Migraine Headaches and Food Sensitivities in a Child

This nine-year old white, male child was referred to The Center recently because of “chronic migraine
headaches”. He began having migraines while in kindergarten. They were relatively infrequent until one year
ago. At that time, he started to experience severe headaches every five to seven days. They began as “a kind of
sick feeling with pressure around his eyes”. He would have to leave school “go to his room, close the drapes,
vomit once or twice and then sleep for about twelve hours”. The headaches almost always started at school.
There was no family history of headaches. The mother had a normal pregnancy but the child was born with a
“high bilirubin”. He was nursed until age 15 months, had no colic and was a good sleeper. He had several
bouts of “croup” and was treated with antibodies. He did have two amalgam fillings while in the first grade
(about the time the headaches started). Otherwise, his history was unremarkable.

Prior to his visit to The Center, he was being followed by a pediatrician who diagnosed migraine headaches
and, according to the patient’s mother, gave the child some sort of “narcotic knockout drops” to control the
pain. The patient’s aunt and uncle had been previously treated at The Center with good results. At their
suggestion, the patient started taking 1000 to 2000 mg of vitamin C at the first sign of headaches. The patient
seemed to respond well to this treatment but the headaches continued.

The patient was seen at The Center and had a normal physical and psychological examination. A cytotoxic
food sensitivity test was performed as described by Bryant.1,2 The technician who performs the cytotoxic tests
has twenty-one years of experience in doing this procedure. Results of his cytotoxic test showed reactivity to 44
different food extracts. A 1+ reaction is one or two cells in a field showing a reaction as compared to the
control cells (patient cells with no antigen), while a 4+ result is all cells showing a reaction. He showed a 1+ to
20 different extracts, 2+ to 17 other extracts, a 3+ to apple, chocolate, green dye, oats, strawberry and vanilla.
The mother started eliminating reactive food from his diet and his headaches disappeared. By trial-and-error,
she found that if no more than one or two reactive foods were served at a meal, he suffered no headaches.
Using this approach he has been headache free for about four months.

Recently, he was given a chocolate cake for his birthday. Since it was his birthday, he ate part of the cake,
although his cytotoxic test showed him to be sensitive to sugar, chocolate, white flour and vanilla, all found in
the chocolate cake. Shortly after eating the cake, he felt a severe headache starting. His mother immediately
gave him 4000 mg of vitamin C. After resting for 30 minutes the headache disappeared and never returned. By
monitoring his diet and restricting the sensitive foods he has remained headache free.


1. Bryant WTK, Bryant MP (1960): The Laryngo-scope 19:6, 810-924.

2. Bryant WTK, Bryant MP (1971): Otolaryngo-logic Clinics of North America 4:3, 523-534.

1. Professor and Chair, Clinical Sciences Department, The Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 67208.

2. The Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning International, Inc., 3100 N. Hillside, Wichita, Kansas 67219.

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Written by Ronald E Hunninghake MD

Explore Wellness in 2021