Here's What Happened When I Tried the Keto Diet: Part 1
When my neurologist suggested I try Keto, I wondered how losing my money in Vegas was going to help my migraines. I quickly realized he wasn’t talking about the numbers game, Keno, but about the diet that places one’s body in a state of ketosis. With my migraines, change was always slow but I was ready to roll the dice and give the Keto Diet a shot.
Failed attempts at diet changes
Over the years, I’d tried other food-related migraine cure-alls. I had a go at the Drink Your Ten Times Your Weight In Water remedy that friends suggested. After six months, when my migraines hadn’t abated, and I had reoccurring dreams I was floating to Mars, I went back to drinking normal amounts of water. Just on the off chance that I had a food allergy, I’d also gone gluten-free for several years with the only success being that my grocery store had an abundance of tortilla chips.
Trying something new
Sitting in my doctor's office, my face must have mirrored my confusion because my neurologist went on to explain why The Ketogenic (Keto for short) Diet was different. This very specific way of eating has been used by modern physicians as a successful treatment for epilepsy (particularly children) since the 1920s, and now it was finding success with migraineurs. If this worked, it would be a miraculous change in my life. If I could regulate or stop my chronic migraines with a diet change, I was willing to try.
Ketosis is the goal
The Keto Diet is not for your average Pinterest pinner. My neurologist had given me several worksheets detailing the diet's parameters and different websites to check out. This was much stricter than a regular “low carb” diet, and this time the goal wasn't weight loss but to put my body in a state of “ketosis.” This happens when I make fats my primary fuel instead of burning those french fries I’d eaten earlier. No more carbohydrates or anything else high in sugary carbs for this gal. Ketones are formed when the body uses fat for its primary source of energy. When there is an elevated level of ketones in the blood, one is in a state of ketosis.
In this scenario, sugar was the villain. For three months, I was told to eliminate fruit and even higher in sugar vegetables (I could introduce less sugary options after three months). Bread, grains, some dairy, and even beans were taken from my table in order to jump-start my body into a state of ketosis. Yes, it would be a challenge, but I figured I already ate fairly healthy until I realized this secret truth: Sugar. Is. Hidden. Everywhere.
Please stay tuned for Part 2!
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?