Nutrition to Ease Headaches & Migraines

February 16, 2019

Nutrition to Ease Headaches & Migraines

Two nutritionists share food and nutritional solutions for headaches and migraines. In search of a more natural solution to those persistent headaches, we're sharing surprising causes of headaches and ideas for how to keep you feeling your best. 

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Transcript:

KARA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. This show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness and Nutritional Weight & Wellness has sponsored Dishing Up Nutrition for the past 15 years. Every so often we receive thank you calls, emails, even letters from our listeners. This week we had a very pleasant call from an avid podcast listener and this listener was from Connecticut and he's also the owner of a martial arts studio and this is what he said. “I listen to a lot of podcasts and I find Dishing Up Nutrition to be one of the best. As an owner of a health focused business, I know and appreciate the work you put into the show each week and I learn something new every week.” What a great testimonial. I hope he’s listening today.

SHELBY: Well, if he is, thank you for some nice words. It is really great to hear that people are learning something new each week. Because it is true. We put a great deal of work into trying to make this show not only engaging to our listeners, but educational and encouraging, right? We want to be that person that's kind of the cheerleader saying that even though it's challenging to read labels, even though it's challenging to eat real food all the time in our society, it's worth it. Right? It really is nice to hear some positive feedback on this work. So thank you to our listener from Connecticut. But Kara, we've got a great show for everyone this morning. So why don't we introduce ourselves and then get right into our topic.

KARA: Sounds perfect. So my name is Kara Carper. I'm a longtime licensed nutritionist. I have a master's degree in holistic health and I'm very proud to say I've been co-hosting Dishing Up Nutrition for the past 10 years. So many of you may have heard my voice and you may have heard some of my stories, particularly why I appreciate eating real food and what it's done for my well-being, for my overall health. And I'm just finding the more years that I practice eating real food nutrition, the more that it benefits me. And it's not one of those things where you just do it and you're done. It's a process. And we always talk about that. It's even a process for me and for you, I'm sure as well.

SHELBY: Well and Kara, I'm sure many of our listeners can relate to the fact that you have a daughter and you share quite frequently some of the things that you do to keep her happy and healthy, too.

KARA:  Right. And now that I do have a child, that's been my focus for the last seven years is her well-being and what is she eating.

SHELBY: Well, good morning. I'm Shelby Hummel. I am also a licensed nutritionist. I have a master's degree in applied clinical nutrition. And throughout the week I always tell people that I am so incredibly lucky to have variety in my weekly schedule. I get to work with clients one on one. I get to teach corporate classes and classes like our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series, and of course I get to be here occasionally on Saturday mornings to talk about nutrition at 8:00 AM and I really do love that variety. Each week on Dishing Up Nutrition we try to bring you topics that will help you live a better life. I tell people we want you to be healthy. We want you to be happy. We want you to feel like you're living your best life. So this morning we're going to be talking about a topic that many people will find helpful. We're going to be talking about headaches and migraines and what you can do nutritionally to not only reduce the frequency of those, but you could eliminate them altogether. So maybe you struggle with headaches or maybe it's your son or perhaps it's your aunt. Today we have some very important nutritional solutions coming your way. Rest assured, we're not just going to be talking about taking medications or filling your cupboards with supplements. We're going to look at the biochemical reason to help you find a solution.

KARA: Honestly, I can't even imagine what it would be like to suffer from headaches or migraines, whether it's on a daily basis. Some people have them multiple times per day, some people have them weekly. Whatever the number is. I just can't imagine going through that. I actually had one migraine and it's like the day of my life that I will never forget where I had to leave work. I was throwing up and I still don't know what caused it, but it gave me a lot of empathy for those who struggle, and in the past I've worked with many clients who had the same problem.

