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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 25 2013

No Grains Equals No Migraines

By Guest
167 Comments

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

The first time it happened I panicked. My vision was slowly filling up with shiny blobs of light. Instinctively I went to a dark room and, 15 minutes in, I couldn’t see. Eventually it ramped down just like it ramped up. And as soon as it cleared, the pain started. I was never one for much pain medication, so I just put a cold rag on my forehead and bore it. Then the nausea kicked in. The pain subsided after a few hours. But it happened again the next week. And the next.

The third time, I hyperventilated from the pain and my boyfriend drove me to the hospital at 2 a.m. A scan cleared me of any brain tumors and I was diagnosed with ocular migraines. The doctor gave me a prescription for a drug used to help cancer patients deal with nausea and told me to get a bottle of Excedrin.

People who have had ocular migraines know what I’m talking about. It fills your world with panic. What will trigger it next? Bright white snow? Car headlights? My mother tells me my aunt gets shots to stop them, so I figure it must run in the family. I became attached to my sunglasses. I’d wear them even at night sometimes to block building or street lights. I had to pull over in my car once because I couldn’t see through the “shinys,” as I called them. It’s not a good way to live. As a college sophomore, I was kept out of class and work with pain. I eventually learned to stop the pain by taking the Excedrin as soon as I saw the flashy lights. But that much medicine would leave me in a haze for the rest of the day.

Here’s what gets me. As a sophomore, I had put on the freshman 15 and wanted to start the year eating healthy. I cut out all white grain products and switched to whole-grain bread and pasta. I ate healthy lean meats but would binge on sugar on the weekends. Years passed and I accepted migraines as a part of my life. I carried a big bottle of meds everywhere. Here’s a look at my old diet:

Old Diet

I graduated college and married the boyfriend who drove me to the hospital. He was always overweight and I, being a journalist/graphic artist, was constantly bombarded with health information and the newest studies. So we tried a few of these popular trends to help him get his weight down (6-foot, 245). I wasn’t as worried about mine at the time (5′ 7″, 145), but I figured I could stand to lose a few. We did P90X, the Abs Diet, lots of whole grains and really boring food. I still had migraines. I still had IBS, acne – oh and regular headaches, too!

Here’s us:

Pre-Primal

In late 2011 my husband found your website on some message boards. He started Primal and two weeks later, he says he feels like Superman! Able to leap tall buildings! Inspired to run around and lift things! The weight came off fast with his fasting schedule. I looked at the catalog of research online and it just seemed right. I couldn’t be left out, and he needed my support like he always helped me through my migraines. I got the book and started in January 2012 with a meal plan that looked like this:

New Diet

And yes, I dropped down to 125 pounds (high school weight) and my husband lost 70. Yes, my IBS symptoms are gone. My skin is glowing and there are no more sugar crashes. But what makes me tear up in gratitude is that I haven’t had a single migraine since.

Looking back, I have to pinpoint those grains/gluten as the migraine trigger. I’ve had sugar since (I still love ice cream). I’ve had legumes a few times, but I’ve been gluten free. And I won’t go back. In July I stopped carrying around the industrial-sized bottle of pills. If Primal just cured the migraines alone, I’d still do it. It’d be worth it. The fear is finally gone.

Katie and Husband - After

Katie

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167 thoughts on “No Grains Equals No Migraines”

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  1. I so love these stories. I look forward to them every Friday!! Congratulations to both of you for what you have achieved so far and no doubt you are feeling a million dollars!!! W00t!!!!

    1. Congrats to you both! you look great! Now that I have read your story it makes me realize that I do not get headaches like I used to. Other things like the bloat, gas and lethargy I went away almost immediately, but headaches are now almost non existent for me as well. Thanks for the share!

  2. Yay! I tell EVERYBODY that complains of migraines to ditch the wheat, preferably go completely grain free. I had migraines all the time (3-4/mo) with seemingly no triggers, until I went gluten-free. Finally found the trigger!

    You both look amazing and I’m so glad you’re able to leave those nasty migraines behind!

    1. My story is EXACTLY the same! I was getting up to more than 1 or 2 a week, and all those prescription pain meds were leaving me with a depression problem (a common side effect of narcotics use). No wheat/grains = no migraines!

    2. +1 – used to get migraines twice or three times a month. Now I just get bad headaches, which is much better than before. I’ve been Primal for about a year and a month and won’t go back to grains. The benefits outweigh the momentary sugar gratification of simple carbs.

