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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE
A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 1999 June;158(3):73-7
Headache and dietary factors. Personal experience
Pellicanò S. 1, Calzone R. 2, Dattola O. L. 1, Mandica D. 2, Terra L. 1
1 Regione Calabria ASL 5 Ospedale «S. Giovanni di Dio» - Crotone, Divisione di Malattie Infettive;
2 Regione Calabria ASL 5 Ospedale «S. Giovanni di Dio» - Crotone, Dietista
Background. Although the connection between migraine and some food has been known from 2000 years, with the progress of immunology especially, certain pathogenetic factors that can trigger the painful crises in specific subjects have been determined only in ’70 years. Alimentary allergens are especially proteins or glycoproteins at low M.W. provided with an agent for direct or mediatory vasoactivity. The entrance of alimentary antigens into systemic circulation is preceded physiologically by intestinal barrier and a their increased transit is favoured by immaturity of epithelium cells, selective deficit of IgA and alterations of mucous membrane due to infectious agents or irritant substances. Objective of our study is the identification of food cause of headache and the research of an eventual “common factor unchaining crisis” (CFUC).
Methods. 1248 patients with also headache, with age ranging from 18 and 65 years were enrolled from January 1983 to September 1998. Our study started by empiric data and clinic observation, individuating and taking the census of suspect food. We recearch also, in food, an eventual CFUC.
Results. Alcohol (24%), cheeses (20%), chocolate (19%), citrus fruits (12%) were the food especially responsible for headache in our series. The recearch of CFUC was negative and in 6% of patients stress (32%), bodily activity (25%), menstrual cycle (18%) were cause of headache. Twelve patients forsaked the study.
Conclusions. Our study shows a multifactorial pathogenesis where in a background with facilitant or permissive factors headache is due to alimentary substances with direct or mediatory vasoactivity. Medical intervention is obliged to preventive because symptomatic treatment don’t interrupt pathogenetic mechanism.