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Curing Migraines with Diet?

  • By Bet17

    I’m new to this forum, so hopefully I’m not repeating something that has already been answered. I’ve looked around but couldn’t find anything on exactly what I wanted to know.

    My migraines started very suddenly one day about a year and half ago. I don’t get migraines in the way that I always pictured the definition to be. Mine are “normal” headaches that are constant. It all started with a headache that lasted for 4 months that no otc medication would touch. Though I have gotten a few full blown migraines or severe headaches. As the time progressed, I kept adding more and more symptoms to my list. I get eye pain that is sometimes severe, dizziness, left leg numbness, left leg tingling, a weird vibration in my cheek bones, occasional eye blurriness, and more recently an aura. I’ve been tested for everything it seems and was left with a migraine diagnosis. Gabapentin has eliminated limb numbness/tingling and dizziness, but has definitely done nothing for my headaches and eye pain. I’ve already tried several different medications and none have worked for me thus far.
    My 12 year old son started showing the same signs that I have. He has constant “normal” headaches, eye pain and dizziness so far. He complains about his at least every other day and had dizziness so bad that he once passed out. I’ve since taught him to sit down immediately when he gets dizzy. He was diagnosed with migraines 2 days ago. His neurologist and I decided to keep him off of medication. Though she did prescribe him some just in case. She wants him to have magnesium supplements and an MSG free diet. My husband and I have decided to do a diet cleanse. Our family is going to eat nothing except non-seasoned meat, fruits, veggies, rice and beans. Then after a month, slowly add in foods until we know what my son and I are sensitive to. I’m really hopeful this plan works because I really don’t want him going through several medications and the side effects of each.
    My question is: Has anyone done anything similar? Has anyone been successful with curing their migraines with just a diet change and supplements? I’m hoping since our migraines aren’t severe like most peoples, that maybe this could work…

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Bet17.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us and being part of the Migraine.com discussion forum – we’re glad you found us!

    I’m sorry to hear your son is experiencing migraine attacks. Both my children, now adults, have episodic migraine attacks and it’s awful to see them in pain.

    .I’m sorry to report there is currently no “cure” for migraine disease; it is managed, not cured. If we can identify our triggers and avoid the ones we can, we may be able to reduce our migraine attack frequency and severity. Migraine attack triggers include but are not limited to certain foods, dehydration, skipping meals, irregular sleep schedule, changes in the barometric pressure, fluctuating hormones and many others. People with migraine disease seem to have hyper responsive brains, meaning the slightest changes in routine, diet or life, may trigger a migraine attack. A great way to identify our migraine triggers is to keep a detailed migraine diary for a few months. I did this when my son was about nine years old and we discovered his migraine attacks were triggered by dehydration, too much sun, dark chocolate, nitrates and irregular sleep patterns. Let me share information on keeping a diary; https://migraine.com/blog/keeping-migraine-diary-basics/.

    Many of us have tried an elimination diet to see what food trigger migraine attacks with some success. I can share more information on this with you here;
    https://migraine.com/blog/elimination-diet-foods-to-eat-foods-to-avoid/
    https://migraine.com/blog/tips-for-staying-sane-on-an-elimination-diet/
    https://migraine.com/blog/whats-elimination-diet-manage-one/.

    Personally I think that’s a great way to start with your son. Magnesium has been found to help prevent migraine attacks.

    Let me know what you think and how your son makes out!
    Nancy

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  • By GardensatNight

    That sounds like a great plan. Do check out Nancy’s list. There are some fruits and veggies that are pretty potent triggers if you are food-sensitive… just depends how sensitive you are and to what. I know looking at the list is fairly daunting as it looks like everything has to be eliminated. If you’re still eating any of these: tomatoes, peas, mushrooms, <–all three of these react like MSG if you are really sensitive to it, onions, citrus fruits, bananas… just keep a calendar of when they are eaten and if headaches result since those are some of the more common offenders.

    And we season meat all the time in our house (I am SUPER food sensitive and we haven’t eaten out in years–everything from scratch)… we just use herbs, pure salt, and carefully check spices to make sure the spice contains only that spice not “natural seasonings” (MSG), sea salt (MSG).

    If you use butter, real salted butter (cream, salt) is ok. Unsalted is full of MSG. We cook in olive oil and canola, too. There’s lists of “other names” MSG uses that you can look up. Good luck to you and your family and let us know how you’re doing.

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