It might be surprising to find us writing about headaches, but they are so frequently caused by the same things that cause digestive problems that they have been begging for an article for many years.
Migraines and tension headaches, like IBS, are often associated with stress. But also like IBS they can come on for seemingly no reason at all and are often caused by problems far more specific than stress.
Whether or not you have digestive problems, you may be able to completely eliminate your headaches by simply changing your diet. And we can help you do it.
It is not unusual for patients to visit us for digestive problems only to find that after implementing their individualized treatment plan their headaches have also resolved. Some patients do come to us specifically for the treatment of their headaches, whether they are migraine, tension, and even sinus headaches. Although patients tend to make a big distinction between migraine headaches and tension headaches due to a frequent difference in their severity, they can have the exact same triggers.
Whether or not you are taking migraine medications such as Imitrex (sumatriptan) and Topamax, or you buy your NSAID pain medications in large bottles at Costco, the ability to resolve your headaches remains the same.
Food allergies are the number one cause of headaches of all types. These are not the kind of food allergies an allergist is going to diagnose because allergists don’t deal with headache-related food allergies. These are the “hidden” types of food allergies.
There is some outstanding research on the connection between food allergies and headaches. Two recent studies, including a double-blind study showed a huge relationship between food allergies and headaches, and the ability to often eliminate them without medications.
Besides food allergies, another interesting cause of headaches can be the presence of a yeast or Candida in the digestive tract. Yeast can trigger headaches via the toxic affect of byproducts that they produce. These are absorbed from the digestive tract and can lead to a variety of health problems including headaches.
If you or someone you know suffers from any type of headache, or you would like to get off your headache medication, then please visit us. We would be happy to work with you and may be able to provide you with a whole new perspective on your problem.
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]
Arroyave Hernández et. al. (2007). Food allergy mediated by IgG antibodies associated with migraine in adults. Rev Alerg Mex. 2007 Sep-Oct;54(5):162-8.
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Dr. Stephen Wangen is the award winning author of two books on solving digestive disorders, and a nationally recognized speaker on IBS. He has been on ABC, NBC, and Fox as well as public radio. He was recently named one of Seattle’s Top Doctors by Seattle Magazine.