Back to Back Issues Page
HeadWay, Issue #163 -- YOU talk about Diets! (and - breaking news!)
March 21, 2018

*Please note: URLs may wrap onto the next line. To visit the website, cut and paste the entire URL into your address bar on your browser*

In this issue:

--Breaking News--

YOU talk about Diets!

Say what?! Ketogenic diet

Do you believe in the service that HeadWay provides to those with migraine, cluster, and other types of headache, as well as their doctors, family, and friends? Consider sponsoring HeadWay with a one or two line ad. For more information, visit this page.

--Breaking News--

I just got off a call with Carl Cincinnato, producer and co-host of The Migraine World Summit. I have some really exciting information about the 2018 Summit - and no time to tell you about it!

So, real quick:
  1. Watch your inbox and Headache and Migraine News for more information. You're going to be excited too!
  2. Go right now - like, right now - and get your free ticket for the summit. You don't have to commit to any dates or to do anything - it's easy and free. Make sure you have your free ticket today - get it here - and then stay tuned for more info to come!
And -- more important info.

Before we get to the meat of the ezine, a couple of notes. First, some of you may have received an email last month with the same subject line as the month before. A little confusing!

Last month's email was not a repeat of the heart disease ezine. It was a discussion of the Migraine Action Plan and CGRP. If you missed it, just go here:

I'm sorry to say that it's been a whole year since I've dedicated a newsletter to answering your questions. So today I'm going to get started and respond to some of your comments about diet.

YOU talk about Diets!

The Diet Debate
I get a lot of questions and comments about diet. Instead of getting into every individual question, I would like to make some general comments.

There are a lot of diets out there today which have helped migraine patients. The trick is that they are very different - sometimes even contradictory. So why do such different diets still work?

One obvious explanation is that everyone is different, and so different diets help different people.

But I think a key is this: whatever diet you may be on, you're probably being more careful about what you eat, and you're eating less "processed" food.

One subscriber mentioned that she's found help with one of the paleolithic diets. Another mentioned a ketogenic type diet that Dr. Joshua Turknett promotes for migraine (also a paleo-type or "ancestral" diet - see The Migraine Miracle). Several others mentioned dietary changes they have made personally.

Your Recent Suggestions
So what do these diets have in common?

Here are a few things, just based on emails I've recently received:
  • Cut Processed Foods: This is the #1 recommendation. People mention avoiding "microwaveable foods", and foods with "flavour enhancers" - such as the many chemicals related to MSG (see The 12 Top MSG Offenders. More unprocessed, natural, organic foods.
  • Limit/eliminate grains/bread: We've talked about gluten intolerance before. (See comments from actual migraine patients here) Today there is some debate about just why this works for so many migraineurs. Is it the gluten, or something else?
  • Limit/eliminate dairy: Another common recommendation from migraine patients. One example here.
  • Limit/eliminate sugar: Hey, I'm just the messenger! Many people have found this to be effective, and we've talked about it before. See Sugar and Migraines?
  • Limit oranges: One person mentioned limiting oranges. I wouldn't mention it here, since it was only one person, except that this is actually a common one. Too much citrus does seem to trigger attacks in many people.
  • Hydration: We just talked about this recently. Staying hydrated, and even drinking water when I migraine hits to stop it, are common. (By the way, the book we talked about in that edition of HeadWay has a massive new edition - Fighting The Migraine Epidemic by Dr. Angela Stanton.)
  • Protein: Interestingly, Dr. Turknett's diet and other paleo-type diets are both high in protein, mostly animal-based protein. (That being said, Dr. Turknett does emphasize that you can follow a healthy diet with no animal-based foods at all. )
Of course this is just a quick sampling from recent emails. There are many other diets that migraineurs have tried with success.

Common Threads...
But again, there are common threads. Pay attention to what you eat, and avoid processed food. That is almost universal. Eating more fruits and veggies is also pretty much universal, although which ones is a subject of debate. But if you eat a good variety and don't go overboard on any one thing, you almost can't go wrong here.

Which diet you try is a personal decision, and of course it does make a difference which you choose. You would be wise to discuss your decision with a doctor who knows your medical history.

That being said, just taking a few steps toward a healthier diet can make a huge difference. In fact, it may be the most powerful treatment available to you.

Say what?! Ketogenic diet

A ketogenic diet is today sometimes recommended for migraine, though it is most known as an epilepsy treatment. Key elements are that it is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. On the ketogenic diet, your body learns to use fat as a source of energy instead of glucose (sugar).

For a much more detailed and helpful explanation, see Ketogenic Diet Benefits for Weight Loss, Fighting Disease & More. Dr. Turknett discusses the topic specifically for migraine in his book The Migraine Miracle.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
Back to Back Issues Page