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Thread: Getting Considerably More Migraines Since Going Primal page

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    Canarygirl's Avatar
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    Getting Considerably More Migraines Since Going Primal

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    I am a long time migraine sufferer. During the last 6 months of 2009, I was losing 1-2 days per month to debilitating migraines (staying in bed throwing up all day with the pounding headache...not fun). At New Year's I gave up gluten and was thrilled that I didn't have any serious migraines for the next 3 months--and barely even any mild ones. I thought, "Eureka! I've found the cure!"

    In March I started following the PB WOE and now I am getting migraines about once per week again. Any ideas on what could be causing this?

    I know that since I am eating only 70gm carbs per day, that source of serotonin release (from eating carbs) is pretty much gone. Serotonin fluctuations are a source of migraines. The trickle down effect of having less serotonin release is that I am now more susceptible to stress and find myself getting grumpy/irritable more often than I did when eating more carbs. Also, I sometimes don't sleep very well now. Both sleep disruption and stress are migraine triggers.

    Are any of you out there migraine sufferers and have you noticed any changes after going primal? I had already given up gluten so primal-ism isn't responsible for that particular change.

    Any suggestions/ideas welcome of what I can do to beat back these nasty things. Other than the headaches, I have been slowly losing weight on PB and I have another 15 lbs or so to go. I want to make this WOE work for the long term.

    Oh, I take St. John's Wort most days and one L-Tryptophan capsule before bed. Back when I used to take SSRI's for depression I used to get a lot of migraines (they act on serotonin).

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    Griff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canarygirl View Post
    Are any of you out there migraine sufferers and have you noticed any changes after going primal? I had already given up gluten so primal-ism isn't responsible for that particular change.
    Hmm. For me, the migraines went away when I stopped eating grains and gluten (as it turns out I'm allergic to both), so I'm not sure what to tell you. Are you having any contact with gluten-free but grain-containing products?
    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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    Griff, that's a good question. In January & February I was going kind of hog wild on gluten free baked goods with various types of GF flours in them. My "digestion" was not good at all but no migraines. Now things are much happier in the digestive tract so that indicates that I do better without grains. Here's something I just thought of...my grain consumption is WAY down since PB, but last night my husband made corn on the cob--first of the season (it's one of his favorites). I had a cob as part of my daily carb allotment. Hmmm...then I didn't sleep well, then today I was grumpy/stressed, and late this afternoon a migraine! I am thinking as I am typing because your question has possibly put things into place for me. I remember about 4 years ago I was tested by my naturopath for food allergies and I came back positive (allergic) to gluten, soy, eggs, and corn. Gluten was the strongest reaction, so that's the one I focused on quitting. But maybe now that I've cut back so much on soy and corn, maybe I've lost my tolerance to these things I'm allergic too.

    There's been one other time since I started PB that I ate corn, and that was movie popcorn. It triggered intense cravings for sugar and I felt really grumpy and stressed the rest of that day.

    The CORN CONNECTION! Could be it.

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    I don't know if this will be any help but, I cannot have peppers. A few snippets in a mixed food is OK but not an outright feed of peppers. I got a migraine canning salsa once. The hotter the pepper, the worse the headache. Have you tried eliminating some common triggers?

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    Tooround, I think you posted as I was responding to Griff. I am going to try quitting all grains instead of just gluten containing grains. I had cut way back on them but now it will be none. I had a half orange with my lunch and for some people oranges are a migraine trigger. I haven't noticed that trigger before but I'll pay close attention now. Might be a good time for me to start a food/migraine journal.

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    Majority of my migraines have been stress related. I wasn't really able to recognize it at the time (hey, I don't feel stressed!) but later, looking back, I could see that I was in a sh*t storm. Hence, the migraine.
    Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.
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    I know that Mark doesn't seem to think that water is a big deal. HOWEVER, it could be that you're dehyrdrated a bit. For some reason you're not as thirsty as normal... I would add a we bit more water... see how that goes... good luck... My headaches are tension related... it took a dental fix to take care of those... AMAZING!

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    The hydration thing is a good one too. I'm not as thirsty as most people and in the past, if I got dehydrated it meant a migraine for sure. Yes, this is a real possibility. I am trying to drink more because I know that the low carb diet causes water loss. But chances are I am not doing as well as I should. Thanks for the reminder.

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    Corn is a grain, actually...not a vegetable. I'd say you want to stick with fruits and veggies for your daily carb allotment, and nothing else!

    As a fellow migraine sympathizer (one week every 3/4 months, totally incapaciated, puking, the whole 9 yards), I sympathize. I am hoping changing up my diet will help!

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    Did you take St John's Wort and/or L-Tryptophan before you did PB? Just asking because St. John's Wort triggered migraines for me. Also, once I tried gingko biloba and same thing...headache.

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