Migraines Mostly Solved with the Ketogenic Diet

Hello I’m a 39 yo male. I’ve had migraines on and off for the last 5 years. Usually they come in relation to bright light, alcohol or food intake.

5 years ago I had an accident at work. An object hit me in the face fracturing my cheekbone, nose and eye socket and giving me a whiplash while at it. It was a close call but after 3 surgeries I recovered and look remarkably ok.

But after a year I started noticing that something was different. I was regularly taking paracet and ibuprofen for pains, and had been for some time. After drinking wine or beer, I would get these strong headaches. I tried both paracet and ibuprofen but that made it worse. I was probably overusing and alcohol had triggered migraine.

Luckily my father is a doctor, so he was quick to find me a remedy in Maxalt, a Rizatriptan drug. This worked like magic for me.

Still, I noticed that if I got hungry, I would start to get a headache eventually leading to a migraine. Being thirsty or holding urine too long would also lead to the headaches. I noticed headaches when drinking soda pop or eating dessert after a big meal.

Today, after 2 years of research and trial and error, I’ve found that carb-cravings and insulin is what triggers the headaches. Eating carbohydrates triggers the body’s release of insulin, to control the blood sugar levels. Eating fat doesn’t trigger insulin at all, which is why a lot of people how found that if you switch to fat as main source of fuel for the body, you will actually lose weight. But not only that, the cravings are virtually gone and so are the headaches.

Only downside is no more bread, pasta, pizza, rolls, rice, corn, potato, sweets etc. But cutting these out also means less inflammation in the body. It means you will lose that belly you’ve had for years! I lost 24 pounds in 2 months and it was easy.

I can now go hours and hours without eating, just drinking water (sometimes with a pinch of himalaya salt in it). This is called intermittent fasting, a good example of this is skipping breakfast and just go until lunch. Your body loves fasting. This is the time your body repairs and heals itself.

There’s too much to write here about this but youtube is a great source of info. Loads of people with different stories have lost their migraines AND weight with this diet. And it’s virtually free. No drugs. No symptoms.

Best of luck from Ole
Norway

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Comments

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  • Uglo1918
    2 months ago

    The Ketogenic Diet was developed at John Hopkins in the 1940’s for children with epilepsy. I have often wondered if my dad, who began to have grand mal seizures at age 12 had every tried it. I was only 10 when he died, so I’ll never know.

    I am going to try a Paleo/Ketogenic diet. I hope it helps with the migraines and weight loss. AB

  • Maylem
    2 months ago

    I moved to a ketogenic diet about 8 months ago and it has worked well for me too. My usual pattern was aura without headache every 2-3 days and what are probably menstrual-related migraines for about two weeks each month. Now, no more aura and maybe 1-2 vaguely headache-y days a month.

    It’s definitely something to read up on first and to talk about with your medical team. A lot of doctors aren’t well-educated about nutrition so you may need to advocate for yourself – as we so often must, yes? – but hopefully your doctor is open to that.

    If you and your medical team choose to pursue a “keto” way of life, I would recommend avoiding all the products (protein powders, exogenous ketones, MCT oil, etc) that are hawked on the websites promoting the ketogenic diet for fast weight loss. It’s not hard to maintain nutritional ketosis just eating… you know… food. Good healthy ingredients, simply and appealingly put together.

    I tried IF as well (while on keto) and know other people for whom it’s a good fit but I found it frustrating and felt “off” physically and started getting headache-y more often. I went back to just eating if I’m hungry and not eating if I’m not and am back on track. So definitely a YMMV thing – listen to your body.

    I can’t use triptans and generally prefer not to use meds if I can avoid it, so keto was a good fit for me. I wouldn’t recommend
    a ketogenic diet for every migraineur, but I’d definitely recommend at least
    discussing it with your doctor, after reading up on it yourself!

  • Holly Baddour moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi Ole-
    Thanks so much for sharing information about something that has worked so well for you. That really is wonderful to hear. There is no doubt that diet can play a significant role for many of us in relation to our migraine/pain patterns. I find that folks have to get to a place where they are ready to examine that level of detail in their lives before real change can be made and solutions can be implemented.

    For me, eating with care is one of many strategies I use to combat migraine. Doing so has certainly helped, but in my experience there are countless triggers – some in my control (diet, sleep, controlling light, some stress, etc), and many not in my control (hormones, weather changes, other stress, etc). Making an effort to do what I can do avoid migraine often leads to a regimented life – but that is how I get to my best chance of freedom from pain: https://migraine.com/living-migraine/unexpected-gifts-regimented-life/

    Thanks again for sharing! I hope many people get a chance to be inspired by you.

  • olevik author
    2 months ago

    Thanks for that thoughtful insight. Living with pain lets us appreciate those pain free moments so much more than “normal” people.

    After finding out about keto diet, fasting and the amazing benefits following, I’ve gone further and found that cold showers are awesome. By lightly stressing the body with an ice cold shower, people find that the body sort of reboots, blood starts flowing to the skin to warm you up and your brain rewires to tackle the stress. Do this regularily and your immune system will become stronger and less succeptible to stress. Again, youtube is your friend, check out Wim Hof, the iceman 🙂

  • DAA70
    2 months ago

    Sometimes out of desperation, I use ice packs and cold wet rags on my head or my wrapped around my throat/w my a/c set on freezing. The cold on the front & sides of throat can also help a little with nausea because vagus nerve pathway.

  • Holly Baddour moderator
    2 months ago

    Fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing how this works for you. Temperature changes can be powerful – and it’s logical to hear that they can have an impact given that migraine is a neurological disease.

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