Food and migraines: How to control your migraines
If you suffer from migraines or bad headaches, then you will know how much they can adversely impact your quality of life.
Some people find migraine attacks are associated with certain triggers, which can include starting their period, stress, tiredness, lack of sleep and certain foods or drinks. This last point is where a trained nutritionist can help.
Identifying dietary triggers or other triggers, using a diary to monitor symptoms and any potential triggers may help. The most widely known are triggers include alcohol, chocolate and red wine. However, other foods containing amines may also trigger migraines.
Once potential triggers are identified, a food elimination programme (i.e. taking out certain foods and monitoring any change to migraine attacks) may be recommended. This can often be tricky without expert advice as you may inadvertently consume potential trigger foods, without guidance.
It is also important that you are not missing out on vital nutrients for too long.
Another trigger for many migraine sufferers is low blood sugar. If you notice that you are more likely to have a migraine attack if you skip a meal or are not eating as well as you could be, then receiving dietary advice may help.
Lastly, assessing your nutrient status via a dietary evaluation and possibly biochemical testing (such as magnesium status and 5-HTP, which is a protein building block) may reduce the frequency or severity of attacks as migraines are associated with low levels of both and correcting a deficiency could be very beneficial.
If you are interested in finding out how to improve your diet further, asking a trained nutritional therapist to carry out a dietary evaluation is a sensible step. They will be able to work out from your diet history how to improve what you are eating or if you may be low in certain minerals or vitamins, in which case diagnostic testing may be recommended.
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