SHELBY: Yeah, I know that all of the Nutritional Weight & Wellness nutritionists and dietitians have helped clients who suffer with headaches or even those migraines like you were describing, Kara. But many of these clients have tried a variety of different medications and oftentimes with some improvement, sometimes no improvement at all, but some of those medications may be things like Imitrex or other narcotic-type painkillers. And sadly, people still suffer and sometimes that's weekly, sometimes daily with these headaches or migraines. And Kara, one of the things that I ask clients when I'm counseling one on one as well, how often are you having a migraine headache? And it's amazing to me, kind of sad in a way, but many of these people are thinking, well, how many of these emergency Imitrex pills do I have? Right? Because oftentimes those narcotic type painkillers, they only get six a month or eight month, right? They only can have a very limited number of those strong painkillers. And so they kind of think back and they think, okay, well I must've had at least five that were bad enough to take the Imitrex. Because they're kind of holding onto those pills like they’re gold. I mean knowing that that's kind of their only hope is what they think is taking that narcotic type painkiller.

KARA: And you hear stories of people going into urgent care, going into the ER because it gets so bad and can't be controlled at home.

SHELBY: So we definitely want to make sure today that we give people some real food ideas and kind of take a fresh look at that.

KARA: And as Shelby mentioned, we want to give some food and nutritional solutions for headaches and migraines. I do want to mention that helping people become headache or migraine free or even, let's just say reduce them, a lot of people would be thrilled to reduce the number. I mean it’d be wonderful to get rid of them, but let's even just start with, hey, let's reduce them. It can be a very complex process though. Sometimes it depends on the person and the situation. Sometimes it might be a quick and simple answer, but more often than not, it's complex and we need to spend some time finding the right solution. And there might be several things that need to be implemented, not just one thing. So let's just start with maybe one of the more simple things.

SHELBY: When I'm working with a client, I always consider blood sugar balance first. First and foremost, kind of an interesting fact as we were preparing for the show, blood sugar spikes are actually one of the most surprising causes of headaches. And in my personal opinion, I think blood sugar balance is one of the most overlooked causes of headaches. So think about this, listeners. If you're eating too many processed carbohydrates, maybe it's the muffins, the bagels, the cereal, the juice, or even the soda, your blood sugar goes up and your body responds by producing more insulin to try to take care of that sugar. So when your blood sugar spikes, we always say the higher it goes, the further it has to crash. So that spike in your blood sugar followed by a quick drop in your blood sugar can actually set the stage for that headache. So, at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we teach people to eat right to control their blood sugar. And that's not always an easy thing. We're looking at food in a different way. It's not calories, it's not just grabbing something here and there. Eating to balance your blood sugar really goes back to protein, vegetables and fruit carbohydrates, and real fat.

KARA:  Exactly. And we don't want to forget that real fat part cause that's the part that's going to be the most important in stabilizing and equalizing that blood sugar.

SHELBY: So Kara, if we were to kind of tell listeners who are maybe listening live this morning, we're saying no thank you to the cereal. No thank you to the muffins, the bagels, that sort of thing. For breakfast, what could they have for breakfast that would be a balanced option?

KARA: Sure. Well when you just said, I like to call it the magic three, right? I think that's an easy way for people to remember. We need the macro-nutrients protein, preferably vegetable and maybe fruit carbohydrates, and healthy fat. So those three, every time we eat are going to balance blood sugar. So an example for breakfast, I mean pretty much every day I have eggs for protein, that would be my protein. And then I'm going to cook the eggs in some butter because I love that. I usually saute some spinach really quick. I might add a little bit of cheese which has some additional protein and fat. And actually that's pretty much it. So that would be my vegetable carbohydrates, protein and fat. And I do eat three eggs. I just want to let you all know that because that's what's going to get me through for the next few hours without feeling hungry and having my blood sugar drop.

