Almost everyone has headaches. And pardon the pun, but they can be a real pain. About two thirds of the population of western countries state that they occasionally suffer from them; one in four complains of regular headaches. This means that in addition to backache, headaches are one of the most frequent ailments. However, headaches are not simply headaches. Medical experts have now identified that there are more than 180 different types of headache. And the symptoms are accordingly varied. Some patients complain of throbbing headaches or an unbearable hammering in the head, others complain of tension behind the forehead.
Headaches can start gradually or very suddenly. They may be dull or stabbing, very strong or hardly perceptible. They can occur as episodes or may be felt continuously. Two types of headache are especially widespread: More than 90 percent of patients suffer from so-called tension headaches or migraine.
Headaches or migraine may be due to many causes. The triggers may also include foods. Chocolate, cheese and wine are often suspected. Milk, nuts or gluten are also considered.
Food intolerances such as histamine intolerance or a delayed food allergy may cause headaches.
What about your own personal triggers?
With a histamine intolerance, an excessively high histamine level in the body results in intolerance reactions which are similar to allergies. Histamine is produced by the body but is also taken in with food. It is essential for the body. It is only excessive or unmetabolized histamine which causes problems.
Excess histamine may occur if too much histamine-rich food or food which releases histamine is consumed. Normally, histamine is broken down in the body by the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO). However, if there is a deficiency in activity or inhibition of DAO, the histamine cannot be completely metabolized. This may result in symptoms such as headaches and gastrointestinal or skin problems.
Can a delayed food allergy trigger headaches?
With a delayed food allergy, the body triggers a defense response by the immune system against certain foods. If the small intestine is damaged due to stress, infections or medications, other food constituents that cannot normally enter the bloodstream are able to do so. These food constituents are identified as foreign bodies by the immune system and so-called IgG antibodies are formed to counteract them. These antibodies bind to the food constituents and trigger a reaction by the immune system. This causes inflammations in the body, which may result in delayed headaches.
You can find out whether you suffer from a delayed food allergy with an ImuPro blood test provided exclusively in Canada by FitLabs. With a comprehensive blood analysis, this identifies increased quantities of IgG antibodies against particular foods.