Natural Treatment for Migraines and IBS: Start with a Blood Test for Food Allergies

Natural Treatment for Migraines and IBS: Start with a Blood Test for Food AllergiesDo you suffer from both migraines and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Are you ready for some good news for a change? A new study shows that by avoiding your body’s unique “trigger foods” identified by a blood test for food allergies, your headache attacks, abdominal pain, and bloating can all be significantly reduced in both severity and frequency. Not only did the study show this type of elimination diet was an effective natural treatment for migraines and IBS, it found that your quality of life may be so improved, you will be motivated to continue avoiding your personal food allergens long-term. 

Study uses IgG blood test for food allergies that looks at IgG antibody reactions to 270 common foods

Treating your headaches and IBS may really be as simple as eliminating the foods to which blood tests show you are allergic, according to the recent double-blind, randomized, controlled study published in the journal, Headache. The team of researchers evaluated the benefit of individualized elimination diets in 21 patients with both migraines and IBS. Each diet was based on the patient’s blood levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies in reaction to 270 common foods.

Study authors cite previous research showing that eliminating allergic foods can be an effective natural treatment for migraines and IBS

This type of IgG blood test for food allergies is growing in popularity and is now being offered by many labs around the U.S. and other parts of the globe. The test measures what is commonly referred to as delayed food allergies or delayed hypersensitivity reactions. While most conventional allergists still believe these tests are not useful and do not utilize them, a growing body of scientific literature is starting to document their validity and usefulness. Previous research has shown that IgG antibodies against various foods are linked to migraines and IBS and that avoiding foods to which the immune system produces IgG antibodies has been shown to help curb headaches and calm IBS symptoms, according to the study’s authors. In addition to allergy elimination diets being a natural treatment for migraines and IBS, many patients and health care practitioners also report benefits in a wide range of conditions, from autoimmune diseases and inflammation to weight gain.

In this study, eliminating food allergens helped almost every aspect of both conditions. Migraines and the IBS symptoms pain and bloating were significantly less frequent and less severe. The migraine sufferers required significantly less medication and were able to get back to their daily lives almost twice as quickly as those without the targeted elimination diets. Those on the elimination diet also reported a significant improvement in quality of life.

Nuts, seeds, and gluten were the most frequent reactive foods

While no two people with migraines and IBS will have the same list of allergic foods that aggravate their symptoms, in this study, nuts, seeds, and gluten-containing grains were the foods with the most frequent positive IgG antibody reactions. Other common foods and food groups that frequently cause problems for individuals with IBS and headaches include dairy and caffeine.

Are a blood test for food allergies and an elimination diet right for you?

Getting this blood test for food allergies and following this natural treatment for migraines and IBS certainly takes motivation and commitment. But if you suffer from chronic headaches and digestive symptoms, just knowing you can personalize your diet based on your immune system’s unique reactions to foods may bring a level of comfort you rarely experience. Consider requesting an IgG-based antibody blood test for food allergies from an integrative or naturopathic doctor. While it’s best to follow the advice of a health professional when beginning an elimination diet to ensure proper nutrition, it is now also possible in most states in the U.S. to order these labs without a doctor’s request. You’ll want to make sure you adjust the new diet to replace nutritional benefits of the “lost” foods. And remember that supplements such as vitamin D, fiber, magnesium, CoQ10, and probiotics have also been found to be natural treatments for migraines and IBS.

[1] Avdinlar E et al. Headache. 2012 Dec 6.

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UHN Staff

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