Headache Case Histories
Migraine headaches may be part of a food allergy syndrome. Commonly associated problems are irritable bowel, fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, nose congestion, joint pains and depression. The following case histories illustrate how these common problems are blended indifferent patients. Sometimes the headaches are the dominant problem and the associated symptoms form a background noise; in other patients headaches compete with other symptoms for first place.
Fibromyalgia, Fatigue, Migraine
This 26 year old secretary presented with an illness of over six months duration with a complex of symptoms. She stated that she declined from a high energy athlete to a painful, tired, despondent state. Her relationship was on the rocks because she was disinterested in going-out, had lost her sex drive, and was generally irritable and easily annoyed. She described a strong "don't touch me" aversion, even to affectionate touching. She had difficulty completing ordinary activities and required extra sleep during the evening and on weekends. On her worst days, she felt too tired to go to work and often stayed in bed with generalized aching and stiffness, sleeping 12-16 hours per day. Her throat was sore, and her neck lymph nodes were enlarged and tender. She had severe, sick headaches at least once a week, lasting all day, often with nausea, occasional vomiting, and intolerance to light.
Medical investigation had been largely negative, including negative allergy skin tests. She was told she had chronic EB virus infection. She was aware of food reactivity and noted that dairy products triggered bloating and a dopey, tired feeling. She had stopped drinking any alcoholic beverages because they made her ill with immediate flushing, quick intoxication, and a heavy hang-over that lasted at least 2 days. She thought she had a good diet with a high intake of whole wheat cereals, muffins, pastas, milk, cheese, and salads; she drank 3 cups of coffee per day and about 12 ounces of white wine per week. She chose to clear on an Alpha ENF, reporting dramatic improvement of all symptoms by Day 8, and a sustained remission on Phase 1 and 2 of the Alpha Nutrition Program.
Headaches, Aching, Poor Concentration
A 32 year old woman presented headaches of over 10 years duration in varied patterns, mostly pressure sensations involving her whole head. During the most severe headaches she felt groggy and disoriented. She complained that she had not experienced a "clear head" for months. Associated symptoms increased during the past year, especially the gastrointestinal disturbances, congestion, aching, and stiffness. Her food intake included milk, dairy products, bananas, citrus, bread, and six to eight cups of coffee per day. She decide to start the Alpha Nutrition Program with a food holiday and substituted Alpha ENF for food and cleared her symptoms within 6 days
She experienced mild symptom recurrence with the introduction of a few Alpha Nutrition Phase 1 and 2 foods. She remained on the safe remaining foods for over 2 months because she felt so well before trying any of the Phase 3 and 4 foods. She enjoyed the simplicity of her new diet and felt so well that temptations beyond her newly defined safe zone were usually resisted.
Hay Fever, Abdominal pain, Joint Pains, Headaches
A 28 year woman described a slowly progressive illness of 10 years duration that feature frequent migraine headaches within a complex of other disturbances that evolved over time, Repeated tests were not helpful in revealing the nature or origin of her suffering. She failed to improve with several medications, including pain-relievers, tranquilizers, antihistamines, and anti-depressants. She first developed hay fever 10 years ago and had positive skin reactions to pollens and took shots for a while. The shots reduced her seasonal allergy in the first 2 years, but later, she developed more generalized, continuous symptoms, with year-round nasal congestion, headaches, eye irritation, aching, and fatigue. She frequently had coughing spells, often at night. These disturbances slowly increased, and she stopped the shots, thinking they were making her worse. Bouts of abdominal pain and diarrhea led to several X-rays, stool tests, and drug trials with no diagnosis and no treatment benefits. She had a history of milk allergy since infancy and generally avoided milk but consumed dairy products and "loved cheese". Her diet was high in intake of cereal grains, bread and baked products, meat, and fruit. She drank at least three cups each of coffee and tea per day but avoided alcoholic beverages.
She cleared uneventfully on Alpha Nutrition Phase 1 foods and continued to do well with phase 2 foods. When she "fell-off- the-wagon" she would get rather migraine headaches often with bouts of abdominal and diarrhea, followed by 3 to 4 days of a flu-like illness - one severe episode sent her to the emergency department, seeking relief from the pain and reassurance that she did not have acute appendicitis.
Congestion, Migraine, Fatigue
A 28 year old woman presented with an illness that emerged over the past 3 years. She had daily headaches, and 2-3 days per week, the pain became increasingly severe with throbbing, nausea, blurring of vision, and mental fogginess or confusion which lasted several hours. She described a history of hay fever in her teens with spring nose congestion and sneezing. She had positive skin reactions to dust and pollens but not foods. In the past year, she had developed continuous nose and sinus congestion which did not improve with antihistamines. She stated that she used to have surplus energy but now had difficulty completing ordinary activities. She was aware of food reactivity and noted that ice cream and chocolate triggered flushing, increased throat mucus and bloating. She was tired through the day and had episodes of extreme fatigue, often an hour after eating. She required extra sleep and had stopped most physical activities. On her worst days, she ached and felt stiff..." I feel 80 years old". Her face was flushed, beet-red, and often broke out in a pimply rash.
Her diet consisted of quick food such as cereals, bread, pasta, crackers, cheese, fruit, and some meat. She drank 3 cups of coffee, occasional wine, and treated herself with desserts (cheese cake, cinnamon buns) 2-3 days per week. She seldom cooked at home.
She cleared on Alpha Nutrition Phase 1 foods, and had some difficulty learning how to cook basic meals. Prompt symptom recurrence after eating non-Alpha Nutrition foods convinced her that she had food allergy.
Better than drugs... why not remove the original food causes of migraine headaches?