Diet restriction

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Diet restriction

Post  joshp on Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:00 am

After many unsuccessful preventative meds, I am considering a more natural approach to migraine treatment. Has anybody here tried restricting their diet to identify and avoid migraines? If so, could you please explain how you went about it.

Did you see a GP or specialist about it first?

What foods did you cut out? What foods did you eat?

For how long did you try your diet experiment?

What were the results?

Thanks.
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foods

Post  dawn.binks on Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:12 am

tried loads, dairy, wheat, low fat low gi, you name it ive done it but if you read up on food and mig links there is very little evidence to sugest a link, if you go on migraine action web page they explain it and why foods such as chocolate get blamed for migraine. i think just a healthy diet is whats needed. good luck.
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Migraine accidental success!

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:20 am

I agree with all that you mention re diets. These certainly help but I have accidentally found a solution to my own migraines which I have suffered from since childhood. It was found that my kidneys were sluggish under a general checkup at the doctor's. I was put onto the lowest mgs of a water tablet and - hey presto! - my migraines have gone. For quite a few years now. Don't know how it happened but for me, that seemed to be the answer. It's wonderful to be without them and not have to worry if I am going to be ill.

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Re: Diet restriction

Post  pen on Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:51 am

There is a site on line which talks about water and dehydration (not water tablets of course Smile )
This dr reckons lack of water is causing a lot of ills.
I do try to drink a lot of water, but the very time I need it, with migraine, I cant get it down.

P

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Migraine and water

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:56 am

I agree that we need to drink more water but when I had a migraine my whole system backed up and I couldn't eat or drink for about 24 hours until the vomiting had stopped. With the water tablets in my case, it kept things flushing through my system - hence no migraines, I presume. Just to say that the tablets were given to me by my doctor for a different reason but ended up stopping my migraines as well.

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Re: Diet restriction

Post  lesherb on Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:58 pm

I have IH (Intracranial Hypertension) which is a build up of cerebral spinal fluid pressure. So I am on a diuretic. Not everyone needs more water.
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Diet restriction

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:49 am

Yes, I also changed my diet after consultation. I was taken off wheat first and foremost which helped a lot, and concentrated on eating those foods that removed water from my system. This also helped. I was also advised not to take ANY drugs as that only made things worse in the long run. Some drugs build up in your system and this is what happened to me. With the diet the migraines gradually reduced in frequency and severity and I felt much better. But they did not go completely. It was only when I was prescribed water tablets for another sympton did they go altogether. Check the ingredients on everything you eat and stick to natural foods as much as possible.

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drugs

Post  dawn.binks on Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:26 am

shrimp i had to do the same with my drugs after a london neuro said i had to come off them completely. my father died from nonalcoholic sclerosis of the liver from migraine medication hed taken for 60 odd years!!
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migraine diet

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:09 am

Dawn, one of the worst things I was told that could cause migraine was monosodium glutemate. I now check everything I buy and only purchase those items that don't contain it. It helped so much that I realised I was on the right track, for me at least. Food. When you change over to foods that do not contain all sorts of additives, you certainly notice the difference eventually. It takes a bit of time but you gradually begin to feel better.

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Re: Diet restriction

Post  Ivy on Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:58 am

I think that I tried all the elimination diets on earth and I have done all the official and non official tests to detect intollerances.
The elimination diet has worked and helped. I have identified which foods can trigger a bad attack and I should avoid them if only I lived alone on a desert island.
Being a social human who loves to stay among others and to travel, I find it IMPOSSIBLE to follow a diet that has not even an oz. of certain substances.

Anyway, during the elimination diet I felt well and had no migraines for 4 weeks.

It's hard, but it's worth trying
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My Severe Diet Changes

Post  BC on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:55 pm

I pasted the text below from a message I posted earlier this year. There is more to my story/diet successes so feel free to send me a message if you'd like more details. Basically, I only eat about 25-35 food items total. I started out with only eating 1 plain vegetable and plain boiled chicken and added in 1 item each week or so. I would not advise anyone to do this without consulting a dietician, dr. etc. but when you're desperate you do things differently than you should. I was only getting 100 mg or so of Sodium a day when I started this diet and I could have run into some serious problems with that but I figured out what was happening - just one example of why people shouldn't do things this drastic on their own. By doing this diet I went from an almost constant migraine to having about 2 per month (each last 3-4 days but I recently learned from my neuro that if I take a Naproxin with my maxalt it seems to only last 1 day - I posted about this too) Here's my earlier post.


I'm 44. My migraines started sometime in my late teens. Over the years they gradually got worse until about 5 yrs ago when it was 2-3 per week but that was pretty much one constant one because 98% of the time my migraines last about 3 days.

About 6 yrs ago I found out I had either Celiac or gluten intolerance. Once I went gluten free I noticed that my migraines eased up a little bit. I never believed I had food triggers for migraines because it would seem that either everything was a trigger or it was something other than food. I guess after all these years I found out that it was pretty much everything (at least everything I was eating) was a trigger. After realizing that going GF helped me I started looking at everything I was eating. It literally took me about 4 yrs to figure out most of my food triggers. It was a VERY hard lengthy process.

Sometime last year I found out I was hypoglycemic (actually it was/is pretty bad). Sometimes my glucose lever drops to high 40's low 50's only 3.5 hrs after eating. I thought for so many years that I had a blood sugar problem but all my tests came back normal until I got a meter myself and showed my doctor what was happening then they did some more in depth testing. I have lots and lots of other health issues, severe Raynauds, mild anemia, very bad GERD, hiatal hernia, heart abnormalities, Ehlers Danlos, blah, blah, blah, So I figured that working on my already not too bad diet wouldn't be a bad idea. With the diet I have now I have eliminated a huge amount of unexplained misc. problems I have had for years (most interesting was 14 yrs of unexplained gross hematuria).

