By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
The food you eat on a daily basis has a profound effect on your body being in a pro-inflammatory state or an ant-inflammatory state. The more inflamed you are the faster your body breaks down. The faster your body breaks down, the more symptoms like pain, fatigue, migraines headaches and hormonal issues occur. On the reverse side, the more you are putting your body into an anti-inflammatory state, the easier it is for your body to heal and perform at the highest levels possible.
Migraines and gluten consumption have a strong connection. Consuming gluten has shown to cause a decrease in cerebral blood flow, the blood flowing to your brain. The main role of cerebral blood is to carry oxygen and nutrition to the brain for fuel so it can perform and thrive in its daily activities. When the ability to feed the brain is impaired migraine headaches can occur (1).
The analogy I give my patients is, imagine crossing your legs for 2-3 hours. Do you remember that pins and needles feeling you get when your leg hasn’t received enough blood? Now imagine getting up and running across the room, you’re likely to trip and fall. The same rings true when having cereal for breakfast, pizza for lunch and pasta for dinner than having to use your brain to problem solve or take a test. Living your life like this is likely to cause your performance to suffer and potential headaches.
1. Nutritional Deficiencies: An Inflamed gut from common food allergens like grains, dairy and legumes are notorious for causing mal-absorption of important nutrients like iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium and vitamin-c to name only a few. These nutrients are important for every day health functions and healthy blood flow to the brain.
2. Consumption of artificial compounds: Aspartame, splenda and MSG (mono sodium glutamate) are known excitotoxins. Excitotoxins are chemicals that stimulate neurons in the brain to the point where they are destroyed; this is not a good thing! Research from Russell Blaylock MD, a renown neurosurgeon has elaborated on this phenomenon in his book, “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills.”
3. Exposure to toxic chemicals: Personal care or cleaning products can cause serious damage to your health and are a common cause of migraine headaches too. I recommend all of my patients to thoroughly examine their house hold cleaners, perfumes, dryer sheets, makeup and shampoos that they are being exposed to on a daily basis. The Environmental Working Group has compiled an excellent data base where you can personally look up the products you use and the level of toxicity is graded on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst). Whole Foods and other natural grocery store are a great place to find non-toxic alternatives.
4. Hormonal and Blood Sugar Imbalances: These can cause migraines in some females. These hormonal imbalances can be attributed to blood sugar disturbances or ebbs and flows in progesterone or estrogen that occur monthly in the female cycle. Getting an adrenal cortisol rhythm or monthly females hormone salivary lab test can help assess if this is the cause of your migraines.
5. Joint Dysfunction: Any time the joints in your body, especially the joints in your neck and the upper cervical spine aren’t moving properly, migraine headaches can occur. Getting your neck assessed by a good Chiropractor can help see if this is the root cause of your issue.
1. American Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol.98, No.3 2003, 626-9.