Summer Migraines: How to Enjoy the Season with Less Pain


Migraines are a big pain – literally. Andif you’re a sufferer, you’d do almostanything to help make them stop.That’s why I was interested to hear recentresearch (reported at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Headache Society) found slightly lower levels ofvitamins D and B2 and coenzyme Q10 (anaturally occurring, vitamin-like substancemade by the body) in children and youngadults who suffer regularly from migraines.All of these vitamins are needed formitochondria – the energy productioncentres of our cells – to function properly,but how they impact on headaches, andwhether the reduced level is a cause oreffect of the migraine is uncertain.

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nutrition expert 1 Summer Migraines: How to Enjoy the Season with Less Pain

Butif I had migraines regularly, I’d definitelytake a multivitamin containing these vitaminsYou could also try these other nutritiontips to help ease migraines:Keep a food diary to check for triggers.Common culprits are aged cheese, redwine, chocolate, caffeine and avocado,although it can be different for everyone. Watch your caffeine intake. In smalldoses, it can help ease pain, but if youdrink a lot then suddenly have less, youcould get a withdrawal headache. Thebest advice is to drink the same amountregularly, and to keep intake modest.Eat regular meals – fasting may not befor you if you’re a migraine sufferer, as adrop in blood sugar can also be a trigger.

nutrition expert 2 Summer Migraines: How to Enjoy the Season with Less Pain


Seventy five per cent of people withIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS)improve on the FODMAP diet, whichis best followed under the supervisionof a dietician. FODMAPs arefermentable carbohydrates (includingonions, wheat and honey), whichcause painful wind and bloating insome people. The FODMAP dieteliminates these foods entirely atfirst, then reintroduces them one byone. The new FODMAP app that’sbeen produced with expertise fromKing’s College London and Guy’s andSt Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust willmake this easier. It scans bar codesto help you quickly identify suitablefoods from over 30,000 ingredientsand 100,000 food lines in UKsupermarkets. You can also recordand track symptoms and create apersonalised dietary profile. FODMAPby FoodMaestro ( forIOS and android costs £3.99 a year.


Q What quantity of wholegrains should I eat? They’re carbs after all and I’ve been trying to cut down…

A Wholegrains are a great source of fibre, protein, B vitamins andmagnesium – all important for the release of energy from food. Linked witha trimmer waist and lower risk of heart disease, the real health win is eatingwholegrains in place of less-healthy carbs. Official UK guidelines recommendyou choose wholegrains as often as possible, and the consensus seems tobe the amount you eat is less important than the type, so if you’re focusingon unprocessed wholegrains, you can eat more without raising diabetes risk(as long as you don’t overdo it). Be aware, though, some are lower in fibre– brown rice isn’t as good as wholewheat pasta or quinoa, for example.

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