Elimination diet based on antibodies in the blood helps migraines

Food sensitivities have been always suspected to be a trigger for migraine headaches. A group of Turkish neurologists published a study in the journal Headache in which they gave an elimination diet to 21 migraine sufferers who also had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The study was double-blind, randomized, controlled, and cross-over, which is the most reliable type of study. Depending on the results of blood tests against 270 potential food triggers each patient was given a diet that eliminated foods they tested positive for. On average, patients were sensitive to 23 items. Compared with baseline levels, elimination diet was associated with significant reductions in migraine attack count, maximum attack duration, maximum attack severity, and number of attacks requiring medication. There was a significant reduction in pain-bloating severity, pain-bloating within the last 10 days, and was a significant improvement in quality of life by the elimination diet as compared with provocation diet.
The authors concluded that food elimination based on IgG antibodies in migraine patients who suffer from concomitant IBS may effectively reduce symptoms of both disorders with a positive impact on the quality of life of patients.
A similar, but much larger double-blind study published in 2011 compared true and sham diets in 167 migraine sufferers. 84 patients received a diet that eliminated trigger foods identified by IgG testing and the other 83 a sham diet and neither the doctor nor the patients knew who received a true elimination diet and who was given a sham diet. After 12 weeks on these diets there was no difference between the true and the sham group, suggesting that IgG testing is not useful.

Photo credit: JulieMauskop.com

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