15. September 2021
What role does diet play in migraine
The exact causes of migraine are still not fully understood. However, many scientists assume that the brain of sufferers reacts more sensitively than the brain of healthy people because of their predisposition. Sudden changes in the body, such as hormone fluctuations or changes in external influences, can trigger a headache attack. These internal and external factors, however, are not the actual cause but the trigger of pain attacks.
The migraine triggers are very individual for each sufferer. One person is burdened by the change between rest and stress, another by an altered sleeping rhythm. Certain foods and stimulants are also said to provoke attacks.
Which foods are considered possible migraine triggers?
Histamine is a natural substance that acts as a signal transmitter or neurotransmitter in the brain and is involved in inflammatory reactions. In some people, the breakdown of histamine is dysfunctional and they have a histamine intolerance. The consumemore histamine, this can be a trigger for migraine.
Tyramine – a neurotransmitter – is also considered a trigger. Studies on this still vary: Some show a positive effect on migraine, others reveal no connection at all.
With regard to histamine and tyramine, it makes sense to avoid the following foods:
– Matured cheeses
– Cured sausages
– Pickled vegetables
– Smoked fish
– Wine and beer
There are also other specific ingredients that can trigger a migraine:
– Glutamate: flavour enhancer in many ready meals, crisps and condiments.
– Aspartame: artificial sweetener in light products and sweets
– Nitrite: preservative in meat and sausage
What should sufferers look out for?
First of all, it makes sense to identify the cause or the trigger factors. Keeping a headache diary can help. Here you should document how often and how severe the attacks occur in a certain period of time. You should also make a note of your diet or other factors in your daily life that can be suspected as triggers. That way, you can determine individual foods that should be avoided. Every sufferer develops his or her own special “migraine diet”. It is important to remember that there can often be several hours or even a day between the ingestion of the food and an attack. Even if certain foods have been identified as trigger factors, they can still be tolerated if there are no other disturbing factors.
A large number of these can also provoke an attack. For example, you may be able to tolerate a glass of champagne on one day and then have to fight migraines on another. A change in diet only makes sense if certain foods have been clearly identified as triggers. In consultation with your doctor, you can also take dietary supplements to help prevent migraines. Magnesium, L-carnitine, L-tryptophan and B vitamins such as niacin and riboflavin are particularly recommended. These micronutrients are contained, for example, in the Never Mind preparation from Lanserhof Lab.
The 10 Golden Rules for Migraine Patients:
The Migraine League Germany has defined important tips for migraine sufferers.
- avoid taking painkillers regularly for more than 10 days in order to prevent a permanent headache due to overuse of medication.
- keep a headache diary to document triggers.
- review your diet and avoid excess fat, sweets, citrus fruits, coffee, alcohol and nicotine. Eat regularly and healthily. Avoid foods that have been found to be intolerant.
- take breaks and make sure to relax in the form of yoga, light endurance sports, autogenic training, etc.
- try to avoid excessive noise and be careful not to expose yourself to strong light or sunlight.
- be more calm and avoid having too (high) expectations of yourself and others.
- learn to say no and do not overexert yourself. Always try to reduce psychological burdens such as worries, responsibilities and stress if possible.
- talk to your doctor about prophylactic medication to prevent longer-lasting migraine attacks.
- pay attention to yourself and your body’s signals.
- you are not alone with your illness. Joining a support group for migraine patients can be helpful for sufferers.
A healing fasting cure can help those affected
Based on our experience, we at Lanserhof find fasting cures to be the most successful form of therapy. The positive effects of fasting in numerous metabolic processes and the general detoxification of the body very often lead to a lasting improvement of migraine, often even to a complete cure. Whereby a comprehensive diagnosis of possible causes supports success.