Do You Suffer From Migraines?



Mr. Smith was at his wits end. He had been dealing with migraines on and off for over 2 years now with no clear cause or relief. He tried medications, relaxation, avoiding certain foods, and staying away from any sort of chemical or cleaning product. The meds were the only thing that temporarily worked, and even those were starting to lose their effect. Mr. Smith was getting desperate as this was starting to affect his career and his home life. Many days a month were spent in bed or at least wanting to be there. Everything changed when he agreed to Mediator Release Testing. After a few days of feeling lousy on the LEAP diet protocol, something shifted around day 4 and he’s been migraine free ever since. According to him and his family, it’s nothing short of a miracle. He’s now off all of his medications and hasn’t missed a day of work in over 6 months.

For a migraine or chronic headache sufferer, this might sound too good to be true. But it’s not. This story is an actual patient, and is much like the stories of the many migraine clients I’ve counseled. I wanted to write a quick post on migraines because honestly, every migrainer that has walked through my office door has found relief where countless other standard treatments have failed. The problem is that the medical community often overlooks food as a contributor to these types of problems. We constantly mask the symptoms with drugs and other pain-relieving measures, but the underlying cause remains. And so the migraines continue.

What many people want to know is: How does food cause a migraine? How does something one ingests correspond with the brain? It does seem illogical in a sense, but after a simple explanation you will see the connection.

First we need to take a trip to the gut. As you have probably heard, the majority of our immune system actually resides in our digestive tract. When nasty germs or particles our immune system flags as foreign enter this area, they are bound to B cells or T cells to form immune complexes. Normally these immune complexes signal the body to destroy these particles by triggering the release of mediators (things such as cytokines, histamine, macrophages, etc). This localized response can help rid the body of these unwanted invaders. Sometimes, however, especially when the body is responding to a benign molecule like a particular protein from food, these immune complexes can travel in the bloodstream to other parts of the body and release their mediators in other regions. While the molecule was encountered in the gut, it can produce unwanted symptoms anywhere in the body. This is one explanation of how migraines may be connected. Another theory is that because of the inflammation produced by these immune reactions, it may create changes in blood flow via vasodilation/vasoconstriction that could be triggering migraines. In either case, food and the immune system are involved and the offending particles need to be removed from the diet for relief and healing to occur.

The other thing to consider is that there is rarely one singular trigger for migraines. It is usually a host of conditions that set off the debilitating pain in a migraine episode, with food being one of those triggers. Other common triggers include light sensitivity, dehydration, caffeine intake, and lack of sleep. Any combination of these factors, along with ingesting the wrong foods in just the right quantities, can be just enough to set off a reaction. It’s a complicated and intricate process, but knowing foods that are likely to assist in triggering these episodes are a crucial step in solving the puzzle.

Now I will admit, I do not suffer from migraines. I have food sensitivities, but migraines are not my symptom. I have had enough headaches at various times to know, however, that true migraines must be dreadfully awful. That is why I’m so passionate about helping people in this condition. For many, medications just aren’t working and no other solutions are being offered by the medical community. They are left hopeless, fearing constantly about when and where the next episode will rear its nasty head. They guess about what food and lifestyle factors might be part of the cause but they just can’t seem to figure it out. The beauty of MRT is that it takes the guesswork out. It’s been a life changer for thousands of migraine-sufferers.

If you or someone you know is suffering from migraines or terrible headaches, please have them talk to me. I’m always available by phone to talk to anyone for free. If I’m not the right fit for them or they feel MRT is not the best route for them, I will help find someone or something that is. I just want you to get well and will do what I can to support that journey.

Danielle VenHuizen

Registered Dietitian, Certified LEAP Therapist