Could a Plant-Based Diet Help Ease Chronic Migraines?

Newest Migraine Information

News Picture: Switch to Plant-Based Diet Rid Man of Chronic MigrainesBy Robert Preidt and Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporters

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2021 – Individuals who stay with power migraines endure intense throbbing and pulsing, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting.

Might a plant-based diet, credited with quite a lot of constructive well being impacts, additionally assist ease these power signs?

It would.

Researchers in New York have revealed a case research of 1 man with extreme power migraines who had tried every thing to curb them, after which switched to a plant-based diet — loaded with lots of darkish inexperienced leafy greens.

He rapidly discovered vital aid from the headaches, docs reported on-line Nov. 18 within the journal BMJ Case Reviews.

“This report means that a complete meals plant-based diet could supply a secure, efficient and everlasting therapy for reversing power migraine,” wrote a workforce led by Dr. David Dunaief, who focuses on dietary drugs and has a non-public follow in East Setauket, N.Y.

One knowledgeable in migraine who wasn’t related to the research was cautiously optimistic in regards to the findings.

“It’s arduous to make a lot from one case report, [but] it does illustrate the significance of all of those non-pharmacological, evidence-based remedies,” mentioned Dr. Noah Rosen. He directs Northwell Well being’s Headache Middle in Nice Neck, N.Y.

Because the researchers famous, greater than 1 billion folks worldwide have migraines, outlined as one-side, pulsating headaches, typically with quite a lot of different signs, that final between 4 and 72 hours.

Some migraines are episodic, which means they occur fewer than 15 days per 30 days. Others are power, with 15 or extra migraine days per 30 days plus migraine options on eight days per 30 days.

To be thought-about profitable, migraine therapy should lower the frequency and size of the assaults in half or enhance signs.

The 60-year-old man whose experiences are detailed within the report had endured extreme migraine headaches with out aura for greater than 12 years. Six months earlier than his clinic referral, his migraines had change into power, occurring wherever from 18 to 24 days every month.

He had tried a lot of potential fixes, together with the prescribed medicines zolmitriptan and topiramate. He additionally lower out potential ‘set off’ meals, together with chocolate, cheese, nuts, caffeine, and dried fruit. Past this, the person additionally tried yoga and meditation to curb the assaults.

None of these interventions had labored.

The person described the pain as throbbing, beginning abruptly and intensely within the brow and temple on the left aspect of his head. His migraines often lasted 72 hours and likewise included sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. His pain severity was 10 to 12 out of a scale of 10.

He did not have excessive ranges of systemic irritation however had a traditional stage of beta carotene in his blood, presumably as a result of he ate candy potatoes every day. Candy potatoes are comparatively low in meals vitamins referred to as carotenoids, which carry anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, the authors defined.

Leafy greens corresponding to spinach, kale and watercress do comprise excessive ranges of carotenoids, nonetheless.

So, Rosen’s workforce suggested the person to undertake the Low Inflammatory Meals On a regular basis (LIFE) diet. It is a nutrient-dense, complete meals, plant-based weight loss program. The routine advocates consuming no less than 5 ounces by weight of uncooked or cooked darkish inexperienced leafy greens each day, consuming one 32-ounce every day inexperienced LIFE smoothie, and limiting consumption of complete grains, starchy greens, oils, and animal protein, notably dairy and purple meat.

After two months on the weight loss program, the person mentioned his migraines had been dramatically decreased — to only one migraine day per 30 days, and even that headache was much less extreme.


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On the similar time, his blood assessments confirmed a considerable rise in beta-carotene ranges.

Quickly, the person stopped taking all his migraine meds. His migraines stopped utterly after three months and have not returned in 7 1/2 years.

The person was allergic, and beforehand revealed analysis means that higher management of allergies may result in fewer migraine headaches. On this case, the person’s allergy symptoms additionally improved — to the purpose that he now not wanted to make use of seasonal medicine.

He was additionally HIV-positive, and HIV has been linked to a heightened threat of migraines. It’s potential that the person’s HIV standing and antiretroviral drugs had contributed to his signs, the authors mentioned, although it wasn’t potential to check this additional with out stopping the antiretroviral therapy.

“Whereas this report describes one very adherent affected person who had a exceptional response, the LIFE weight loss program has decreased migraine frequency inside 3 months in a number of extra sufferers,” Dunaief added.

For his half, Rosen mentioned that “the function of correct weight loss program and migraine has had a couple of research demonstrating profit.”

Being correctly hydrated, consuming a wholesome “low-glycemic” weight loss program and getting numerous omega 3 fatty acids (corresponding to are present in oily fish) have all been proven to have a constructive impact on curbing migraines, he mentioned.

Past meals, getting good sleep, common exercise and psychological interventions corresponding to “cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness and progressive muscle leisure” may assist, Rosen mentioned.

Extra info

Discover out extra about migraines on the American Migraine Foundation.

SOURCE: BMJ Case reviews, information launch, Nov. 18, 2021

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