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Plant-based diet may ease chronic migraine severity, says doctors

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While drugs can help prevent and treat the condition, a growing body of evidence suggests that diet may also offer an effective alternative without any of the side effects associated with some meds.

HINA ZAHID: May be worth adopting plant based diet to ease chronic migraine severity, say doctors. Prescribed meds, elimination diet, yoga and meditation provided no or little symptom relief Boosting dark green leafy veg intake may be key

It may be worth adopting a plant based diet, rich in dark green leafy vegetables, to ease the symptoms of chronic migraine, suggest doctors in the online journal BMJ Case Reports.

The recommendation comes after they treated a man who had endured severe migraine headaches without aura for more than 12 years.

He had tried prescribed meds (Zolmitriptan and Topiramate); cutting out potential ‘trigger’ foods, including chocolate, cheese, nuts, caffeine, and dried fruit; and yoga and meditation in a bid to blunt the severity and frequency of his headaches. Nothing had worked.

Over 1 billion people worldwide have migraines, characterised as one-sided, pulsating headaches lasting 4–72 hours, and often accompanied by sensitivity to noise and light and sometimes prodromal auras.

Migraines are either episodic (fewer than 15 days a month) or chronic (15 or more migraine days a month plus migraine features on at least 8 days of the month).

Successful migraine treatment is defined as a halving in the frequency and length of attacks, or as an improvement in symptoms.

While drugs can help prevent and treat the condition, a growing body of evidence suggests that diet may also offer an effective alternative without any of the side effects associated with some meds, say the report authors.

Six months before his clinic referral, the man’s migraines had become chronic, occurring on 18–24 days of every month… The report authors advised the man to adopt the Low Inflammatory Foods Everyday (LIFE) diet, a nutrient dense, whole food, plant-based diet.

The LIFE diet includes eating at least five ounces by weight of raw or cooked dark green leafy vegetables every day, drinking one 32-ounce daily green LIFE smoothie, and limiting intake of whole grains, starchy vegetables, oils, and animal protein, particularly dairy and red meat.

After 2 months on the LIFE diet, the man said that the frequency of his migraine attacks had fallen to just 1 day a month; the length and severity of the attacks had also lessened…

The report concludes: “This report suggests that a whole food plant-based diet may offer a safe, effective and permanent treatment for reversing chronic migraine”.

“While this report describes one very adherent patient who had a remarkable response, the LIFE diet has reduced migraine frequency within 3 months in several additional patients (personal communication)”. SOURCE…

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