Curelator Headache presented new data at the American Headache Society (AHS) 59th Scientific Meeting in June 2017 that shows some common migraine triggers may be misunderstood.

One presentation at the meeting in Boston concentrated on the results of 488 users of Curelator, a digital platform that allows individuals with migraine to track factors that may have an effect on their risk of a migraine attack.

“Migraine triggers are highly individualized, so a tracking platform like Curelator or a personal headache diary is the best way to identify specific foods that may be problematic for a patient,” said Dr. Sarah Rahal, a National Headache Foundation Board Member and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai.

“Eliminating all foods thought to be associated with migraine, without this data, is likely to be of a headache benefit and more likely to result in long periods without eating and nutritional deficiencies, which, in turn, can lead to more headaches,” she said.

In the Curelator study, nearly half of the 488 participants suspected tyramine, a substance found in many aged or fermented foods, as a trigger. However, fewer than 15% of users were negatively affected by tyramine. Curelator wrote in an email that they were even more surprised to learn that about the same percentage of individuals found tyramine to be a protector. A protector is a factor that decreases the risk of a migraine attack for an individual with migraine.

“Many people with migraine are avoiding foods and drinks they love for no good scientific reason,” Alec Milan, PhD, CEO and Founder of Curelator Inc. said in an email. He said many lists of the “top 10 migraine triggers” use average data analysis and can be misleading.

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