Did you know migraines can be triggered by environmental or food allergies. You can easily recognize the warning signs and get some relief. I am providing you few tips.
Intensely painful migraines can be triggered by many factors, including environmental and food allergies. However, the precise mechanism on how allergens trigger migraines is still unknown, but the most common theories are:
Allergic rhinitis (indoor nasal or seasonal allergies)
According to Marvin W. Bassett, MD, Senior Medical Director of Allergy and Asthma Care, NY, many studies now point to the odd of having migraines are significantly higher in people with allergic rhinitis as compared to the ones without any allergies.
It has been observed that sinusitis is the most common cause of migraine attacks.” Explains Mary Field, MD, Director, Allergy and Asthma Clinic, NY University School of Medicine.
“When any allergic person is exposed to some allergens-mold, dust, animal hair, pollen, or skin-the sinuses become swollen. The swelling can lead to migraines triggering brain nerves to react to this change of pressure. Then nerves will then send signals to the brain that triggers various symptoms of migraine, like intolerance to sound or light, headaches, vomiting, nausea, and dizziness.
We all know that food allergies also cause migraines. “Certain foods such as aged cheese and chocolate can easily trigger migraines. The reaction is drug-like, property of a food rather than a true food allergy,” says Dr. Field. However, there is no clear cut evidence, and further study is needed. One such research did show significant improvement in migraine occurrences when diets of participants were altered, but there isn’t enough research to support a direct link.
It’s a chemical generated by the body in response to some allergic reaction, and is believed to play a decisive role in triggering massive migraines by means of vasodilation or swelling, says Bassett. Therefore, the best way to handle migraines is to test for allergies to various environmental allergens, medications and foods in order to assess the extent of your allergy before moving on to the treatment.
Why there’s hope for migraineurs?
Treatment Options for Allergy Induced Migraines
If you feel you’re getting migraines due to food or seasonal allergies, we’re providing some treatment options:
Take care of your sinuses
Allergy and sinus treatment is not difficult. You just need to rinse the sinuses with natural saltwater or opt for irrigation. Nasal steroids and nasal antihistamines can treat underlying allergic rhinitis by reducing the swelling in the sinuses and nose. Another easy and natural way to avoid allergies is to avoid nasal allergens. Sometimes antihistamine or decongestant combinations can help with nasal and sinus blockage as well. You should use nasal vasoconstrictors only on short-term basis to avoid “rebound congestion.”
Try to Avoid Common Triggers
Treating your nasal/sinus allergy is useful if you’ve allergies and migraines-but it’s just a part of treatment program when you’ve physician diagnosed migraine. Try to avoid allergic triggers at home, including removal of pet from your home, or from your room and using bedding covers for dust mites.
Comprehensive allergy management is possible with effective environmental modification with the help of mattress/pillow encasings, HEPA air filters, and so forth, as well as allergy injections and/or medications to help individual migraine sufferers who also have allergic rhinitis.
For many, these steps may not be enough. “If allergy treatments fail to provide relief from headaches, try migraine specific treatments, including some natural ones I’ve discussed on my blog. If you want to go traditional way, the best option is triptans that work by reducing blood vessel swelling.
If you’re experiencing severe headaches, avoid self-medication using OTC medications. It’s best to consult an experienced neurologist or physician if you’re getting persistent headaches. Maintain a headache diary that lists your daily intake of food, supplements, alcohol, and medications because this will help identify triggers. There is mainly overlap of causes of migraines, and your personal as well as family history needs to be closely looked to ascertain other possible contributors to your migraine headaches.
There are many remedies available to all those who’re suffering from migraines with allergies. Allergy shots, some dietary modifications, or environmental modifications can help in reducing and even treating underlying allergies that often co-exist with migraine headaches.