Trigeminal neuralgia, caffeine

About 15,000 new patients each year develop trigeminal neuralgia, a severe burning or stabbing pain over the course of the trigeminal nerve, found on the side of the face. The pain may appear suddenly, persist for about a minute, then quickly subside. Chewing, smiling, talking or touching the face may induce the pain.

The cause is not understood, nor is treatment entirely satisfactory. Many patients are subjected to surgical procedures, which may lead to loss of motor control or facial sensation.

One 50 year old lady had marked decrease in her symptoms within two to three weeks after she began a low caffeine diet. Patients who suffer trigeminal neuralgia may benefit by eliminating caffeine from their diet. (Journal of the American Dietetic Association 91(9)1120-1121, September 1991) Copyright 1991 Phylis Austin


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