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Migraines: the Dairy Component

Updated: Jan 20


Chronic migraine headaches are a debilitating pain that stops many from living life with enthusiasm and focus. Chiropractic adjustment can ease or completely relieve migraine headaches, but there may also be a dietary component. Studies have shown that the standard American diet contains many significant migraine triggers. Topping the list as a migraine trigger in numerous studies is dairy.


Many people have difficulty breaking down the proteins in milk. Over 90% of allergic reactions are caused by milk and other dairy products. Not everyone with migraines needs to cut out all dairy products, simply because every body is different. However, if you know you are at all sensitive to dairy, it is strongly advised that you cut out all dairy to find if this brings migraine relief. Even a small amount in the diet of a sensitive person can cause significant problems.


Tracking what you eat is a very important step for migraine sufferers. After removing dairy from your diet for at least 60 days (dairy proteins can stick around for this long), start adding dairy low in tyrosine, which is a naturally occurring compound in many dairy products. Low tyrosine dairy includes ghee, clarified butter, and grass-fed butter. Aged cheeses such as Parmesan or cheddar, contain even more tyrosine and should be avoided.


Keeping a headache diary along with a food diary can help pinpoint the problem food or foods. Keep in mind that take up to 3 days after eating problem foods for symptoms to show up.

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