• Anna Johnson

Migraines and Food Sensitivities

Migraine headaches affect every in 4 households in America, equating to almost 30 million people nationwide. And although a common problem, the cause of migraines is also commonly misunderstood.

Much research has been done trying to pinpoint the one ultimate cause of migraines, but numerous theories remain. One compelling and evidence-based theory that has been proven to hold weight in both controlled trials and clinical care is the cytokine theory of headache. In this theory, inflammatory immune cell cytokines are proposed as the mediators of migraine headaches, in addition to prostaglandins, leukotrienes—all of which can cause inflammation, heightened pain perception, vasoconstriction or vasodilation, and other symptoms.

So what causes the release of these mediators? FOOD INTOLERANCES AND SENSITIVITIES. In a study in Annals of Allergy (1985), participants followed a controlled fast for one week, followed by a controlled period of dietary reintroduction. The results? An astounding 80% of participants reported a major improvement in their migraine symptoms.

While the specific underlying food intolerances and sensitivities will vary with each person’s own unique body chemistry, we do know that certain foods and food chemicals (both synthetic and naturally occurring) are infamous for their tendency to encourage the onset of a migraine headache.

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Artificial colors

  • Refined grains

  • Processed sugar

  • Foods high in amines (phenylethylamine, histamine, tyramine) such as aged or smoked meats and cheeses, fermented foods (yes, including wine and beer!), liver, yeasts, ripe bananas, ripe avocados, and ALL LEFTOVERS.

And while assessing your intake of the aforementioned foods has the potential to drastically improve your headaches in both severity and frequency, elimination diets done solely by trial and error can be daunting, time-consuming, and discouraging. The best course of action (and the one that has the most accurate and concise results!) is to do a personalized food sensitivity test, such as the MRT test. The MRT test is the gold standard food sensitivity test, and will reveal your specific sensitivities to foods and food chemicals—and ones that normally would not show on an allergy test (either blood or scratch skin), as a different immune mechanism is in play.

The MRT test has helped countless migraine sufferers get their lives back...and live pain-free! Could you be the next success story? Email Dr. Anna, Naturopathic Doctor, Functional Nutritionist, and MRT LEAP Dietary Therapist at annasorganicswellness@gmail.com for more information.

Anita P. says, “For 40 years I’ve had migraines, the last 20 with a headache every day. I’ve tried all the “new” drugs, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, massage, etc. Nothing seemed to help other than to give minor and temporary pain relief.

Finding the LEAP program has been like finding a miracle. Since starting the LEAP Disease Management Program 2 months ago, I haven’t had a full-blown migraine, and the chronic headache has been completely eliminated. With the LEAP Program and without the constant pain, I have more energy and quite a few of my other aches and pains have gone away. Thank you from me and all of my family!”





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