Hello – first time poster – long time sufferer 🙂
There doesnt appear to be a ‘cures’ forum so I figured this would be the best spot. Im not suggesting the below will work for everyone – but its worth a shot as its worked well for me. It’s a little long so that if there are others with similar symptoms they can read this and see if they think it might work for them.
A little about my history of migraines – Knowing what I know now, and looking back – I believe I was getting them as early as 6 years old – however its likely they go back earlier. At that time I would have all of the pre-symptoms and post symptoms as today (as an adult) – however my knees would swell horribly and I couldnt walk on them. Lots of doctors appointments, tests etc – but of course the medical establishment couldnt figure out exactly what was ‘wrong’ (they thought maybe juvenile arthritis). Like many of you Im sure, I was told by various adults/people in my life I was either simply making it up, or it wasnt as bad as I made it out to be. (ya right)
During school I was often out sick, it was very hard to attend – my average being more than 40 missed classes a year in most cases. It was always just called ‘sick’ – aches, pains, nausea (you’d swear for a few hours the flu was coming) and then of course the headache starts (It’s just a little headache – no big deal) and then the exponential explosion into horrid pain that leaves you curled up in the fetal position in a dark room begging for it to go away.
Ive always loved the expression ‘Oh he just has a headache’…..<insert angry face>
Fast forward a bit – when I was in my mid-20’s I finally figured it out – Alcohol was the tip off. (there is a point to this bear with me) For the longest time I thought everyone had completely horrible hangovers that literally took 2 days to recover from – but more importantly – my body temperature would go squirly during the course of one of my ‘just headaches’, and also after I drank alcohol and a migraine occurred – I would get almost fever like conditions (shivering, sweating etc) – same thing – which kind of indicated to me what it is and resulted in more research on my part to confirm. More importantly it indicated to me that eating/drinking had some effect on the occurrence.
I didnt write things down/record them during this period but I would estimate I was suffering from around 10+ Migraines a month. As Ive gotten older its gotten much worse – reaching around 20+ a month for the last 10 years or so.
During this time – I have desperately sought a cure outside of the medical establishment (because they didnt have one – not a lot helped in terms of medication). My triggers appeared to be cold fronts/rain/negative changes in barometric pressure, alcohol and chocolate – but mostly weather. I tried pro-biotics, Vitamin B6 (Alcohol depletes Vitamin B so I rationalized that it may be a deficiency here), extra/increased hydration, cutting out certain foods and drinks, eating more nuts and raw foods. At some points my migraines would stop for a week or two and everything turned back to normal – and then slowly start coming back. I reasoned it must be related to intake of food and thus tried all of the above to no avail.
My family and I took a trip to Israel (the weather pressure is much more stable there so its an option for me to live) and my migraines disappeared. I gorged on food there, and when I came back home – the ‘positive hangover’ lasted about a month and a half after I came back and then they slowly returned to their previous intensity.
About 6 months after we came back I had a particularly horrible stretch that lasted 3-4 months culminating in 9 back to back Migraines which would be about a 9/10 on my scale (I have a scale I give to doctors). For me this includes things like a type of blindness, forced sleep right before the attack, phantom smells – and no matter how much medication I throw at it – the most I can knock it down to would be about a mid level migraine. There seemed to be some sort of long term damage done after this stretch and I lost interest in eating. I noticed that my migraines significantly reduced after I stopped eating so I experimented some more by cutting out various food groups entirely – and there was a positive impact.
It turns out I couldnt eat any grains, dairy, most kinds of meat (anything that was more fatty – chicken breast for instance was fine), most processed sauces etc, and of course alcohol or chocolate – which is just about everything. Not eating only works for so long, so I had to try to find a way around this and started talking to various people who had some experience in the area with more exotic/limited/restricted diets.
What came up was ‘Organic Shake/meal replacements’ (Im specifically not putting the brand I use here for fear that some people may think Im trying to sell/promote the product). I figured I had nothing to lose and so I tried it. I have 1 in the morning, and the rest of the day I eat what I want. No they arent super exciting to have – but after finishing a large canister (lasts about 2 weeks for me) I noticed a reduction in frequency of my migraines. And then a further reduction, and yet another reduction. The issue appears to me to be intestinal bacteria related. Replacing the ‘bad bacteria’ with the ‘good bacteria’ of the shake significantly reduces my migraines.
Its not 100% – its about 80 – 90% effective. On days when there is a dramatic change in barometric pressure – I still get some symptoms. Cramping in my left calf muscle was typically one of my first indications that I was going to get a migraine – I still get that for instance. I still get a bit more fatigued (but not crushing like it used to be where I have trouble walking up stairs – and Im height and weight proportionate), I still get some vertigo, and weird visual disturbances, but I rarely get the horrible migraines any longer. Maybe 1-2 a month max. I suspect that if I cut out more of the ‘bad foods’ (instead of for instance having 2 sandwiches with fresh baked bread – eating nuts or having another shake) – I probably wouldnt get any at all – but its no fun living like that. I’ll even risk some wine (which I love) on occasion now – I havent been able to do that for years.
So that’s it. Nothing super magical. I really hope it helps others out there – because its no life living like I was.
It appears to me that migraines are an issue with stomach bacteria, or in some cases bacteria in the mouth that have to do with how food is processed. Why medical science cant figure it out yet – I have no idea.