migraine symptoms. Foods rich in quercetin include apples, berries, onions, broccoli, and green tea. Incorporating these foods into your diet may help manage migraines. And taking quercetin with nettle has synergistic effects and may be more beneficial than taking quercetin alone. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another potent antioxidant that may aid in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation associated with migraines. Additionally, vitamin C has been shown to support the breakdown of histamine in the body. Citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, kiwi, and leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamin C.

You can incorporate these foods into your diet to proactively manage migraines and histamine levels in your body. 


After a year of living in the apartment with frequent migraines, we bought our house and moved to a more rural location in a newer house, and since then, I haven’t experienced a migraine. 

If you start to experience new symptoms such as migraines like me, it is worth speaking to your doctor to rule out any new medical conditions. 

In addition, consider what else might have changed recently that is triggering your symptoms, such as a new stress in your life, a change in your home or workplace, a change in diet or a change in life (such as the hormone transitional periods for women).

I now work with many clients who have been experiencing migraines to help them find relief by exploring the root causes of their symptoms with my comprehensive health analysis and optional functional testing. If you want to learn more about my services, please book a free initial consultation.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London W1G & Harrogate HG1
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Written by V. J. Hamilton, Autoimmune Disease Expert | BSc (Immunology), DipION, mBANT
London W1G & Harrogate HG1

VJ Hamilton is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and member of BANT, focusing on autoimmunity including inflammatory skin disorders, fatigue & neurological issues as well as gut health. VJ has a BSc in Biochemistry and Immunology which she uses in her practice, using only evidence-based nutritional therapies to support chronic conditions.

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