Migraine headaches in humans have been documented for 6,000 years; the condition is complex and often chronic. Today, migraine headaches are the third most prevalent disease in the world and the second leading cause of disability, affecting up to one billion people worldwide, following depression.
A challenge in migraine research lies in its complex multifactorial pathogenesis; headaches may result from genetic, endocrine, metabolic, and/or environmental factors. But while the exact pathophysiology of migraine remains unclear, there is evidence that inflammation plays a role, and food has been identified as a triggering factor.
To learn more about what foods trigger migraines and why, click on the link to this informative and well-written article by the Institute for Functional Medicine.
What does histamine do in the body?
Histamines are great for protecting the body against parasites. But with allergies, our immune system reacts to harmless substances, not parasites. Histamine is a chemical your immune system releases. It’s mainly known for its role in causing allergy symptoms. But it has other important functions, like regulating your sleep-wake cycle and cognitive function. Antihistamines are a common medication that can manage histamine levels.
Some foods (from the Institute for Functional Medicine site) commonly associated with Histamine reactions include:
- Cheeses: Gouda, Cheddar, Danish, and Swiss
- Seafood: Smoked Mackerel, Herring, Tuna, Canned Sardines, Anchovy
- Meats: Sausage, Pork, Smoked
- Other Proteins: Egg Whites, Tamari, Tempoh, Meso
- Nuts: All Varieties
- Fats & Oils: Avocado, Coconut, Nut
- Vegetables: Eggplant, Spinach, Sauerkraut, Tomatoes
- Fruits: Citrus, Papaya, Strawberries, Pineapple, Bananas
- Beverages: Coffee, Tea, Beer, Red Wine
- Other: Chocolate, Licorice
Another reference for you ~ this website Very Well Health has a great article on a Low Histamine Diet ~ According to the American Migraine Foundation, 39,000,000 Americans are affected with migraines, no two migraines are alike. Symptoms can vary from light sensitivity to dizziness to food ravings to body chills. It occurs most often among people aged 20 to 50 and is 3 times more common in women than men.