Migraines and Diet
Research suggests diet plays a role in migraine. It is linked to foods causing overstimulation of the arteries in the head, leading to pain. Fluctuating blood sugar levels (BSL) is a common cause. High glyceamic index foods that cause a rapid rise in BSL cause the body to secrete a quick hit of insulin, which rapidly decreases BSL back to normal or lower levels. This sudden drop in BSL causes constriction of the arteries in the brain, leading to headaches. Low BSL can lead to headaches, as the body reacts by secreting hormones which increase the amount of glucose going to the brain. This increases blood pressure and narrowing of the arteries in the brain, leading to pain. Caffeine is an artery constrictor. To compensate its effects, the body secretes artery dilators. During periods of coffee withdrawal, this excess artery dilator leads to increased blood flow and thus a throbbing headache only caffeine can stop , by causing artery constriction.
Some people are sensitive to food chemicals that cause headaches, such as MSG, nitrates and amines. It is wise to discuss these issues with your dietitan, as they can help to work out which are the offending chemicals causing the headaches.
Added to site on : Thursday, 7 June 2012