Migraines and the Feingold DietBACK to headache page
Harry’s headaches had started out slowly, and had gradually increased in frequency and severity until reaching the point where he was sick several times a month. At these times, all he could do was lie in a dark room for the three days or so that the attack lasted. He went from doctor to doctor in search of help, but each new doctor simply asked what pain pills he was taking, and handed him a prescription for more. Nobody ever questioned why he got the headaches in the first place.
Meanwhile, his wife, Jane, had read Dr. Feingold’s book looking for help for her daughter, but the thought of tossing out “perfectly good” food went against the grain. She figured if she followed the diet 50%, she should see a 50% improvement. It didn’t work that way, and there was no improvement in the child, but Harry began to suspect that food additives could be triggering his dreadful headaches, and he began to pay more attention to what he ate.
As the headache-free time lengthened, Harry was able to identify other culprits, and he soon added MSG (monosodium glutamate) and sodium benzoate to the list.
Jane’s commitment to the diet was still only partial since her effort until then had made no improvement in her daughter.
Then one day when Harry came home from work, he told her about the lunch he had eaten. He had selected a cottage cheese salad and had discarded the bright red cherry, but a little bit of juice from the cherry had colored the cottage cheese pink in one spot. It was just a drop or two, and he figured such a little bit wouldn’t hurt, so he ate it. About two hours later he could feel the start of a migraine. The pain pills were strong enough to stop the headache, but it made a profound impression on him that such a tiny amount of dye could be so potent.
It made a tremendous impression on Jane as well. A drop or two! The next day when her daughter came downstairs for breakfast, she gave her very plain foods -- some scrambled eggs, bread and butter, and a glass of milk. She did her best with the other meals, too, keeping things plain and free of obvious synthetic additives.
“The following morning,” Jane says, “Laura’s behavior surprised and delighted me. Instead of her attention being in the next county, she was right there, hearing and responding to me. Her eyes didn’t dart all over the room, but connected with mine, and her responses were reasonable. She made sense! She behaved normally, and I was amazed. Previously, when I saw normal behavior I didn’t know why. Now I had something to go on.”
It's been many years since that infamous maraschino cherry, and not only have the Herseys benefited tremendously with good health, calm children and wonderful grandchildren, but Harry has not had a migraine since 1975!
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