Low allergen diet and how it can decrease migraine headaches

by Dr. Chi
May 23, 2018

Migraine headaches are among the most common complaints you will find in the files of ER doctors. There are several types of headaches, each with a different set of causes or triggers. Some types of headaches have an allergic connection; some do not. If you have a disturbing headache, see a primary care physician before you visit an allergist for evaluation. A primary care physician will help you rule out other more common causes or triggers.


Migraines are a common neurological disorder; the condition is actually one of the most common types of headache in the US — migraines affect more than 37 million people. According to research, the prevalence of migraines has increased in the last two decades or so, more among children than adults. The reason for the increase of the pervasiveness of the condition is unknown. Changes in dietary habits are postulated as a factor, but the stress of a more competitive and hectic lifestyle could be equally responsible.


Allergens That Can Cause Migraines


Some of the most common side effects of allergies are breathing troubles and nausea. It seems like allergic persons have a lot to deal with, right? Perhaps. But did you know that some allergens can lead to the development of migraines? Well, now you do. Add migraines to the list of potential side effects of an allergy. If you are allergic, you are 33 percent more likely to develop migraines on a frequent basis.


The addition of migraines to the list of possible side effects of allergies makes the situation a lot worse. However, if you are one of those people who suffer migraines as a result of an allergy, don’t you worry. You are not helpless – there some things you can avoid to decrease your chances of getting an allergen-induced migraine attack. For starters, you can avoid some of the diets that are high in allergens, and by extension, reduce your chances of getting a migraine attack.


Food Allergens


Food allergens can lead to migraines. For instance, foods like aged cheese and chocolate can trigger a migraine. The reaction is probably caused by a property of the food rather than the food itself. It’s a more pharmacologic or drug-like reaction, but these are just theories that lack scientific backing. Further research is required in this area; it’s not possible to make a clear-cut connection between food allergies and migraine headaches.


One survey showed a decrease in the frequency of migraines after a change in diet. However, there is no evidence to support the direct link between migraine attacks and the diet of an individual, with or without the said allergens. Additionally, it’s hard for an individual to realize that some food he/she is allergic to is causing migraine attacks because naturally, we avoid food products we are allergic to.


Further scientific evidence is needed to show a direct link between food allergies and migraines. However, available evidence, albeit inconclusive, shows a correlation between the two. The best way to avoid food allergen-related migraines is to avoid foods that we are allergic to. The most common foods known to cause migraines are aged cheese and chocolates, so try to avoid them.









The Service offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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