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HeadWay, Issue #009 -- Atkins and migraine...
April 21, 2004
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Atkins and Migraine – when diets collide!
Tea, tannins and migraine
Say what?! Don't get me started...
Atkins and Migraine – when diets collide!The Atkins Diet is taking the world by storm. You hear about it everywhere – the bookstore, in restaurants, on billboards, on TV – millions of people worldwide are giving the Atkins lifestyle a try. For many of us there's a tension between dealing with migraine symptoms and overall health. That medication is easing the pain, but what are the side effects? This food is fine for the rest of my family, but will it trigger a migraine in me?
If you feel you need to go on a diet because of your weight or other medical issues, you may discover that you're already on another diet – one that is focused on avoiding headaches. How in the world do you follow two complicated diets at the same time?!
It's not the purpose of this article to evaluate the Atkins Diet, but if you are thinking of trying this or another program, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. As long as the diet is generally healthy, it should also generally help your headache symptoms. In other words, unless the diet prescribes exactly what you need to eat, it's probably flexible enough that you can follow both diets at the same time.
2. Watch out for sudden changes in your diet. Any sudden changes in your lifestyle can trigger a migraine. If you can ease into a diet, that's probably a good way to go. If not, just be aware that you may be in for a few more headaches.
3. Keep track of recipes that are healthy and that do not contain your migraine triggers. As time goes by you'll find you have quite a stock of delicious dishes to choose from. Get a good migraine cookbook, and adapt the recipes to fit your particular diet. Or, look at the recipes your diet program suggests, and pick out a few that are trigger-free.
4. Discuss your diet with your doctor. If you're taking medication or supplements for your migraines or headaches, there may be special considerations that you haven't thought of.
Remember, you're already at an advantage because you're probably more aware of what your body needs than most people. Use that to your advantage, and take care of yourself!
Tea, tannins and migraineOne example of a food trigger that some people seem to have is tannins. Tannins are plant compounds that are found in many foods, including red wine, tea, chocolate, raspberries and most herbal products.
Research of the relation of tannins to migraine is still in its infancy. They're an excellent example of colliding diets, because they are believed to be excellent antioxidants, and yet if they're causing you pain you may be wise to avoid them altogether.
Learn more about tannins by checking out this article and the related links online...
Say what?! Don't get me started...What do you call it when you're doing something to avoid getting a headache in the first place? The word of the month, “prophylaxis”, refers to anything in the health field that is intended to prevent rather than treat disease. This may be a daily supplement you take to avoid migraine, or it may be the fact that you brush your teeth so that you won't get cavities! Recent research is raising red flags that migraine may actually do permanent damage, and so more people are focusing on prophylaxis than ever.
See you next month, when we'll take a look at some great non-drug treatments that you may not be aware of...
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