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A Journal on Internal Medicine

Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6

Frequency: Quarterly

ISSN 0031-0808

Online ISSN 1827-1898


Panminerva Medica 2002 March;44(1):27-31


Food and headache attacks. A comparison of patients with migraine and tension-type headache

Savi L., Rainero I., Valfrè W., Gentile S., Lo Giudice R., Pinessi L.

From the Neurology III - Headache Center Department of Neuroscience University of Turin, Turin, Italy

Background. The ­role of ­foods as head­ache pre­cip­i­tants is ­still mat­ter of ­debate. Several stud­ies report­ed ­that die­tary con­stit­u­ents may pre­cip­i­tate ­migraine ­attacks. Some ­authors report­ed ­that ­also ten­sion ­type head­ache ­attacks may be pro­voked by ­foods. The pur­pose of ­this ­study was to eval­u­ate the ­role of ­foods as head­ache trig­gers in ­both ­groups of ­patients.
Methods. We com­pared the ­role of ­foods as head­ache trig­ger in ­patients ­with ­migraine and ten­sion ­type head­ache. Three hun­dred and ­nine ­patients ­were ­involved in the ­study and divid­ed ­into six ­groups: 1) ­migraine with­out ­aura, 2) ­migraine ­with ­aura, 3) epi­sod­ic ten­sion ­type head­ache, 4) chron­ic ten­sion ­type head­ache, 5) ­migraine with­out ­aura asso­ciat­ed ­with epi­sod­ic ten­sion ­type head­ache, 6) ­migraine with­out ­aura asso­ciat­ed ­with chron­ic ten­sion ­type head­ache.
Results. Approximately one ­third of the ­patients report­ed sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to cer­tain ­foods. The per­cent­age of ­food sen­si­tiv­ity was not sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent ­between ­patients ­with ­migraine or ten­sion ­type head­ache. The ­foods ­more com­mon­ly report­ed as head­ache trig­gers ­were alco­hol­ic ­drinks, choc­o­late and ­cheese. No dif­fer­ence in spe­cif­ic ­food sen­si­tiv­ity ­between ­groups was ­found. The com­par­i­son of ­food-sen­si­tive ­with ­food non-sen­si­tive ­patients ­showed no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the clin­i­cal fea­tures.
Conclusions. Our ­study sug­gests ­that ­foods may trig­ger not ­only ­migraine but ­also ten­sion ­type head­ache ­attacks.

language: English


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