Guess what? It's time for our first break. And you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today we're discussing chronic headaches and migraines. As nutritionists, we understand there are many causes and we want to touch on some of them. We certainly appreciate that each individual client's needs and causes of headaches and migraines are going to be unique to him or her. Migraines usually result from an altered blood flow to the brain and throughout the brain. So many studies have found low levels of magnesium in people who are suffering from migraines. Magnesium is a mineral. It improves blood flow through the brain because it relaxes the blood vessels. We find that taking 400 to 600 milligrams of a very well absorbed type of magnesium supplement is going to be helpful. So I usually recommend magnesium glycinate. It's a really popular supplement and you don't get digestive stress from that because it's the glycinate form. Now that can be found at each of our seven office locations. You can also purchase that on our website. If you have any questions about the magnesium or anything else you can call our office (651) 699-3438.

BREAK

SHELBY: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Research has found B vitamins to be important for good health and energy. And vitamin B2, or we often know that as riboflavin, has been shown to help prevent migraine headaches. One study in particular showed that B2 or that Riboflavin was helpful to 59% of migraine sufferers. So Riboflavin may prevent migraines by increasing energy production in the brain. Now, for those of you who are listening, before we took a quick break, you heard Kara mentioning that oftentimes when we think about migraines, there's some sort of inflammation in the brain, there's some sort of low blood flow and so riboflavin is helping to increase that energy in the brain. Now we know that there are four foods that are great sources of Riboflavin. Things that you could easily add to your diet would be things like eggs, liver, you guys are all excited to add liver, right? Beef, and of course milk. But remember that many people do have sensitivities to milk or eggs. So liver might be your best option. Now be sure to stay tuned because Kara’s going to share later in the show what you could do if you're not someone who loves liver. And I will be honest, I really like being able to get some more B vitamins because it's really important overall. Not just B2, but all of those B vitamins are important for energy and good moods and those sorts of things. So, I try to sneak liver into some of my meatball recipes or even meat loaf. Just have the butcher at the Co op or the natural food store actually grind that liver up. So it's really easy to add into a ground. I usually, I encourage people to start with chicken liver because it's a little bit more mild. We actually get beef liver in our beef share that we get every fall. So I'm always kind of adding in that in throughout the year. But this is my reminder for people. If you are purchasing liver, it’s very, very important to get an organic source of liver. For example, like an organic grass fed beef liver, right? You want to have that really good, good quality.

KARA: Think about what the liver does. It filters toxins. So we want an animal that was clean, preferably organically raised, things like that.

SHELBY: So before we went to break, Kara, we were talking about blood sugar balance being one of the most foundational changes for people who are suffering with headaches or migraines. We were kind of talking about how low blood sugar or too high of blood sugar, kind of the highs and the lows are really what people are experiencing when they have pain or inflammation in the case of headaches or migraines.

KARA: Right. And so, the blood sugar fluctuations, before break Shelby had mentioned a few things that are more likely to cause that than others as far as foods. It's really the processed carbohydrates. I always think of those as the white foods, your bagels, your cereals, your bread, pasta, things like that. So we talked about how to rectify that by eating protein, vegetable, carbohydrates, and fat every three to four hours throughout the day. We want to get into another frequent cause of headaches and migraines. And this is similar to low blood sugar, but it's when people skip meals. So we've all been there. I've been there. It's usually because we're too busy to eat. Some people say they forget to eat. Maybe they're not hungry, but whatever the reason, a couple, two, three hours later, you're like, why? Why do I feel a headache coming on? Well, we all need energy to function. So if we're skipping meals, we're skipping snacks, our brain can become deficient in energy. Interestingly, we need carbohydrates to supply our brain with glucose, which is blood sugar for that energy. But, talked about how there can be an access from things like processed carbohydrates. There can also be too little glucose and blood flow to the brain. So, we're going to feel our best when we keep our blood sugar or our blood glucose levels stable. Not too high, not too low. Now if you're skipping meals, likely your blood glucose is going to go too low, your brain's not going to be happy and you could experience a headache. So this is another simple solution to prevent headaches is to again, eat real food and balance every, we say two to three or maybe for some people, three to four hours.

SHELBY: And when you think about eating to support your blood sugar, Kara, why is that important for so many people to be eating that frequently?

