Vestibular migraine is a condition that affects your inner ear balance and can cause severe vertigo, dizziness, and nausea. While it may seem like a minor issue, it can significantly affect your quality of life if left untreated or unmanaged. Adhering to a specific diet can help treat vestibular migraines.
This diet aims to reduce inflammation in your body, which helps reduce the symptoms associated with vestibular migraines. This article will discuss what you need to know about adhering to a vestibular migraine diet and how it can help you better manage your condition.
What is a vestibular migraine?
Vestibular migraines are a type of headache characterized by dizziness and vertigo. People who suffer from vestibular migraines often have difficulty with balance and may feel like they are spinning.
These headaches can be extremely debilitating and can make it difficult to perform everyday activities. Although vestibular migraines cannot be cured, the symptoms can be controlled. One way to do this is by following a vestibular migraine diet.
Several things should be avoided if you experience vestibular migraines. These include caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, artificial sweeteners, MSG, and nitrates. You should also avoid foods that trigger your migraines.
Common triggers include cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts, and red wine. If you are unsure what your triggers are, keep a food diary to help you identify them.
In addition to avoiding triggering foods, certain foods can help relieve the symptoms of vestibular migraines. These include ginger, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, water, and B vitamins.
Eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest are crucial for managing vestibular migraines. If you suffer from frequent or severe vestibular migraines, you may want to see a doctor to discuss other treatment options.
What are the symptoms of a vestibular migraine?
Vestibular migraines can cause various symptoms, including dizziness, vertigo, and nausea. There may also be a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears. Some people with vestibular migraines experience visual disturbances, such as light flashes or blurred vision. The symptoms of a vestibular migraine can last for minutes, hours, or days.
What causes vestibular migraines?
Vestibular migraines are caused by a disturbance in the vestibular system, which is responsible for balance and eye movement. The exact cause of this disturbance is unknown, but it is thought to be related to changes in the brainstem or inner ear. Vestibular migraines often run in families and may be triggered by certain foods, stress, or hormonal changes.
How is a vestibular migraine diagnosed?
There are a few critical steps in diagnosing a vestibular migraine. First, your doctor will likely ask about your symptoms and medical history. They will also perform a physical exam to determine other possible causes of your symptoms. Next, they may order tests to help confirm a vestibular migraine diagnosis.
These could include an MRI or CT scan of the head, an ENG (electronystagmography) or VEMP (vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials) test, or blood tests. Suppose you have had multiple episodes of vertigo or dizziness lasting at least 5 minutes each, with at least one episode accompanied by migrainous symptoms like headaches or visual disturbances. In that case, you may be diagnosed with vestibular migraine.
How can diet help relieve symptoms of a vestibular migraine?
A vestibular migraine diet can help relieve vestibular migraine symptoms by reducing the triggers that can cause an attack. Some common triggers include:
- Certain foods and drinks include aged cheeses, red wine, chocolate, and caffeine.
- Skip meals or fasting.
- Changes in sleep patterns.
If you suffer from vestibular migraine, it is essential to identify and avoid your triggers as much as possible. In addition to avoiding triggers, certain foods and drinks can help relieve vestibular migraine symptoms. These include:
- Ginger: Ginger has been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting associated with vestibular migraine.
- Water: Staying hydrated is essential for overall health, but it can also help relieve vestibular migraine symptoms.
- Fruit juice: Some fruit juices, such as apple or pear juice, can help relieve vertigo symptoms.
- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 effectively treats vertigo and other vestibular disorders.
Adhering to a vestibular migraine diet can have many benefits beyond symptom relief. It can also help improve your overall health and well-being.
What foods should be avoided if you have a vestibular migraine?
A few foods should be avoided if you have a vestibular migraine, as they can trigger or worsen symptoms. These include:
- aged cheeses
- cured meats
- fermented foods
- pickled foods
- MSG (monosodium glutamate)
If you have a vestibular migraine, you should eat foods that are low in histamine and rich in magnesium. Histamine is a chemical released during an allergic reaction and can trigger migraines. Magnesium is a mineral that has been shown to help reduce the frequency of migraines.
Some specific foods that may help relieve symptoms of a vestibular migraine include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: In fish, flaxseed, and chia seeds, omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation.
- Turmeric: This spice contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Ginger: Ginger can help to relieve nausea and vomiting associated with vestibular migraines.
- Water: Staying hydrated is essential for overall health, and it may also help to prevent migraines by keeping blood vessels from becoming dehydrated and constricted.