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Headache Common Dietary Advice

Dietary advice is often given to migraine sufferers. The most popular idea is to avoid tyramines, amino acid-like chemicals present in a number of foods, especially red wine and cheddar cheese.  Other amines include the drug phenylethylamine, found in chocolate. Experiments using tyramine alone have failed to substantiate its primary role in causing migraine headaches. The problem with many food-headache studies has been an overly simplistic view of the pain-causing sequence.

In general, any food that has the property of imitating or releasing mediator substances in the bloodstream may produce pain. Any food that is capable of producing an allergic response can cause headache; this means that staple foods containing milk, wheat, eggs, soya, fish and other foods can cause headaches. Thus, the solution to a chronic headache problem involves complete diet revision and not simply the exclusion of one or two foods.

In one headache study, the authors stated:

"The diagnosis of migraine is based on clinical criteria and should not depend on mechanism or aetiology. Migraine is a multifactorial disease that may be induced through the ingestion of large amounts of chemical mediators in some individuals, or through an allergic reaction to foods in others. In the latter group, the exact mechanism by which foods cause the migrainous attacks is not clear. Some food-allergic reactions arise through an immune-complex-mediated mechanism - that is, a form of serum sickness triggered by a type-I hypersensitivity reaction in the gut. In these circumstances, the composition of the immune complex or the mediators released govern the damaging capacity.

In a study of children with migraine and other serious disturbances, excellent results were produced by dietary therapy. A summary of the results follows:

"93% of 88 children with severe frequent migraine recovered on oligoantigenic diets; the causative foods were identified by foods provoking migraine was established by a double-blind controlled trial in 40 of the children. Most patients responded to several foods. Many foods were involved, suggesting an allergic rather than an idiosyncratic (metabolic) pathogenesis. Associated symptoms that improved in addition to headache included abdominal pain, behavior disorder, fits, asthma, and eczema. In most of the patients in whom migraine was provoked by non-specific factors, such as blows to the head, exercise, and flashing lights, this provocation no longer occurred while they were on the diet. Introduction of cheese, chocolate, and red wine sometimes provoked migraine, allegedly owing to an idiosyncratic response to a pharmacologically active substance, tyramine. This response is perhaps due to monoamine oxidase deficiency... Double-blind administration of tyramine to patients who benefited from a low-tyramine diet did not provoke attacks of migraine... In this study, children with severe migraine were given an oligoantigenic diet and in those who improved the causative foods were identified by open reintroduction; responses were confirmed by a double-blind controlled trial of reintroduction of the causative foods."

Better than drugs...why not remove the original food causes of migraine headaches?

Headache Solution = Remove the Cause: The Alpha Nutrition Program is a standard method of diet revision that can resolve chronic headaches. The first phase of the program is an attempt to clear symptoms. This is home science. You start with the hypothesis that your food intake is causing or contributing to your illness and you do an experiment to find out if it is true. When you read Alpha Nutrition Program instructions, you will realize that there are three tracks through the program - fast, medium and slow. You need to decide the best track for you. To help you decide what strategy is best for you, we suggest rating the severity of your existing illness: You can retreat to Phase 1 foods and replace one or two meals per day with Alpha ENF. This is the medium track on Alpha Nutrition- rehearsal mode. If the problem is prolonged headaches, especially a mixed pattern with daily pain punctuated by attacks of migraine, recovery involves a period of reduced food intake or fasting. The most definitive experiment is to take a food holiday. We recommend Alpha ENF to replace food. The best way to begin is to order the Rescue Starter Pack that includes the Program book and a 500 gram jar of Alpha ENF to try.

The Allergy Center is devoted to explaining a complicated subject. We offer rich resource online and encourage our readers to further pursue their interest by reading our books. Managing Food Allergy written by Stephen Gislason MD describes in detail this import topic with discussions of chronic ill-defined diseases, autoimmune diseases and gluten allergy. The book, Gluten Problems and Solutions describes the best know pattern of food allergy triggered by the proteins in cereal grains. The book, Air and Breathing discusses airborne and food allergy as causes of respiratory disease. Immunology Notes explains in more detail how the immune system works and how immune mediated diseases develop. Many Alpha Education books refer to the Alpha Nutrition Program, a standard method of diet revision originally designed to solve the problems of food allergy. Starter Packs bundle the Alpha Nutrition Program, other books and formulas to help you get started solving your medical problems.


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Alpha Education printed books, Alpha Nutrition formulas and Starter packs are ordered at Alpha Online. Click the Add to Cart buttons to order printed books. Physical shipments by the Post Office to all destinations in Canada and USA. Click the Download buttons to order eBooks. as PDF files for Download

Print Books Read Topics Download
Alpha Nutrition Program
Aching and Fatigue
Air and Breathing
Alpha Cooking
Alcohol Problems & Solutions
Gluten Problems & Solutions
Managing Diabetes 2
Eating and Weight Management
Skin in Health and Disease
Feeding Children
Human Brain in Health and Disease
Managing Food Allergy
Food & Digestive Disorders
Food Choices
Heart and Arterial Disease
Immunology Notes
Managing Inflammatory Arthritis
Nutrition Notes
Skin in Health and Disease

Alpha Nutrition Formulas are gluten free and do not contain cows milk, soya, or egg ingredients. They do not contain food dyes or other additives. They are suitable for vegetarians. Alpha Nutrition ® is a registered trademark and a division of Environmed Research Inc., Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada. In business since 1984. Online since 1995.