The Migraine Diet - Balancing Proteins & Carbohydrates
Following the migraine diet is one of the most important aspects of your migraine treatment. You can take medication to stop an individual headache, but unless you stop eating certain foods that excite brain cells and deplete serotonin, you are only treating the symptom. To avoid headaches you must treat the disease, not the symptom. Treating only the headaches is like putting a small 'Band-aid' on a gaping head wound. The wound must be cleansed and sutured before the bandage is applied.
Although it may be a difficult “pill” to swallow, you must change your diet to control your migraine. Again, migraine is a disease, not a headache. As with diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, one must make lifestyle changes, including dietary changes. Every headache sufferer who decides to seek treatment at Charleston Headache and Neuroscience Center participates in the migraine diet program.
Headache sufferers come to the diet class believing they will have to change everything about their eating habits. This is simply not true. We work with them to incorporate menu ideas that include their favorite food from the foods allowed list. It is important that they bring their food diaries to each visit. We help individuals with food substitutions, menu planning, snacking and even give suggestions for eating out. We also work with individuals to make the diet more nutritionally balanced.
Many of us are concerned about our weight and would like to drop a few pounds. This is more difficult for those for those with migraine. Several of the medications used to treat migraine increase the appetite. The migraine dietary restrictions prohibit the use of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and NutraSweet® (aspartame) which are found in most, if not all, 'diet' and 'low fat' food products. We at CHNC have developed a diet that not only is easy to follow, but also nutritionally sound. There are no special supplements to purchase. We discourage the use of low or no fat, sugarless or diet food products. But worry not -- reducing carbohydrate intake to help eliminate blood sugar fluctuations (and thereby to help reduce headache frequency) naturally results in weight loss. Yes, weight and headache control! Does this sound too good to be true? Well it's not, it just takes a little knowledge and a lot of determination. We suggest those with frequent headaches eliminate all the foods found on the foods to avoid list.
Incorporating the migraine diet into the treatment of those who suffer with headaches has gained popularity through out the medical community. Physicians in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, California, Alaska and Hawaii referring their patients to www.gottaheadache.com to purchase Dr. Foster's books on the subject. Migraine diet counseling visits are available for those who wish to continue their usual headache care with their personal physician. Please call the center for more information regarding migraine diet counseling.