Migraine is not just any headache: and those of us who suffer from it know that very well and we will tell you a strange fact, that eating fish can help relieve it.
The pain it causes is not only more severe but is accompanied by other symptoms that make it a disabling condition. During a migraine attack, it is very difficult to concentrate or do anything other than endure the discomfort.
Migraine is considered a neurological disorder, a very common one: at least 15% of the world’s population suffers from it.
But despite being so common, there are no completely specific or effective treatments in all cases.
Some medications help to relieve the pain, some others can stop the progression of the attack, but they do not always work, nor for all patients.
For this reason, doctors have also sought to see if it is possible to alleviate it through non-pharmacological interventions.
Let your food be your medicine
In many diseases, a change in diet is an integral part of treatment interventions.
Those with diabetes should reduce their carbohydrate intake and include foods that help keep blood glucose levels stable.
Or in the case of hypertension, in addition to medications that help control blood pressure, it is indicated to restrict foods containing salt and avoid adding salt in food preparation.
In other health conditions, although the relationship may not seem as direct, as in these examples, food should also be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment.
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In the case of migraine, the idea that diet can favorably or unfavorably influence its development and control is not new.
Chocolate, mature cheeses, wine: these are examples of foods that, in some people, can trigger migraine attacks.
And just as some foods can favor it, other foods could influence stopping or avoiding it.
But although many physicians considered this possibility, until now there were no results of systematic clinical studies that could provide more information on the matter.
Migraine and Omega-3 relationship
A study recently published in the British Medical Journal shows that including certain types of foods in the diet can reduce the frequency of headaches.
A group of researchers from institutions related to neurology, psychiatry, and medicine in general, gathered 182 volunteers suffering from chronic migraine.
At the start of the research, the participants had between 5-20 migraine attacks per month, and during the time of the study, they recorded the frequency and intensity of their attacks in a diary.
But at the same time, the volunteers were randomly assigned a diet that had a certain content of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can mainly be found in fish such as salmon, sardines, or tuna.
These are the type of fats we call “good” fats: they are major components of cell membranes and form part of nervous system tissues such as the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for both sensory and motor functions in the face.
In this case, all volunteers reported that the intensity of their headaches decreased, but those on diets with the highest omega-3 content also had less frequent migraines.
Although the authors think that the study needs to be extended to gather more information, they see this as a sign that diet should be taken into account in migraine treatments.
In any case, for those of us who suffer from migraines, it is worth considering including more fish containing omega-3 in our regular diet.