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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Randomised controlled trial of food elimination diet based on IgG antibodies for the prevention of migraine like headaches

Natasha Mitchell1*, Catherine E Hewitt1, Shalmini Jayakody1, Muhammad Islam2, Joy Adamson1, Ian Watt1 and David J Torgerson1

Author Affiliations

1 York Trials Unit, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK

2 Hull York Medical School, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK

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Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:85  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-85

Published: 11 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Research suggests that food intolerance may be a precipitating factor for migraine like headaches.

Aim

To evaluate the effectiveness of the ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay) Test and subsequent dietary elimination advice for the prevention of migraine like headaches.

Design

Randomised controlled trial.

Setting

Community based volunteers in the UK.

Participants

Volunteers who met the inclusion criteria for migraine like headaches and had one or more food intolerance were included in the study. Participants received either a true diet (n = 84) or a sham diet (n = 83) sheet. Participants were advised to remove the intolerant foods from their diet for 12 weeks.

Main outcome measures

Number of headache days over a 12 week period (item A MIDAS questionnaire). Other measures includes the total MIDAS score and total HIT-6 score.

Results

The results indicated a small decrease in the number of migraine like headaches over 12 weeks, although this difference was not statistically significant (IRR 1.15 95% CI 0.94 to 1.41, p = 0.18). At the 4 week assessment, use of the ELISA test with subsequent diet elimination advice significantly reduced the number of migraine like headaches (IRR 1.23 95%CI 1.01 to 1.50, p = 0.04). The disability and impact on daily life of migraines were not significantly different between the true and sham diet groups.

Conclusions

Use of the ELISA test with subsequent diet elimination advice did not reduce the disability or impact on daily life of migraine like headaches or the number of migraine like headaches at 12 weeks but it did significantly reduce the number of migraine like headaches at 4 weeks.

Trial registration number

ISRCTN: ISRTCN89559672

Keywords:
headache; diet; food elimination; randomised controlled trial