Saturday 7 December 2013

Book ~ "The Complete Migraine Health, Diet Guide and Cookbook: Practical Solutions for Managing Migraine and Headache Pain Plus 150 Recipes" (2013) Lawrence Leung, Susan Hannah and Elizabeth Dares-Dobbie

From Goodreads ~ Despite the prevalence of migraine, tension and cluster headaches in the Western world, headaches still challenge the medical community. While there is no one cause or a specific cure, recent evidence-based research has shown that these headaches are associated with high levels of histamines in the body, and these can be managed effectively through diet and nutrition. "The Complete Migraine Health, Diet Guide and Cookbook" presents this histamine hypothesis as a way for you to understand your headaches and leads you through steps intended to help prevent your headaches, avoid headaches altogether, or rescue you from your headaches when they occur. 

The Migraine Free Program will help you to:
  • Identify the signs and symptoms for migraines, cluster, and tension headaches 
  • Discover the triggers that cause headaches 
  • Understand the medical tests for diagnosing headaches 
  • See the various treatments traditionally used by physicians and other healthcare providers, including the use of prescription medications, physiotherapy, and surgery 
  • Weigh the benefits and risks of alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, body-mind medicine, and medicinal herbs 
  • Understand the role of nutrition and diet in the management of headaches 
  • Adopt a healthy meal plan that focuses on enjoying antihistamine headache foods and eliminating foods that increase the risk of headache 
  • Select from among 150 recipes as you develop 30-day meal plans. 

The authors bring a unique collection of education, experience, and skills together to guide and support people who suffer from migraine, cluster, and tension headaches.

I've suffered from headaches since I was a kid.  Some people get headaches and they are just a minor annoyance.  For me, it's all or nothing ... I get wicked headaches and unless I do something about it right away when I feel one coming (I've discovered that a generic over-the-counter combo of acetaminophen, caffeine and codeine phosphate gets rid of it), my head feels like it's going to explode and it's hard to function.  So that's why I was interested in reading this book.

It's a great resource for headache and migraine sufferers.  It's made up for four parts:

Part 1:  Understanding Migraine, Cluster and Tension Headaches
  • Who gets Migraine, Cluster, and Tension Headaches?
  • Possible Causes and Triggers
  • How are Migraine, Clubster and Tension Headaches Diagnosed
  • Other Associate Conditions

Part 2:  Managing Primary Headaches
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • The PARR Lifestyle Program
  • Medications for Primary Headaches
  • Physiotherapy for Primary Headaches
  • Surgery for Headaches
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Nutritional and Botanical Supplements
  • Dietary Therapy

Part 3:  Low-Histamine Diet Program
  • Low-Histamine Diet Principles and Practices
  • Low-Histamine Diet Program Cooking Tips
  • Low-Histamine Diet Menu Plans

Part 4:   Recipes for Primary Headache Relief

Histamines are simple chemical substances your immune system cells produce when reacting to an antigen, produced in response to foreign invaders like germs and bacteria. They are only produced in localized places and cause inflammation and other reactions. This has some interesting effects. For instance, everyone's had a stuffy nose from time to time. Your nasal congestion is caused by an inflammatory reaction to high blood histamines. Antihistamines, like Benadryl, can deactivate the histamines in your blood.  But histamines do much more than just make you miserable when you have a cold. They also regulate gastric activity and your sleep schedule, and perform numerous functions in your body.

I get headaches when I don't get enough sleep.  But it was interesting to read in detail how food may also trigger them.  In the new year, I'll start tracking my food and see if one or more of the trigger foods bring them on. 

I liked the summary of the food groups in the "Dietary Therapy" section.  At a glance, for example, I read that strawberries, tomatoes and bananas may be trigger foods for me.  In Part 3, there is a detailed listing of foods to avoid, foods to limit, foods to eliminate and foods to enjoy because of the levels of histamine.

Not surprising, anything that is bad for you for many reasons should be avoided or eliminate.  Surprisingly, though, the recipes look good.  Like Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken, One-Hour Roast Chicken with Sage and Garlic, Honey Lemon Chicken, Oven-Baked Beef Stew, Lemon Yogurt Pops, Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Muffins, etc.  Along with the recipes is a breakdown of the calorie count, protein, carb and fat count.  I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes!

I received a copy of this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review. 

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

This sounds like a really useful book packed with lots of info!