As per some reports, Migraines afflict 15% of the population, and despite the fact that research centers all over the world are committed to solving this centuries-old riddle, there is still much too little knowledge about it today.
But we know enough to be able to assist in the problem’s management. Let’s look at the triggers, theorized causes, and effects of migraines, as well as the role diet plays in preventing/alleviating them.
What triggers Migraine?
Despite how little we know about migraines, one thing is universally acknowledged: certain components of our lifestyle might operate as migraine triggers.
Bright lights, mental stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, and food allergies are just a few of the triggers that can trigger a migraine.
Migraines should not be treated lightly since they might cause lasting brain damage over time. It is strongly advised that anyone who suffers it eight times or more per month visit a doctor.
What Causes Migraine to Occur
Many patients experience visual disturbances or tingling sensations known as a ‘aura’ as warning indicators of an approaching migraine. This occurs because the delicate membranes that wrap the brain (called meninges) are the starting location of a migraine, notably in the visual and other sensory centers.
Migraines are thought to be caused by blood clots that limit blood flow to areas of the brain, or by an electrical disturbance (of the brain waves). The latter appears to be the case, since the pain originates at the back of the head and ripples out like a ripple in the ocean.
An overabundance of free radicals, a by-product of metabolic processes, has been detected in the brains of migraine patients, leading to a recent idea that it might be a metabolic issue.
Despite their differences, each of these potential causes would eventually lead to the same outcome: inflammation, which is what causes irreversible harm.
Recent research has shown a relationship between migraines and gastrointestinal problems. This might be explained by a notion known as the gut-brain axis, which states that when our gut’s friendly bacteria are unable to prevent toxins from entering the bloodstream, these toxins can travel to the brain and cause difficulties.
Some people’s systems may have any of the aforementioned disorders as a result of their heredity, while others may experience them as a result of dietary inadequacies. A migraine can be caused by a mixture of these causes, which is why migraine medications don’t always work.
Because of this uncertainty, specialists feel that migraine treatment should be multimodal, including therapy, diet, and drugs. While pharmacological research for migraines is presently underway and may take years to finish, diet can help several of the processes outlined above: a therapy that happens to be the only one within our grasp.
Nutrition for Prevention of Migraine
This fatty acid is found in chicken, fish, eggs, and spinach & aids in the formation of brain and cell membranes. It’s also necessary for keeping nerve filaments covered, which enables for effective transmission of electrical brain messages.
Free radicals have long been known to have a role in the development of inflammation in the body. Antioxidants such as plant pigments (phytonutrients) present in plant diets neutralize free radicals.
Carotenoids (particularly zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene), a group of phytonutrients found in red-orange and green fruits and vegetables, filter damaging wavelengths of light and serve as antioxidants in the eyes, potentially helping to defend against light as a migraine trigger.
Certain bacteria contained in food can assist boost the quantity of beneficial bacteria in our stomach, which can help maintain a healthy gut and prevent toxins from reaching the brain, according to the gut-brain axis idea. If a migraine is linked to gastrointestinal issues, eating ‘probiotic’ food (like yoghurt) or taking probiotic pills may be beneficial.
While we may not be able to address the underlying reason of migraine susceptibility at this time, we can still help to avoid or alleviate the pain. A healthy and happier mindset begins with a better food and lifestyle, as it always does.
D) Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Given the tight link between migraines and inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids, with their capacity to lower chronic inflammation, would undoubtedly play a role in reducing the frequency of episodes. DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is utilized to develop various brain structures (including the meninges, where the pain is thought to originate), might also assist preserve the integrity of these brain structures, which may remove or minimize the issue.
E) Additional Nutrients
Certain vitamins and minerals that cells require for regular metabolic activity have been demonstrated to lower migraine frequency (although not necessarily the duration or severity).
Magnesium deficiency, for example, has been found to be more common among migraine sufferers in several research. Magnesium aids in the relaxation of blood vessels and is necessary for cell metabolism.
Magnesium supplementation has been demonstrated to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Vitamin B2, vitamin B3, coenzyme Q10, carnitine, topiramate, and lipoic acid are among the other nutrients.
However, because too much of any of these nutrients might have negative side effects, it’s wise to talk to your doctor regarding dose.
Migraines can be avoided by following a healthy diet. But i needs to be planned scientifically and customized to individual’s specific needs. To know more about customized nutrition plan for your health call us on +91-9743430000.
Ryan Fernando is an Award-winning celebrity Sports Nutritionist with 2GUINNESS world record and 2 Olympic medals under his belt. His client list include Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar, cricketer Shikhar Dhawan & bollywood superstars Aamir Khan & Abhishek Bachchan. He is Chief Nutritionist at QUA Nutrition Signature Clinics.