For those who suffer from it, migraines can change their lives. And, finding a cure for them is just as tough. However, for one certain individual who had suffered migraine attacks for more than a decade, the cure was a diet based on plants.
The story of the man was published in BMJ Case Reports on 19th November. He had been suffering from migraine headaches for over a decade. By the time he came to consult with the authors of the study, he was 60. At about that time, the migraine attacks had also become chronic. He had already tried the usual treatments such as medications as well as ridding his diet of any potential triggers of migraine, like caffeine, cheese, and chocolate. But he was still suffering.
Enter The LIFE Diet
This is when he was advised to try out the low inflammatory foods every day (or, LIFE) diet. This diet includes drinking, every day, a smoothie of 32 ounces composed of soy milk, frozen berries, dark leafy greens, and bananas. For the rest of the day, some additional plant-based foodstuff that was rich in nutrients was also added.
These types of foods are believed to help in reducing chronic inflammation. The diet also sets a limit on how much oils, starchy vegetables, whole grains, red meat, and dairy can be consumed in a day.
It did not take many months for the results to be noticeable. At the time of starting, the man was reporting 6 to 8 headaches every month that would debilitate him. Each such attack could take as long as 72 hours. As such, the patient was suffering somewhere between 18 to 24 days filled with headaches in a month.
After 2 months of switching to the LIFE diet, said that he was only suffering from 1 day of headache in an entire month. In the following month, he said that no further migraine attacks had happened. The effect has continued for over 7 years, as the study claims.
Experts Claim That Such Dietary Changes Can Help Reduce Migraine Attacks
Experts hailed the case report as a magnificent start. It showed the possibility of working for the worst of cases as well as within a short duration. However, since the case study involves only 1 patient, experts cannot say for sure if the same diet will have the same effect on other people.
Moreover, this particular patient also had HIV and took antiviral medication daily. As such, experts point out that the patient is not a typical case. Additionally, during the course of the dietary change, there were some more migraine triggers that the patient was made aware of. He had not known about them earlier and thus could have had an effect on the results.
However, a few recent studies do suggest that symptoms of migraine can be reduced by huge changes in diet. For instance, a BMJ July study saw that eating more omega-3 and cutting down on omega-6 reduces the severity and frequency of headaches.
Experts further said the LIFE diet possibly worked because it potentially reduced the body’s oxidative stress and inflammation. Be that as it may, managing migraines involve quality sleep, regular exercise, and prioritizing nutrition. Many prefer to do these over taking medications.
However, eating more whole foods rich in nutrients such as dark leafy greens can be a bit risky for people who are on particular blood-thinning medicines. They can interfere with these drugs. It might also be difficult to digest for those who suffer from inflammatory bowels.
As a result, the experts agree that it can be a good idea, but it is not proven. Also, it is highly recommended to consult with a doctor before trying it.
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