      1. +1 I was getting weekly migraines. Gone (along with many other symptoms). I feel amazing!

    3. +1. This story is exactly the same as my wife and I’s. Lots of lost weight, lots more energy and her once weekly migraines have been gone for over 2 years. Nirvana!

  3. Worked on my migraines too, a year and counting not even a headache.

  4. That is great that going primal has helped you to get rid of your migraines. My girlfriend has really bad migraines a few times a year. She just started going paleo like 2 months ago so it is too soon to tell if paleo has helped her get rid of the migraines since they happen infrequently but I am excited to tell her about your story. I’m sure it will give her hope.

  5. I’ve had the same experience with migraines, Katie! I’m so glad that I’m not the only person that PB has worked for in that regard. Migraines can be life stopping and they really suck! I definitely identify with the fears you described about looking at headlights, snow, etc. because I had those too. It is no way to live. I hope neither of us ever experiences that again. 🙂

  6. In spite of going Paleo, then Atkins Induction, then Keto, my husband still gets occasional migraines due to his Norwegian heritage, and glare from low angles of sun. Lately, he has picked up a blood pressure angle to them: if his systolic goes below 130, he’s prone. We came to this conclusion after repeated blood pressure testing after the onset of his visual aura.

    Nothing can be done about the Norwegian heritage (except maybe to move there), but we’ve done all we can about low-angle sun glare with drawn shades, tinted Transitions lenses for his glasses, and we carry Excedrin Migraine in every car, jacket, bag, briefcase, desk drawer, etc. to have on hand when needed. As far as systolic goes, I have to watch his potassium intake–since I lowered it, the migraines are less frequent.

    Sometimes they aren’t about the grains, the aged foods, the chocolate, the wine, or any of the other usual trigger foods. Sometimes they aren’t about food at all.

    1. Interesting about the blood pressure. Mine has always either been too low, or way too low. I don’t think it’s ever been anywhere close to 130. How does he go about raising it? I would give up every wonderful food in the universe to never have another migraine–so much better if instead the fix is to eat more bacon.

      1. More salt, less potassium. Sometimes he throws in a little caffeine.

    2. It’s interesting you mentioned potassium. I had what is called “Adrenal Fatigue”. (Of course, mainstream medicine doesn’t recognize this as a real condition because there’s no prescription pill to fix it.) One of the problems is too much potassium and not enough salt. If I stood up too fast, I’d feel like I was going to pass out. My Dr. fixed me with a heap of supplements and salt water! There’s a website adrenalfatigue.org or something like that which has good information on the condition if you want to take a look.

      1. Huh. Never felt like passing out, but my vision would shut down for a few seconds with slight dizziness. (…wait a minute…) It doesn’t happen too often (none recently) so I was unconcerned. That is was due to low blood pressure was clear enough; and I think moving my arms and legs a bit before standing prevented them. However, looking back on the few that have occurred since going Primal, i.e., since paying attention to what I eat, my salt intake was very low prior to them. Correlation=/=causation of course.

    3. Just curious if he has tried to take magnesium and riboflavin (vitamin B2) daily to see if natural things could help. I type neurology reports, and it has worked for many.

    4. You’re probably already aware of this, but low vitamin D has been linked to frequent migraines.

    5. Check out his adrenal function. Adrenal fatigue can cause low blood pressure.

    6. Can you tell me more about the low angle of sunlight and Norwegian heritage? I am of scandanavian descent and have always had issues with that but I didn’t know there was a connection.

    7. What on earth would Norwegian ancestry have to do with it? Norwegians don’t have more migraines than other people.

      Norwegians are Germanic, and probably a majority of Americans have whole or partial Germanic ancestry (British, German, Dutch, Nordic – and French, although they speak a Romance language). It doesn’t give them migraines.

    8. My mother had migraines all her life until she started taking magnesium. Now she NEVER gets any type of headache. For myself when I was working I would on occasion get a stress headache,but always carried peppermint oil and applied it to the area that hurt. Later,I found a roll on that I believe was called Mygrastick,which had the peppermint oil in it,it just made it easier to apply. But now I just take magnesium morning and night and no headaches…..period. I have read that 80% of the american people are lacking magnesium. I also sleep like a baby every night.

    9. I have Norwegian heritage, too, and had migraines all my life but didn’t know there was a connection. Certainly have the light connection and live in sun glasses. Getting rid of sugar and grains has helped, for sure, and I think the full fat dairy is important. Whatever has helped, since going Primal, they are fewer than ever, thank goodness. Wish I’d known about the Primal lifestyle when I was younger. Migraines nearly ruined my youth as I never knew when they were going to interrupt a planned event or even just the daily round of child care. Pain is a potent motivator!

