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Migraine: A Journey to Rise Above 5 of 10

Updated on March 15, 2012

This article continues my journey to overcome daily chronic migraines and the other conditions that go hand-in-hand.

Oh, sweet chocolate!
Oh, sweet chocolate! | Source

Migraines & Food Allergies

Food sensitivities are known to contribute to migraines. Think of it this way...You have a medical condition that is initiated by an unknown imbalance in the body. You are ingesting chemicals, even natural ones that may be aggravating this imbalance. Essentially you are poisoning yourself every day.

So, I embarked on a side trip and learned about food allergies. There are extensive food panel tests that can be given. I have not had one, but would if I could. Most insurance companies do not cover them, and they often have to be prescribed by a naturopathic physician. I did have regular blood panels and though I tested negative for celiac disease, I conducted and trial and error elimination diet over several years to look for problem areas.

Elimination diet trials can be very difficult. One has to be conscientious about the embedded ingredients in foods. For example, if you are attempting to eliminate wheat from your diet, you may be alarmed to discover how many packaged foods have some form of gluten. Cereals are notorious. Malt is a gluten product and many cereals have malt in the recipe as a flavor enhancer. I had to specifically learn the derivatives for wheat, dairy, and other food chemical to be sure I was on the right track.

In a nutshell, products that have gluten are those made from flour, bulgur, rye, barley, semolina, durum, graham, farina, couscous, and matzo. There are a few ingredients that are on-the-fence such as buckwheat, spelt, and quinoa. The gluten-free list includes amaranth, soy, fava beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), corn, millet, oats (certified GF), potato, rice, and tapioca. Many people eat this way even if they are not sensitive to gluten. Some research indicates that our body processes wheat more slowly. Since our food is readily available, it isn't necessary to pack in all the extra fuel.

I discovered that I have a very low tolerance for dairy products and somewhat low tolerance for wheat products. I found that I react more severely to certain foods, such as wine and chocolate. If I do not stay on a rigid diet, over time, I generally feel yucky and my migraine symptoms exist with vigor.

Ultimately, I learned that if I reduce the intake of food chemicals that are toxic to me then I have an easier time when I want to “cheat” to eat chocolate or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I also recognized that I feel better overall. I have more energy, sleep better, have fewer intestinal issues, and most importantly, experience less migraine symptoms.

Food sensitivities are certainly not my only trigger, but it is a major component that can be controlled or eliminated by my own choices and actions. It took me several years to adapt my eating and cooking patterns to fully assimilate into a migraine diet. It was hard work, but it was worth it. I have always eaten healthy, but this was better.

My journey has taken me through the inner-workings of my body. Next I move on to the care of my physical structure.

Thanks Dr. Piercy!

My neurologist gave me positive feedback on my articles. Her comments:

"it is so great that you were able to gain so much insight and experience...I think your story will be an inspiration for other patients in similar situations....Also, you should consider writing about Botox or Toxin injections for migraine treatment. This could be helpful and informative for other patients."


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