(NaturalNews) Good news for patients with both migraines and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): an elimination diet done using the body's actual reactions to potential allergens as the primary trigger foods avoided. A recent randomized controlled double-blind clinical trial in Turkey found that an elimination diet based on the blood's levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in reaction to 270 common food allergens helped alleviate the frequency and severity of migraine attacks and IBS-related symptoms in people with both conditions.
This study, performed at the Acibadem University School of Medicine in Istanbul, helped relieve almost every aspect of migraine and IBS attacks. Migraines came less frequently and were less serious, requiring less medication and allowing sufferers to get back to their daily lives almost twice as quickly as those without the targeted elimination diets. IBS symptoms of pain and bloating also happened less frequently and - when they did occur - were less severe. Those on the elimination diet also reported a significant improvement in quality of life.
Common trigger foods for migraines and IBS
No two people with migraines and IBS will have the same list of foods that seem to aggravate symptoms. Despite the personal variation in trigger foods, there are common foods and food groups that frequently cause problems for individuals with these health conditions.
• Gluten and grains. Insoluble fiber can cause abdominal pain in some and relieve constipation in others, but as many as 50 percent or more of IBS patients also have gluten intolerance. Gluten can also cause headaches and migraines in individuals with gluten intolerance or allergy. Avoiding gluten and grain-based foods may help alleviate symptoms of both conditions. • Dairy. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products may cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms for those with IBS and migraine problems. Bloating and diarrhea can result from lactose intolerance as well as the fatty content in many dairy products, and individuals with strong gastrointestinal reactions to dairy may also experience problems with migraines or other body systems. • Caffeine. Although some individuals with IBS may appreciate coffee for its potential use as a "regulator" - as well as for the energy buzz - coffee and other caffeinated beverages (and foods like chocolate) can disturb both the gastrointestinal tract and the blood vessels in the brain. Some individuals with migraines experience significant relief when caffeine is eliminated from the diet.
In order to customize an elimination diet most effectively, consider requesting information on an IgG-based antibody test for the most common food allergens. Follow the advice of a health professional when beginning an elimination diet to ensure proper nutrition in the interim. If an elimination and challenge process successfully reveals a food or food group as a culprit of IBS and migraine symptoms, ask a dietitian how to adjust to the new diet to replace nutritional benefits of the "lost" foods.
About the author: Katie BrindAmour is a Certified Health Education Specialist and passionate health and wellness freelance writer. She enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, searching for the perfect wine and chocolate combination, and spending time with friends. She has a Masters in Biology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Health Services Management and Policy. She also enjoys blogging for Women's Healthcare Topics and Healthline Networks.