  7. Woo hoo!! Awesome story. It blows my mind that our medical community (or a lot of it) doesn’t think to treat THE ROOT PROBLEM. Ugh! It is so frustrating. Whenever one of my friends is dealing with a chronic something (headaches, IBS, whatever) they go to the doc and are given something that masks the symptoms. Then thye talk to me and I give them one of my favorite paleo books. 🙂 So inspired by this success!

    1. Follow the money, Susie. “Chronic” means neverending drugs and visits to the doctor, whereas there’s no continuing profit in a cure.

  8. I too had migraines. I would scare the heck out of daughter who thought I was dying I was in so much pain! Gluten is a trigger! I tell people too to stop eating gluten if they want to get better.

    Congrats! You two look happy and healthy!

  9. I have also been migraine free (not one)for 15 months. I had siffered from them since I was about 7 years old and tried it all. What amazed me is that after all the doctors, drugs and researching migraines I hadn’t been told to try losing the grains. I had been told to ditch everything else though…dairy, chocolate, coffee, red wine, ham, nitrates….but NEVER wheat.

    GOOD FOR YOU !!

  10. Wow, you both look so different! I wish more people who suffer from migraines (and asthma) would learn of the relationship with wheat. Congratulations!

    I liked this sentence, “… two weeks later, he says he feels like Superman!” 🙂

    1. My asthma is definitely triggered by wheat. 2 slices of pizza is a sure way for me to get wheezy. A co-worker was amazed that I didn’t eat the free pizza at work today. Breathing is easy motivation to cut out pizza! No acne is just a bonus!

  11. I’ve never had migraines but that sounds awful, glad your not dealing with that anymore.

    Always cool to see self care over health care!

  12. I had a migraine about a week into going paleo, so I’m skeptical that it will work for me. But man would that be fantastic. I would rather get mauled by a bear than have another migraine (I might be exaggerating… slightly).

    1. It takes a while to get the gluten out of your system, so don’t get discouraged! 🙂

    2. I concur with Cindy’s comment. A week is not a long enough time. A food reaction can take 3-4 days to manifest. At a minimum, a strict 30 days. Not “GAPS” diet hardcore, more like “Whole30” hardcore. No softcore paleo.

    3. Also gluten can easily sneak into a meal. For instance today I had some friend okra. So some grains do come in even if you’re otherwise pretty careful.

    4. I actually got a string of migraines 3 days in a row after I first started PB. I really can’t explain why other than the dramatic shift in my diet. Since then though, if I stick with PB I don’t get migraines. If I change things up and go back to eating garbage then there they are a couple days later.

  13. Katie, what an amazing story! I get ocular migraines too (though I’m lucky–I usually lose sight in one quadrant but never feel pain. Weird, huh?) But it never occurred to me they might be diet-related!

    So glad you guys are both feeling so much better. Nicely done!

  14. Going gluten free has also helped my migraines (they come back when I fall off the wagon). It’s also helped my depression. I’ve suffered from depression since I was a teenager (I’m in my early 50s now), but it’s no longer a problem. However, if I eat ANY gluten, the results are immediate fatigue and the onset of deep depression that takes days to go away. I’m disappointed that the medical community hasn’t spent more time researching the link between food sensitivities and health conditions, and instead pushes pills and painkillers.

    1. “I’m disappointed that the medical community hasn’t spent more time researching the link between food sensitivities and health conditions…”

      Disappointed, but probably not surprised. There’s no money in telling people to stop eating certain foods!

    2. Depression & fatigue are very common symptoms of celiac disease, as are migraines. Unfortunately, doctors don’t always know that, so people aren’t tested. Glad you figured out what your problem was!

      1. I suspect that celiac gets under-reported and under-diagnosed bceause the testing is either highly unpleasant (biopsy of the lining of the small intestine – this is the ‘gold standard’ test) or not terribly accurate (blood and stool tests have a very poor record with “false negatives” telling people they aren’t celiac/gluten sensitive, when they actually really are).

        My history is just like Nicole’s; first migraine when I was 12, struggling with depression all my life, and now in my mid-50’s, gluten and grain free and free of migraines and depression. i wish I had found out sooner!

