It can strike at any moment and before you know it you are virtually incapacitated, resigned to a dark room, unable to socialise for hours or even days. Sound familiar? If you suffer from migraines this is common ritual on your bid to get better and that goes without mentioning the excruciating pain and nausea that can come with it. However what if there was a way to prevent migraines? Well understanding how your body reacts to certain foods is a good place to start.
Doctors know very little about migraine causes except that they run in families, and may be triggered by many conditions ranging from nervous excitement, disturbed sleep patterns, stress and reactions to certain foods, such as cheese or chocolate. These headaches can last hours, sometimes days, and often come with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound and light, and, perhaps most strangely of all, distorted sensory perception, especially vision. If you add together the range of different symptoms and so many different potential triggers, it is no surprise that researchers are perplexed about the science behind these headaches, or that sufferers seem to find treatments so hit-and-miss.
Research however has found that in many people migraines are triggered by reactions to foods. Clinical studies have shown that management of the diet can reduce the severity and, or, frequency of headaches or even stop them. The problem however is knowing what foods you have a reaction to.
Currently the best accepted method for confirming food sensitivities is by elimination diet. This involves eating a restricted diet for several weeks. If there is no reduction in the frequency or intensity of the attacks during this time, it is assumed that the food type that has been restricted is not the problem and the process is repeated with another food type. This method is very time consuming, and because it is impossible to test all the different combinations of food types that may be causing the problems, it is a very ineffective process.
Thankfully, help is at hand with a simple testing service that identifies the trigger foods responsible for food intolerances. This scientific approach is a blood test that measures food-specific IgG antibodies and helps identify different food types in which an individual may be sensitive to. Your body is unique and doesn’t lie, either you have antibody reactions to certain food combinations or you don’t, and the best way to find out is by carrying out a test. You then get an accurate reading of exactly what foods your body is reacting against so that you know what to avoid. Some of the most common food intolerances people experience are yeast, dairy, and wheat intolerance – everyday food types that you may have intolerance to but have never known!
The test is supported by hard evidence; new findings from York University and YorkTest, who surveyed 514 migraine and headache sufferers, showed that 81% benefitted in terms of the frequency and severity of their attacks if they removed the foods from their diet that showed a positive reaction. Once sufferers reintroduced problematic foods into their diets they found that the headache and migraine symptoms returned further supporting the effectiveness of the test.
It does not just stop at migraines however as similar studies have also found other food intolerance symptoms including bloating, depression, acne, aching joints, eczema, and many others further highlighting the important role that your diet plays. The test used in the studies is the YorkTest foodSCAN which is the only test of its kind to be recommended by the charity Allergy UK. The test is available for £265 and requires a few drops of blood from a finger prick which is then sent off to be analysed by YorkTest Laboratories. For more information on the test visit www.yorktest.com.