Food Allergies and Headaches: Understand What May Be Making Your Head Throb

Plagued with headaches and can’t seem to get a handle on it?  Not sure what is causing them and there seems to be no relief in sight?  Perhaps the cause is actually no further than your refrigerator or your dinner table.  In fact many research studies show that food allergies can cause allergy induced inflammation, leaving you with debilitating headaches. 

More than 37 million people in the United States suffer with headaches on a regular basis.

While the types of headaches may vary, a majority of those suffering say they are moderate to severe in pain and discomfort. 

Typically headaches are a result of some type of inflammation somewhere within the body that eventually causes the head to throb, pulse or feel discomfort.  When your immune system reacts to a food allergen, an inflammatory reaction can occur within your body.  This inflammatory reaction can then wind up causing pain within your head. This can happen with any food that the body mistakenly detects as an invader, which then sets off a response by the immune system.  Any food that you may be allergic to is capable of this reaction, making it often difficult to identify which one is the culprit.

While a food allergy is very individualized, research shows that there are several foods that have been linked to causing headaches, specifically migraine type headaches.  The top food allergens found to be linked to headaches are wheat, cow’s milk, cane sugar, yeast, corn and eggs.

  Additionally, food coloring, flavors, preservatives, aspartame and MSG are often associated with triggering head pain.  

Not to mention that much evidence also links alcohol and caffeine to have causal effects on headaches.  In terms of alcohol, the sulfites in wine are often at the root of the problem.

  Caffeine and withdrawal from too much of it, can be a cause as well.  It is safe to say that there is a direct correlation with foods and food allergies and headaches.  To what degree is something that needs to be examined in those who suffer from constant headaches. 

For many headache sufferers, medication is the quick fix for the problem.  Doctors often suggest over the counter remedies or provide prescription medications for their patients.  While this provides temporary relief, it does not get to the root of what is causing the pain.  For this reason a food allergy may go undiagnosed for a long time.  

It is important to recognize that many allergy symptoms take hours to show up, so quite often a person would not even realize that it was the food that caused this pain.  The inflammation may not be immediate having the headache occur hours after the food has been digested. 

While trying to determine if a food allergy is the cause, it is important to keep a journal of your food intake and symptoms.

  Aside from headaches, you might want to take notice of other food allergy symptoms.  These can include: gas, diarrhea, bloating, hives, stuffy nose after eating or lethargy after meals.  

It is important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor if you suspect you have a food allergy that may be causing your headaches. Through skin testing, blood tests or food elimination diets, food allergies can be properly diagnosed.  Once diagnosed, the treatment is to remove that food from your diet.  Learning how to live with your food allergy, by changing your diet, reading labels and eating a balanced diet should alleviate the symptoms.   

Anyone experiencing headaches on an on-going basis should discuss this with their doctor to rule out any other explanations as well. 

Wouldn't it be nice to finally have your headaches be a thing of the past? 

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