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Thread: New to PB -- migraines and insomnia ramped up page

  1. #1
    alphaville's Avatar
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    New to PB -- migraines and insomnia ramped up

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    Hello, all:

    I am a 56 year old woman who started PB about 4 weeks ago, because I was having severe bloating & abdominal distention every time I ate.

    I am a migraineur and was very pleased that I hadn't had a headache for the first 2 weeks. But this week, I had a severe migraine that was unresponsive to my rescue meds and it lasted about 30 hours. My insomnia has also gotten much worse since starting PB.

    My sleep hygiene has always been excellent: pitch-black room, white noise, no computer or tv etc before bed, etc.

    I eat my main meal at lunch time and, because I am not usually hungry in the evening, I usually eat lightly -- some steamed vegetables or cheese.

    I am not doing PB to lose weight, so I don't count grams or anything else. I am eating lots of animal fat and coconut oil at breakfast and lunch.

    Does anyone have any thoughts about why the severe migraine after 2 weeks of none (a record for me)? Any one else with insomnia that got worse after starting PB?

    Is this just a temporary phase or should I be doing something different?

    Do I need to eat more at dinner, even though I am not hungry?

    Many thanks in advance for any advice!

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    Can't give an explanation for the migraine but I can tell you that 400 mg of magnesium citrate stopped 2 migraines dead in their tracks for me recently without the side effects of Maxalt.

    Is there any chance of caffeine withdrawal going on?

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    This happens at first to a number of people. It may be low blood sugar as our bodies are getting better at accessing alternative energy sources, it may be increased cortisol as that is one of the triggers to use fat as fuel (dietary or body fat).

    For me, magnesium is typically the best migraine prevention but I did go on Maxalt for the first time in my life during my first 8 weeks of PB. In the first 30 days, I had 15 days of headaches, 9 or those being migraines.

    Sleep was also in short supply - I couldn't sleep more than 4.5 hours at a time and usually much much less.

    Things to consider:
    • add in some starchy carbs to obtain higher levels of carb intake - especially at dinner.
    • track your nutrient intake for a couple weeks via nutritiondata.self.com or at least your macros via daily burn (avoid fitday due to extensive errors in their database and algorithm)
    • magnesium is something you almost certainly will require more of
    • if you'd like to keep carbs low enough to stay in ketosis, consider supplementing with a little vitamin C (250 mg 3-6x per day), b5 and phosphatidylserine (especially the latter) to reduce cortisol output and regulate adrenal function....they're just operating in hyperdrive right now.

    Here are my magnesium links:
    http://goo.gl/lists/HwSn

    My journal has some info (early on) about the sleep/migraine issues I faced early on. Fwiw, even if you do nothing, the migraines and insomnia will go away. They'll just go away faster and you'll feel better if you make the above changes.


    Katherine



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    No, caffeine isn't an issue. I only have one cup of tea a day at 0500. I also take mag every day, a gram at bedtime.

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    Thanks for your reply and suggestions, Katherine; I appreciate them!
    Maxalt has been one of my rescue meds for years. I hate to take them, but do when necessary. This last migraine wasn't even dented a little bit by it.

    I will certainly put your suggestions into practice. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaville View Post
    No, caffeine isn't an issue. I only have one cup of tea a day at 0500. I also take mag every day, a gram at bedtime.
    I was taking magnesium supplements at bedtime daily when I got the last 2 migraines, so it did not work as a preventive, but as a cure it was awesome.

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    Griff's Avatar
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    The migraine is probably carb flu. It is temporary. The insomnia is probably ketosis; it eases off after a while. Give it time and you will adjust. I haven't had a migraine since starting PB - until I had one bite of my wedding cake on my first anniversary and had three days of wheat reaction, including a bad headache. Is it possible you had a brush with grains and just weren't aware of it? That will trigger a headache for me every time.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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    I would suggest using a more natural medicine for your migraines if your local state authorities allow for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaville View Post
    No, caffeine isn't an issue. I only have one cup of tea a day at 0500. I also take mag every day, a gram at bedtime.
    Magnesium absorption is inversly proportional to the dose. The more you take, the less you absorb. It may be worth breaking it up into multiple smaller doses every day. That may or may not help the migraines and sleep but you will reap the other benefits of optimal magnesium tissue saturation.


    K



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  10. #10
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    For me, dehydration is a major migraine trigger and I found myself getting way more migraines while doing low-carb PB eating. I thought that the low carb eating was causing me to be dehydrated and triggering the migraines but it could have been something else related to low-carb. I have increased my carb intake although it's still 90% PB eating, I don't get migraines anymore. I try to get 400 mg magnesium a day too.

    You could try adding in more primal-friendly carbs plus magnesium, then if things improve, drop the carb level back down again but keep taking the magnesium. If you start getting more migraines again, they may be related to eating low carb. For example, I understand that eating carbs increases serotonin levels in the brain, and that serotonin fluctuations can trigger migraines. Less carbs in the diet, less serotonin in the brain (that's my inference anyway).
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