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July 28, 2010

NYT: Can Foods Trigger Migraines (and Other Symptoms)?

The New York Times published a story on July 26, 2010 discussing how foods can indeed trigger migraines. The story quotes a study where patients were tested for IgG food allergies and their diet modified to either include or exclude the suspect foods. What they found is that diet restriction based on IgG antibodies is an effective strategy in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks.

Patients should be aware that IgG food allergies are NOT the life-threatening allergies that may can cause airway swelling and even death (ie, peanut allergy). Such life-threatening food allergies are IgE mediated and not IgG. Patients allergic to IgG foods can STILL eat the foods they are allergic to, but it is recommended to limit the intake if they want to feel better.

Other alleged symptoms that IgG foods allergies can cause include the following:
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Drowsiness
• Flatulence
Reflux
• Skin disorders
Globus
• Mild Sore Throat
• Dizziness
• Meniere's
Ear problems

All of these symptoms are mild and cause more annoyance rather than actual disability.

Read the NYT article here.

Reference:
Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: a clinical double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial. Cephalalgia. 2010 Jul;30(7):829-37. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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