Migraines can be very painful and long lasting. Headaches are most common symptoms for migraines and these headaches can turn into disorder if not given proper medical attention. Vestibular migraine refers to episodes of migraine occurring regularly at a particular interval which reflect an object to be moving, which is not happening in actual world. Vestibular disturbs your inner ear balance that affects the overall balance of the body as well. People who go through this type of migraine suffer from dizziness, sickness, severe headache, confusion, nausea and vomiting etc. There vestibular episodes can be controlled by regulating a balanced diet according to it. Nutritionist can help you with your dietary changes that are required for this.
How Diet Can Affect Vestibular Migraine?
Since the exact cause of having vestibular migraine is not known till now. This condition may trigger people very easily. Clinical Nutritionist Ms. Shilpa Singh from Fatima Hospital, Lucknow says that dietary changes can be beneficial in this health condition. It is also observed that women are more prone to this condition as compared to males. Vestibular migraine can be affected by genetics, diet, lifestyle and environmental factors. Hence the main factor which can be regularised is our diet.
Diet and nutrition has direct affect on brain and how the energy gets utilised. Some major triggers for vestibular migraine can be eating chocolate, alcohol, coffee, aged cheese and processed meat. There could be more combination which can affect a person but these are some common ones. Some chemicals such as nitrates, histamines, tyramine etc should be avoided strictly as they are considered to be linked to this disease.
Vestibular Migraine Diet
Vestibular Migraine diet is quite different type of diet than any other routine. This is because it follows elimination method rather than a dietary procedure. Nutritionist explains that for this condition, you have to follow elimination diet. Elimination diet includes excluding some particular food items of type of food that has some chemical or trigger nutrient that affects the person. Some food items such as processed meat can trigger the situation and increase the headaches and episodes of vestibular migraine. Elimination diet needs to be taken for around 5-6 weeks and then observed the changes in behaviour of the person. Do not eliminate or add any food product without consulting doctor as it may worsen your condition.
Phases of Elimination Diet for Vestibular Migraine
Vestibular migraine is a very serious disorder and should not be taken lightly. Elimination diet that is followed by the people contains two major phases. One is elimination phase, where the foods that can trigger the situation are released and other is the reintroduction phase where the dietary substances and nutrients that can benefit migraine condition are added to your diet. This process can be different for every individual depending on his/ her trigger and seriousness of the condition.
1. Elimination Phase
Foods that need to avoid are kept in this stage. The symptoms are observed and then the nutrients and chemicals related to that trigger are avoided in best possible manner. Mostly it is not possible to eradicate all the triggers because every food item has multiple nutrients which may have trigger food in small quantity. But this method involves removing the food items from diet that can be harmful for your health and condition of vestibular migraine.
2. Reintroduction Phase
Reintroduction phase comes after 5-6 weeks of elimination phase. This process includes adding the food items gradually that were earlier eradicated from the food items. Well some people might think that it is a poor step, but this phase is important because during the elimination phase most of the food items and nutrients get vanished from the diet that may affect the person’s health and energy levels. Hence it becomes important to reintroduce nutrients in the diet that are not totally harmful and can be included in small quantities. This phase continues for around 2-3 weeks depending on the individual.
Foods to Avoid During Vestibular Migraine
Elimination diet needs to remove food items that are linked to migraine symptoms and can trigger them. Here is the list of food items that you need to avoid.
- Aged cheese
- Coffee and caffeinated beverages
- Processed meat like bacon, sausages, salami and cured meats etc
- Sonosodium glutamate
- Artificial sweeteners
There are other food items as well that need to be avoided, but these hugely depend on individual capability. Removing all these food items from your diet is neither possible nor advised but you can bring down the quantity of these nutrients to maintain a healthy diet. They are-
- Nuts and seeds
- Fermented food
- Beans and lentils
- Citrus food
- Dried fish
- Dairy products like cheese, milk, cream, ice cream and yogurt
- Packaged dips
- Fruit juices and carbonated drinks
- Salads and dressings
- Herbal supplements or caffeine containing products
All these can be triggers of vestibular migraine but it is not necessary for every individual to have the same symptoms or triggers. However the more food groups you try to eliminate in first elimination phase, the better can be results of the effective diet.
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