Migraine (R Cowan, Section Editor)

Current Pain and Headache Reports

, 17:373

First online:

Dietary Considerations in Migraine Management: Does a Consistent Diet Improve Migraine?

  • Alan G. FinkelAffiliated withCarolina Headache Institute Email author 
  • , Juanita A. YerryAffiliated withCarolina Headache Foundation
  • , J. Douglas MannAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

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The clinical expression of migraine is significantly impacted by dietary and gastrointestinal issues. This includes gut dysfunction during and between attacks, food triggers, increase in migraine with obesity, comorbid GI and systemic inflammation influenced by diet, and specific food allergies such as dairy and gluten. Practitioners often encourage migraineurs to seek consistency in their lifestyle behaviors, and environmental exposures, as a way of avoiding sudden changes that may precipitate attacks. However, rigorous evidence linking consistency of diet with improvement in migraine is very limited and is, at best, indirect, being based mainly on the consistency of avoiding suspected food triggers. A review of current data surrounding the issue of dietary consistency is presented from the perspective of migraine as an illness (vulnerable state), as a disease (symptom expression traits), and with a view toward the role of local and systemic inflammation in its genesis. Firm recommendations await further investigation.


Migraine Diet Inflammation Lifestyle Orexin Inflammatory Bowel Disease Obesity Triggers Umami