So here's what I do now that's gotten me to this point:

1. because of hypoglycemia I eat something every 3 hrs even if it is just a handful of almonds

2. I take iron, B-12 and multi-vitamin (I am mildly anemic and my B-12 was low – It took lots of trial and error to find an iron and multi-vit supplement that didn’t cause a migraine)

3. I eat on set schedule and sleep and wake on schedule

4. I avoid the following ( items w/* seem to be my worst triggers)
gluten
dairy
soy
avocados
carregeenan*
chocolate
citric acid*
dried fruits*
eggs*
many fruits
many vegetables
MSG and all its other names
pork (even nitrate free)*
turkey
vinegar
walnuts
pecans
+ all the other normal migraine triggers
+ lots of other things that I can't remember at the moment.

As you can see I have a very limited diet but it definitely pays off.

BC

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Re: Diet restriction

Post  estre004 on Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:59 am

IBC - Out of curiosity, what in the heck do you eat?

The only thing that "may" be a trigger for me is alcohol but not even sure about that because I can drink it and NOT get migraines also.

I read somewhere that food is a trigger in only a small majority of people with migraine.

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Re: Diet restriction

Post  BC on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:53 am

It is probably important for me to say that for 20+ yrs I absolutely believed that foods did not trigger my migraines - apparently I was wrong - SOOO many foods are a trigger for me that basically everything I was eating was a trigger so I couldn't weed out what was and wasn't. Because I seemd to have so many it didn't appear that any were triggers when in fact almost all were.

I must say again this was a VERY LONG exhausting process it actually took several years to get me to where I am now - which is still not migraine free but at least I"m down to about 2 or 3 a month which to me is a miracle but my neuro laughs at this because he has people come to him desperate with 2 or 3 a month but if you are one who had an constant or almost constant migraine you'd give your right arm for that type of relief.

Below is really all I eat. I stick to this about 98% of the time. When I'm traveling and can't get to my reg. foods in time is the only time I'm off this diet and I usually pay for it. It takes a lot of dedication to stick to this. I can't really eat out (if I need to for social reasons I just order a plain salad w/no dressing and don't really eat it because sometimes the greens still have some type of spray or whatever they do to it that is a trigger). I haven't had an alcoholic drink for about 8 yrs and basically I"m no fun but I'm in much less pain which works for me. Here's what I personally eat - (again, I don't want to advocate this diet because if a dietician were to look at it I'm not sure it is completely balanced in what one needs for nutrition.

DRINKS
Water
1 brand of rice milk
Black coffee (8 oz in am and 8 oz in pm)
VEGETABLES
Spinach
Asparagus
Carrots
Squash (a couple types)
Sweet potatoes
Yams
Red pepper
Spring mix (for Salad)
FRUITS
Blueberries
Dates (in Lara bars)
GRAINS
Quinoa
Brown rice
MEAT/FISH
Chicken (cooked w/spices & olive oil only)
Salmon (cooked w/spices & olive oil only)
Occasional Lamb
NUTS
Peanuts & all natural peanut butter
Almonds - plain roasted
Cashews (in Lara bars)
SPICES/CONDIMENTS
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Old Bay seasoning
Raw sugar – very small amounts
1 particular kind of Vegenaise
MISC
Lara Bars – only “Cashew Cookie”
Plain puffed rice cereal (only contains brown rice)
1 brand of gluten free bread
Gluten free brown rice wraps
A natural jelly w/just a couple ingredients






BC

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Re: Diet restriction

Post  estre004 on Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:00 am

Thanks for posting such a lengthy list. It actually doesn't look all that bad (unless you want to socialize). Looks pretty healthy.

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Re: Diet restriction

Post  alli on Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:22 am

I cut out gluten and all processed foods. Since I am gluten intolerant this helped with IBS symptoms more than migraines but anything that stresses my body is going to trigger an attack so in the long run it helps with migraines too.

I try to avoid white foods (although I do eat white rice sometimes) and cook 90% of my meals. I don't drink soda. I drink a variety of teas, water, and lemonade that I make myself. By avoiding chemicals and the excess sugar and salt in processed foods you avoid things that are bad for your body which reduces stress on your system. I have an extremely varied diet so don't miss anything.

When I go out I just choose things on the menu that are healthy. Waiters are usually happy to make adjustments to a meal especially when you tell them you are gluten intolerant.

The only real food triggers I have are alcohol, MSG, and nitrates and nitrites.

Alli
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Re: Diet restriction

Post  TechSpec on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:05 pm

A study on chronic migraines in children showed that 93% of patients could stop their frequent severe migraines on an elimination diet (see first reference). In the study, the patients ate only 4 foods (ex: rice, lamb, apples, and brassica) for a week. If that helped reduce their migraines, they added foods back once a week until their diet was nutritious and socially acceptable. Similar results have been demonstrated in adult patient populations (see second reference). There is growing evidence that migraines are an allergic disease.

I learned a while ago that my diet was by far the best way to manage my migraines. I tried an elimination diet. I cut out 7 common allergens from my diet (Milk, Egg, Wheat, Tomato, Beef, Corn, Soy) and got much better. I now eat mainly rice, vegetables, and fish and have almost no migraines.


Best,
Steven

References:

Egger, J., et al. "Is migraine food allergy?: a double-blind controlled trial of oligoantigenic diet treatment." The Lancet (1983): 865-869.

Mansfield, Lyndon E., et al. "Food allergy and adult migraine: double-blind and mediator confirmation of an allergic etiology." Annals of allergy (1985): 126.

Monro, Jean, Claudio Carini, and Jonathan Brostoff. "Migraine is a food-allergic disease." The Lancet (1984): 719-721.

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