IBS Treatment Center

Seattle, WA

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Digestive Problems & Migraines

Posted on by IBSTC

(image thanks to elements4health.com)

Patients with digestive problems often have other problems as well. One of these is migraine headaches. New research on migraine headaches and hidden food allergies draws a clear connection between the two and explains how they can also relate to digestive problems.

Prevalence of Migraine Headaches
Migraine headaches are relatively common in the United States, affecting approximately 17% of the women (that’s 51 million people) and 5.5% (16.5 million) of the men in the country.

Severity of Migraines
Migraines are no small matter. Most people who suffer from migraines experience anywhere from 1-4 attacks per month and over half of these people are severely impaired during their headache. They may last for 4 hours or as long as three days. Most migraine headaches involve intense throbbing pain in the head and often include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound, and potentially other symptoms. Many also are associated with an aura, which is a visual distortion.

Food Allergies Can Cause Migraines
If you follow this newsletter or the IBS Treatment Center, then you know that in many cases digestive problems are caused by what might best be described as hidden food allergies. What you might not be aware of is that hidden food allergies have also been shown to cause migraines.

The Latest Research
In 2008, a wonderful study (see below) reported on the direct link between IgG food reactions and migraines. IgG food reactions are the same reactions tested for at the IBS Treatment Center. In this study it was found that the 56 people in the study who suffered from migraines had significantly elevated levels of IgG antibodies (when compared to a control group) in response to one or more foods in their diet.

When the relevant food was eliminated from the diet of each respective migraine sufferer, their migraines resolved and they no longer needed medication.

Our Experience
What we have seen here at the IBS Treatment Center and our sister clinic, the Center for Food Allergies, is this same relationship between hidden food allergies and migraine headaches. In many cases these patients have come to us for treatment of their digestive problems only to find out their migraines also improved. In many cases this has also been true for other types of headaches as well. It is an added side benefit of our services that we are glad to provide! But you don’t have to have digestive problems to be treated here for migraines.

We will be happy to work with you, with or without digestive problems. But if you have both, then you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that they are often related.

More information about headaches and to read the abstract of this study click here.

References:
Arroyave Hernández et. al. (2008). Food allergy mediated by IgG antibodies associated with migraine in adults. Rev Alerg Mex. 2007 Sep-Oct;54(5):162-8.

Alpay et. al. (2010). Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: A clinical double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial. Cephalalgia. 2010 July; 30(7): 829–837.doi: 10.1177/0333102410361404. [Full Text]

Image thanks to elements4health

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