KARA: Well, if we wait too long, it's more likely to start dropping. And it's the low blood sugar that sometimes is the only cause of the headache. And if somebody is predisposed to getting migraines, they might be more likely to start getting one if their blood sugar has dropped.

SHELBY: Well, I'm thinking it's important we had mentioned we want to get all three of those nutrients to get a balanced meal, the protein, the fruit and veggie carbohydrates with the fat. But what you're also saying is getting the balance of those three foods frequently throughout the day is one way that our listeners could prevent a headache.

KARA: It’s very much a preventative measure. And we even talk about that in other shows. There's even a radio show you could listen to the podcast, Staying Ahead of Hunger. That might be have been for a different topic to prevent cravings and things like that. But staying ahead of hunger and just eating regularly can also prevent headaches and migraines.

SHELBY: Now, why do you eat frequently? Because I know in past shows you've talked that you have some sensitive blood sugar.

KARA: Yes, I certainly do. And so, if I wait too long in the morning to eat my breakfast, a lot of people like to get up and drink coffee. It's a very kind of appealing thing to do. And just to maybe stall on that breakfast. I mean, I call it my low blood sugar headache, I actually have a name for it. And I think to myself, when did I eat? Did I wait too long to eat breakfast? Did I wait two hours after waking up to eat breakfast. Did I maybe have a late lunch? Did I miss a snack? I will start to feel a headache just like clockwork.

Is it really time for a break already? You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Have you ever noticed when you take certain vitamins that your urine becomes a vivid yellow color? If you have, that's actually a good sign. It indicates that you're getting sufficient B2, or riboflavin. If your urine is clear or you don't see anything, it's most likely a sign that your diet is deficient in B vitamins. So if you're not loving the idea of eating liver, I recommend a B vitamin supplement and we have a great one at our office, it's called Aller-B. One capsule contains 50 milligrams of that B2, or riboflavin, and you just take one or two capsules per day and you will definitely notice that your urine is more of a yellow color, which again is a good thing. And it's by Progressive Laboratories. It's a super high quality supplement and that's at all seven of our office locations and also on our website. Again, the recommended dose is one to two capsules per day. We'll be right back.

BREAK

SHELBY: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Do you or your children experience recurrent canker sores? Those painful sores inside of your mouth can be hard to live with. So some possible causes of canker sores. First and foremost, it could be a gluten intolerance. That's actually one of the most frequent causes of canker sores. Gluten found in things like wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, and even kamut. Even a small bit of what people call “cheating” with those foods can cause an outbreak of canker sores. There are also some different nutritional deficiencies with our vitamins and our minerals. Like Kara and I were speaking about earlier, deficiencies in B vitamins, specifically that B2, or even B6 or folic acid, those can be linked to a higher risk of having those recurrent canker sores. We know deficiencies in iron and zinc can be linked to impaired immune function. So, to be on the safe side, some people want to add in a multivitamin. The NutriKey Twice-A-Day is a multivitamin that is designed to have high B vitamins. So it's a great option for women or anyone really who is struggling with canker sores. It's an easy to swallow capsule. And I just wanted to mention the Twice A Day is one of those multivitamins where people sometimes say to us, “I started taking that and my urine was kind of a neon yellow, kind of green color.” And we actually had a caller that was mentioning that she was concerned that her urine was clear and she was taking vitamins. So it is pretty common when you're taking a quality source of B vitamins to get a little bit of that kind of neon yellow color. Like Kara was mentioning, that's actually a sign that you're getting enough of that Riboflavin, enough of those B vitamins. B vitamins are considered water soluble. So I just want to let people know that if you're getting more than what your body needs, it's not going to build up in your system. Your body has a way to flush that out. So no alarm if you have neon yellow urine.

So before we went to break, Kara, we were actually talking about another cause of headaches, skipping meals and having that low blood sugar. So, oftentimes I see women in particular are getting caught up in that dieting trap. Kind of that thinking that if I just skip a meal I can save on calories, but then their blood glucose level drops and they get a migraine and then they think, well they finally get that relief from their headache or their migraine to have cravings for high sugar foods. And then that cycle begins again. And it's pretty vicious. It's challenging for people to break that cycle until they understand that biochemistry of low blood sugar equals low blood flow to the brain.