    3. Gluten affects my anxiety too! Even if I have a little slip up the next day my anxiety symptoms are back…..It’s a great motivator to avoid gluten/grains 🙂

  15. I’m more afraid of bears than I am of migraines! The sunlight is definately a trigger for me but I think it’s the squinting that causes the headache. Missing out on my morning cup of tea was always a sure way to give myslef a bad day. What I have found is that I have grown out of them. At age 51, I have only had a handful in the past five years and that sometimes a candy bar (I’m sure it’s the chocolate) can stop them.

    Congratulations to you both.

      1. Hahaha! ! Bears?! Noo! They are blood thirsty killing machines.

  16. Yep, migraines gone too! I have to watch the wine a bit along with no grains ever. But just to have the fear of “maybe getting one” disappear, is worth the world to me. Great job guys,Superman and Superwoman…together at last.

  17. Did you tell this to your doctor?

    If enough people can convince doctors to at least SUGGEST going gluten/grain free to other migraine patients, then you can save others the same suffering.

    1. I completely agree! If you’re doctor isn’t open to hearing how patients can self-treat…change doctors! Mine was always very keen to hear about my alternative therapies (diet, naturopath, acunpuncture etc) when it came to my colitis…mainly because meds didn’t work!

    2. Luckily enough, I found a paleo doc in Chicago who is amazing 🙂

      1. Do you mind sharing his/her name? I’m in need of a new doctor and I’m in Chicago too. Thanks!

      2. I’m also in Chicago and would greatly appreciate if you could share who your Paleo doc is.

      3. Add me to the list who would love to know who this doctor is!! I actually even joined Angie’s List to try and find a paleo doctor and came up with nothing. I’m so frustrated with my CW doctor that I basically have stopped going.

  18. Frequent, debilitating migraines (3-4 a month) before going Paleo and ditching grains in 2009. Have not had a real migraine since. A few headaches, mostly tension related but thankfully, those days of hiding in the bedroom with the lights off just to survive are over.

  19. My step-daughter has suffered from migraines since she was in her teens, still has acne at 30, has had digestive troubles for years, struggles with her weight, etc., etc. But will she even consider going Primal, in spite of seeing her father and me glowing with health? No.

    It makes me so sad that she persists in suffering because, “Oh, I could never give up bread.” I’m afraid yesterday’s comments about suffering becoming a part of someone’s identity applies to her.

  20. Great story! My boyfriend also suffers from migraines from time to time. He’s been mostly primal for his whole life, but being Chinese means dim sum and white rice is the norm, so he still has that occasionally at group gatherings/family outings. We started to notice a pattern though — whenever he has some wheat or even rice, within a week he suffers some type of migraine or headache. At home we are completely grain/wheat free, so its really only on special occasions that he’ll have any grain or flour (which he admittedly adores) but he’s starting to really feel the effects more so now that we’ve been grain free at home for 2 years. I think I’ll share your story with him and let him know he’s not the only one with this type of reaction! Thanks for sharing!! You guys look awesome!

  21. Flickering lights in a store (Sam’s Club is the worst) or restaurant… this is my trigger. I got my first ocular migraine (pain free) at the age of 45, and have only had 3 total. I am wondering if my low gluten diet on/off for the past decade had played a role. I am happy to hear you found relief. Continued good health to both you and your husband!

  22. Oh I so love Fridays – and amazing success stories like these! Well done to both of you!

  23. I was shocked and amazed when I saw that your post was about ocular migraines! I’ve been gluten free for a year and Primal for about 6 months now and have had nary a migraine since. But this last Friday, I was at my Mom’s and experienced my first ocular migraine ever. No pain, just wild psychedelic pinwheels of light in my peripheral vision. I had never heard of ocular migraines, and thought I was having a stroke.

    Has anyone else found that a certain food other than grains will trigger an ocular migraine? I have been under a lot of stress lately. Thinking that could have a lot to do with it as well.

    I wanted to find a way to bring this up on the message board, but didn’t know where a good place to post was. The Lord works in mysterious ways…

    1. I would also get them after Chinese food a lot. Not sure if MSG might have been a trigger. Don’t eat that anymore either.

    2. Aspartame and MSG are migraine triggers for me. I’m mostly migraine free since going Primal, I do still get a mild headache just before my period, but I’m not even sure I’d call it a migraine anymore. It used to be a 3 day, hide in a dark room ordeal before.

