Have you ever suspected that certain foods trigger your headaches? You are probably right! A headache is really just a symptom of something else – it’s your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. Your body naturally reacts to foods that you are sensitive to by creating inflammation and that inflammation can go right to your head!
Food sensitivities can be a little tricky to identify. When you eat something you are sensitive to, IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibodies are released and attach to the food antigen. These are normally removed by special cells called macrophages but can accumulate when you continue to eat the food you are sensitive to. Over time these complexes get deposited into your tissues and cause inflammation, which can contribute to your headaches. IgG reactions can also cause digestive issues, stuffy nose, low energy, and drowsiness after meals. To further complicate things, these reactions can take hours or even days to develop. They can be caused by one food or a combination of foods.
3 Steps to Help You Identify Food Sensitivities
- Start a headache journal. Take note of all of the details surrounding your headaches. Note things like: what you ate or drank, how you felt after you ate, gas, bloating, digestion, time of day, etc. Over time, you may start to notice patterns and this can be helpful in identifying foods you may be sensitive to.
- Try an elimination/challenge diet. Remove all of the foods, you suspect you might be sensitive to and see if your headaches improve. The usual suspects are: gluten, dairy, soy, corn, fast food, MSG, aspartame, alcohol, and caffeine. Keep track of your progress in your headache journal. You will need to avoid these foods for 2 – 3 weeks. To confirm the results, you’ll want to re-introduce the foods you’ve eliminated, one by one, to see if they cause a reaction. There are lots of great resources to guide you through the process available on the Internet.
- Consider a Food Sensitivity test. I recommend that my patients who suffer from headaches be tested for Food Sensitivities. It’s truly the easiest way to determine which foods may be causing your headaches.. The test is simple; we collect a small sample of blood from your fingertip and then forward the sample to Rocky Mountain Analytics for analysis. Your blood will be tested for reactions to 96 different foods and you will receive a full report with the results. Knowing the foods that you are sensitive to is an important step towards eliminating headaches.
Ready to start working towards a headache free life? What steps will you take to identify your food sensitivities? Please share in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you! As always, feel free to share this blog with your friends and family.