KARA: And more cravings. So when you said somebody, all of a sudden they haven't eaten for a while and all of a sudden they're craving something that's high sugar, or let's just say something that's going to turn quickly into sugar in the body. Because quite honestly a bagel is going to turn into sugar quickly in the body just as much as a brownie.

SHELBY: So Kara, one of the things that I tell people is if you could put said piece of food on your tongue and not have to chew it, that's a pretty good sign that it turns into sugar really quickly in the body. So popcorn.

KARA: I'm thinking anything puffed. I'm thinking like a puffed cereal. A rice cake. Things like that.

SHELBY: Yes. So, listeners, you can think to yourself, well, is this food going to turn into sugar quickly in my body? Well, if you don't have to chew that to have it dissolve in your mouth, if it would just melt on your tongue, that's a pretty good indication.

KARA: Even bread. Especially Wonder Bread. So, it's time to switch from the carb overload style of eating. We want to switch to a habit of eating real food in balance. So, we've really got to take a look at some of these foods like cereal, bagels, English muffins, and juice for breakfast. And I had given an example before the last break of how I start my day with eggs cooked in butter. I saute a little spinach, that might not be quite enough carbohydrate for some people. So you could certainly add a starchy carbohydrates. A perfect example would be like a half cup of sweet potato. And you could add some other vegetables as well. Some people like to saute mushrooms and onions and tomatoes. Just switching from processed carbs to real food could be the one thing that's going to get rid of your headache. So we want to encourage you to try that first.

SHELBY: Absolutely. And Kara, there are actually some people who wake up with a headache. The cause really could be that bowl of ice cream before they went to bed or it could be having popcorn for dinner. That same blood sugar roller-coaster can happen at night when you are asleep. So when you eat those foods that are high in sugar or processed carbohydrates before you go to sleep, that's where we start to see the blood glucose going high, that insulin being released and then your blood sugar drops, which means that there's no glucose to your brain so you wake up with a headache.

KARA: Some of the common things that I hear that people tend to have before bed, they think of it as maybe a treat or maybe they just wanted a little something. They weren't satisfied after eating dinner and  they might have a bowl of ice cream. A bowl of cereal is really common at night. It might be a few cups of popcorn. And again, these are just all things that are going to spike that blood sugar so that when you go to bed your blood sugar's going to drop.

SHELBY:  So what could people have after dinner if they were feeling like they needed something, but something that you would recommend that wouldn't create that blood sugar spike and subsequent dip?

KARA: So one example would be yogurt. Now Yogurt, we could have a whole show on that cause when you go to the store, there's hundreds of different kinds of yogurt. The kind of yogurt that would balance out blood sugar that we're talking about would be plain. It has to be plain, not flavored, preferably full fat, or it might say whole milk. So we would start with some plain full fat yogurt. We would add some fruit. Berries are very low in sugar. People love that. You might have a half cup of blueberries or strawberries. And then you would have a serving of nuts as that healthy fat. For example, almonds, it could be walnuts, Pecans, and again, the nuts as the healthy fat is probably the most important part because it's that healthy fat that's really working to stabilize the blood glucose levels. So, a snack like that before bed, you would wake up with stable blood sugars. No headache.

