by Marshaneil Soumi D’ Rozario | 17th Dec, 2018
Diet plays an important role in day to day life. And yes you can do both prevention and cure for a migraine by making sure that your diet includes all the required nutrients. But first, let us understand Migraine and what it is. It can be described as a severe headache which happens generally on one side of the head, associated with disorders of digestion, liver, and vision. Patients might have a feeling of nausea and vomiting; tingling or numbness, or weakness in an arm, leg or any other part of the body.
Stress, which can be work-related or even on any personal front; lack of nutrient-rich food in your daily diet, erratic meal timings and excess intake of food after long gaps; excess of alcohol consumption, hormonal changes in women (as menstrual cycle is not just period cycle, but also associated with biological changes in your body, both physical and psychological), lack of sleep and change of weather; relocation, fatigue, anxiety, bright lights, loud noises, certain medicines, strong smells and insufficient sleep, can all trigger migraines.
Dr. Shweta Diwan from Slimage Diet Clinic says, “Diet is one of the major factors for any type of a migraine, and even chronic migraine can be reversed through proper dietary guidance.”
Delayed or irregular meals is one of the main reasons for migraines. This is typical, because of one’s blood-glucose levels falling too low. We need the energy to operate, and most of this energy comes in the form of carbohydrates (sugars). Our bodies convert these carbohydrates into aldohexose (which is simpler to use) and this is then carried through the blood to the various parts of the body. The brain needs a regular supply of glucose, and if that is disrupted, it is the first organ to get affected. Rigorous diets and skipping meals altogether can be a trigger, and if continued for a prolonged period it may lead to chronic migraine.
Some have suggested that a gluten-free diet has an effect on migraine.
There are no such findings so far, but it is clear that missing meals definitely triggers a migraine, so eating a healthy diet at regular mealtimes is advisable.
Equally, if you are wondering what kind of food should be avoided if you have a migraine, they are eggs, tomatoes, onions, dairy products, wheat (including pasta and bread products), citrus fruits, nitrites (found in foods and alcohol), and Sulphite which is used as a preservative, that may also cause headaches. As the sulphite content increases, it also increases the chances of migraine.
Other migraine triggers:
• Alcohol is a cause of dehydration, which may also cause a migraine.
• Red wine, beer, whiskey, and champagne are the most commonly identified headache triggers.
• Salty foods, processed foods that may contain harmful preservatives, and foods with high levels of sodium can increase blood pressure, causing headaches or migraines.
• Caffeine, food additives, such as MSG, aspartame, chocolate, aged cheeses, and nuts.
You need to identify which one is the cause by making a food log while consuming the above-mentioned food list, as it totally depends on each individual’s body’s response to a food group.
It is also equally important to stay hydrated, as our bodies are 70% water which cannot be substituted. Shweta Diwan says, “We consume water as liquid and also as part of the food we eat, so it is very important to be careful of what we are putting inside our bodies.”
If you want to stay a migraine-free or reduce the incidence of migraines, never skip meals, make sure all your meals include all the nutrients required, drink at least three litres of room temperature water per day, and eat whole foods which don’t have preservatives or artificial flavorings. Increase your intake of green vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and rice - especially brown rice; dried or cooked fruits, particularly non-citrus kinds such as cherries and cranberries, and natural sweeteners. Cover yourself properly during winters or when you travel to any cold place, and reduce the stress in your day to day life.
For Appointment : Dr. Shweta Diwan
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