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.