SHELBY: Well, and actually that was the case for one of my female clients in particular. She told me that she would wake up with a pounding headache almost every day and it was that pounding headache that would make it hard for her to get through her day. Can you imagine waking up and knowing that you're kind of struggling uphill right away in the morning? Well, what we figured out is she was actually having low blood sugar. She was doing very well with her weight management, was not overweight, was not in a position where she wanted to lose weight, but she still had this tape playing in the back of her head that she couldn't eat after seven o'clock. And so, maybe it was 9:30 or 10 before she went to bed. And then all through the night, her blood sugar was dropping because her dinner wasn't substantial enough to keep her blood sugar stable over those hours throughout the night. And so one of the things that she did, and it took some convincing, I'll be honest, but one of the things that she did, she had some berries with some real cream, some organic heavy whipping cream poured over the top of some blueberries or raspberries. But she would do that about 30 to 60 minutes before she went to bed. And it was one of those things that I had to just be honest with her and say this could be why you're waking up with a headache every morning. And she was willing, she said, okay, well I'm going to go a whole week and be really diligent about having that bedtime snack. And it made a difference for her. She was totally a believe.

KARA: So for her that was a simple solution.

SHELBY: Exactly. And once she was willing to do that, she knew that it was a blood sugar connection for her headaches first thing in the morning.

KARA: I’m so glad that you figured that out together. Well, it's time for our next break and you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I think most people find changing their nutrition and eating habits to be one of the most difficult things they can do. They might do it for three weeks, maybe even six weeks, and maybe weight loss is a goal. How do you keep going after that though? There's things like pizza that might be calling your name or it might be chips that say, don't just eat one. Maybe it's your mother's chocolate chip cookies. These are the things that over time can be difficult to stay away from after that initial month or two of being so diligent. Most of us really need ongoing support. As nutritionists, we are here to support you. There's no judgment. We're happy to help you through those tough times. So if you'd like to set up an appointment, you can call (651) 699-3438. If you have questions as well, just let the front desk staff know and a nutritionist can call you back. And we will be right back from break.

BREAK

SHELBY: Now, before we get back into our topic of headaches or migraines, I just had to share, a friend of mine that is a personal trainer just recently sent me this, this quote, I thought this was interesting. She said, kind of an unpopular opinion, but if you haven't tried an exercise or nutrition plan consistently for three months, you haven't actually tried that plan. She said, if you can't follow the plan for three months, it's not a plan. It's a distraction. I thought that was great because Nutrition 4 Weight Loss is three months. It is the perfect amount of time.

KARA: It really is. Shelby, can you talk a little bit about how big of a problem migraines and headaches are?

SHELBY: We started out our show saying that it's a big problem, but we know that migraines affect millions of people. And people spend anywhere from thousands of dollars more each month to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime trying to find a solution. Now, truth be told, migraine headaches are one of the most common reasons people end up in the emergency room. To actually treat a migraine, we're encouraging you to figure out what the root cause of the problem is. So are you one of the 45 million people suffering from chronic headaches or are you one of the 28 million people who suffer from migraines? If you're looking for a solution, we as nutritionists want to help you find the root cause of that headache or migraine. So eliminating the cause to eliminate that debilitating pain.

KARA: Now, very often the root cause is a sensitivity to a food that you're eating. And some of the most common food sensitivities are peanuts. People know about that. Also cashews, all dairy products, eggs, and of course the one that we're really gonna hone in on today, gluten. Now I like to be really aggressive when removing foods from my client's diets if they're having migraines because they're desperate at that point. I mean I think we should just eliminate the cause as soon as possible to get them some relief as quickly as possible.

SHELBY: So you're trying to get them kind of a clean slate. Removing some of those most common irritants and get them to a place where they could kind of see which of those foods are actually causing them more pain.

KARA: Let's just take a month and we're just going to remove all potential culprits at once. So that might be nuts, eggs, dairy product, things like cheese and yogurt, and then certainly gluten, which, out of all of those foods, is probably the more likely cause. So, I know what a lot of you are probably thinking, oh my gosh, what else is there going to be to eat for me? There's a lot of foods. It's just that we need to take like that four or so weeks to just, like you said, get a clean slate.

SHELBY: So, the nice thing is when you focus less on what you cannot eat and you work with a nutritionist to put together a real food plan, we help you figure out what to eat. We shift that focus. We re-frame. Now, I would recommend eliminating these foods for four to six weeks. Oftentimes that's enough to determine if an elimination of a particular food is connected to your headache or your migraine. So, we're kind of taking away any static or taking away any potential problems.

