Glucose and Diet in the Fasting Migraineur


  • J.B. Marsters B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.,

  • M.J. Mortimer B.Sc. (Hons), M.B., Ch.B., MRCGP,

  • K.M. Hay M.B.E., M.A., M.D., FRCGP



In migraine, are there different metabolic responses to glucose ingestion, and if so, do the patients have different detectable characteristics which may be of use to determine their treatment?

Thirty two volunteer migraineurs, for whom fasting was a known precipitant, were challenged with a glucose meal after an overnight fast. Symptoms and glucose levels were recorded at intervals over three hours. Examination of the changes in symptoms, elicited two groups with opposite responses, which were also significantly different with respect to circulating glucose levels. Furthermore, sub-groups defined by dietary precipitants as expressed by the migraineur, were also found to be significantly different in both of these parameters.

A treatment plan, for this type of migraine attack, based on the the dietary factors which may provoke its evolution and the response to glucose, is discussed.