Headache Threshold and Migraines
Studies show that multiple headache triggers combine to fill up the headache threshold. It’s like a cup. We add headache triggers to the cup and eventually they spill over, triggering a headache or migraine. Reducing the top triggers can prevent the headache threshold from overflowing.
A food elimination study from 1983 found that other triggers, like stress and noise, had no effect on patients after starting the diet (study link). Ninety-three percent of patients had a reduction of migraines and 89 percent became migraine free. It’s an accumulation of foods and events that trigger migraines.
A diet study from 1979 reduced migraines in 100 percent of patients and completely eliminated migraines in 85 percent of patients (study link). More recent diet studies have also reduced migraine frequency by significant amounts (study 1, 2).
There are numerous migraine triggers, including personal triggers (study 1, 2). Yet, a diet can eliminate all migraines for a high percentage of migraineurs. It’s clear that the neurological threshold for migraines is affected by multiple factors (study link).
An accumulation of one trigger can also trigger migraines. For example, a biogenic amine called histamine is found in many foods and doesn’t become a problem until it’s consumed in excess (study link). Stress is a perfect example of something that’s healthy in small amounts, but is a top migraine trigger when people endure too much (study link).
The connection between nearly all migraine triggers, including emotional stress, is called oxidative stress (study link). High levels of oxidative stress are associated with a four-fold increase in migraine risk (study link). Oxidative stress occurs as a result of just about anything that hurts the human body. It is associated with inflammation and chronic disease (study link). Migraines are likely a defense mechanism from the buildup of deadly oxidative stress.
The 3-day migraine diet is aimed at reducing all of the major headache triggers that cause oxidative stress. This will keep the headache threshold from overflowing and triggering a headache or migraine.