KARA: And when working with clients that have migraines or headaches and they're willing to follow this elimination type diet, they usually do need support and accountability from a nutritionist. Without that support and accountability, it's very easy to just let something slip in. It could be nuts. It could be a little trace of gluten. We have people write down what they're eating in a food journal or track it on their phone or so they know everything that's going into their mouth and they can share that with us, as well.

SHELBY: And I always try to remind people that a food journal is not a way for us to kind of blame and shame. That's really not why it's used. The Food Journal is used more as a tool to kind of see where are you tripping up? And the unfortunate thing is gluten in particular is one of those foods that, if it is truly tied to your headaches or Migraines, it may take 72 hours for you to get an inflammatory response from that. Now, I can remember what I had for dinner last night and kind of what I ate yesterday, but asked me what I, eight 72 hours ago and most people don't know, me included. And so, we do use that food journal as a tool. It helps us see maybe some trends in the symptoms that you're having. So, for example, a client may stop eating bread with gluten, but they may not realize that most people who are sensitive to gluten can actually be sensitive to other grains like oatmeal. Now, for years we've been told to eat oatmeal, especially on these days where it's negative 2 when you're coming into the studio, but unfortunately for many people, oatmeal can be inflammatory and can lead to a headache.

KARA: So, it's noteworthy that Dr. David Perlmutter, who is author of Grain Brain and he's got some great books.

SHELBY: He's a well respected practitioner.

KARA:  It really is. So Grain Brain is again the name of the book that we we’re referring to. And in that book he's quoted as saying, “For those suffers who can't nail down a reason for their headaches, my bet is that 9 times out of 10 it could be undiagnosed gluten sensitivity.”

SHELBY: Wow. I think that's powerful. Now for those of you who want to look at doctor Perlmutter's information, Gosh, just have to repeat that. “For people who cannot nail down a reason for their headaches, he's saying 9 times out of 10 it could be related to an undiagnosed gluten sensitivity.” Now, if that doesn't give people some motivation, some hope to try a gluten free approach, I don't know what will. We see it in the research as well. Numerous research studies have found that gluten sensitive people have a much higher occurrence of headaches. So I would often recommend people to go gluten free 100%. There's no “I do it most days” or “I've removed a little bit” or “I did it for a week.” You give it a true test. Now most people do need to sit down with a nutritionist to see what they can eat because when you're following a naturally gluten free diet, you can start to see some improvements. Now we're not talking about relying on gluten free alternatives like gluten free bread or gluten free pasta. We're talking about eating real foods, real protein, colorful carbohydrates, like the fruits and veggies and the real fat. Now when people are eating this way, if their headaches go away, we have found the root cause. So, if they decide to eat that pancake breakfast, they decided to test the water and they get a Migraine, they will know that the right eating plan for them is to follow a real food diet without gluten. Now, gluten can be inflammatory for some people, but not for everyone. So that's why we say let's do a trial period of four to six weeks. What do you have to lose?

KARA: Exactly, and I also recommend avoiding preservatives, food additives, processed foods in general. There are so many hidden ingredients and processed foods that can be triggers. Many of you have heard about MSG, monosodium glutamate that would be found in things like aged cheese. It's a preservative. And about 30% of Migraine sufferers are sensitive to food additives, especially MSG.

SHELBY: Now Kara, really what you're saying as we're kind of coming into the last part of  our show this morning is that when we're helping people, we know that there's not a single cause of headaches or migraines. But we look at the biggest potential contributors. So, when we started out the show, we were talking about blood sugar balance. Looking at that as being one of the potentially most problematic pieces for people. Something that has been overlooked time and time again. We also talked about the notion of not skipping meals. Because skipping meals equals low blood sugar and when we have low blood sugar, we have low blood flow to the brain. And then we were talking about removing gluten and other inflammatory grains potentially.

KARA: And our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple, but very powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you so much for listening and everyone have a wonderful day.

 

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