    3. Are you sure it was a migraine? I thought I had a migraine once and it turned out to be a detached retina.

      1. My goodness, what a story! i also ave ocular migraines, thank God not so often, once or twice in two years, but really bad ones.. Two weeks ago I decided to go gluten free and now I see that I have done the right thing.. I had a lot of bloating etc as well.. My little son is eating gluten free with me, since I think he has some intolerance as well, although his doc only thinks that he is not growing much becuase he is just like this.. He has alergic asthma, dermatitis that doesn’t go away, stomach ahea, very low vitamin D and iron in his blood. I don’t know what other indications his doc wanted to rescribe him a gluten free diet, so I just did it, decided for him. And i am hoping this diet will do good to both of us!

      2. I went to the Dr. to have him check out my eyes and he said everything looked fine and that it sounded like an ocular migraine. Would have gone to an Opthomologist, but also walked into a low-lying branch because I had my hood down too low when the wind was bitterly cold last week. (Thought I broke my neck…also broke Marks don’t do stupid stuff rule).

        I don’t use any artificial sweeteners and avoid msg like the plague, but of course, msg is hard control when you don’t make things your self.

    4. I got non painful ocular migraines when my platelet count got too high. If the ocular migraines persist, getting a blood test that includes a platelet count might be an avenue you could pursue.

    5. I can totally relate. No headache–just the aura. Have you had your estrogen levels checked. My estrogen level was thru the roof–switched to paleo, addressed leaky gut problem, started seeing a homeopathic doctor–no aura since.

    6. I also get ocular migraines. I lose partial vision, get zig zags, confusion, etc… but no pain. I haven’t found a food that helps. I did b12 shots several years ago and the migraines went away for 3 years. Then, I would get 1-2 a year. I started getting them more frequently this fall. I’m back on b12 shots and have not had one in three months. I have still been eating gluten a few times a week. (I know I shouldnt.) This article has given me the push to stop eating it.

  24. Great post! I love that this links to overall health and well being (and migraines!) with the weight loss being a secondary “bonus”.
    More of these types of success stories please!!!

  25. Excellent story. So happy you found a way of eating that helps your migraines! I look forward to these stories every Friday… I also look forward to Fridays..

  26. If only I can convince my husband to go primal. He gets a migraine about every two months. However, he categorically refuses to give up wheat. In fact, he calls paleo a cult! Arg! He argues with me having our kids gluten-free (haven’t gotten them paleo yet) even though they have both had positive effects from it! I think he may be a lost cause. He can buy his own raisin bran. I’m not supplying his habit.

  27. Well, I guess migraines (my grains) are aptly named! Get rid of your grains, get rid of migraines! Ok, I’m done now.

      1. That line just went in my book of quotes. Thanks, Helga! 🙂

  28. Love the graphic representations of what you eat. That would be so helpful! Congrats on your primal success!

  29. Migraines + IBS that goes away when you drop grains = probable celiac disease. Not worth going back on a gluten diet to get tested (unless you really want to) – but you should see if you have the genes for it and encourage your relatives to get tested. I’ve got celiac, and my main symptom was frequent migraine.

  30. I too love Fridays– the sheer encouragement of fellow MDA success is always a boost to my continued primal living.

    Although I do have to wear wingtips when I preach on Sunday monrings!

    1. Pastor Dave, when you wrote “wingtips” the image that came to mind was angel wings on the tips of your toes. 🙂 Rock the wings!

  31. I, too, suffered from migraines and ever since I made the switch to Paleo, they have not returned! There are SO so so many advantages to eating a Paleo lifestyle. Who doesn’t want to feel amazing 24/7!? Great story, thanks for sharing!!

  32. Thanks everyone for the amazing comments! Glad I could be a part of success Fridays!

  33. Wonderful success stories.
    I’m completely sold on the Paleo way of life however, my migraines are monthly hormone-induced, every month in the middle of my cycle like clockwork.
    Has anyone had any luck with a diet change changing their female-hormone-induced migraines?

    1. When I gave up coffee and brassicas, and added Vitex and Evening Primrose Oil, my menstrual migraines stopped.

    2. This was when mine were the worst! I had migraines so bad and missed work so often that I couldn’t be fired because it was a chronic condition! Believe me….going without sugar, grains, beans isn’t that hard! Migraines are hard! Good luck to you!

  34. Great success story. I wish I could get my BF to try Primal because he gets the auras without the pain. He’s also got so many of the other problems that are usually cured by eliminating wheat, too. But he is stubborn and won’t even visit this website just because he now has SO MUCH invested in being right.

    1. My wife, while not as stubborn, is trying to lose the CW way (cut the fat, up the whole grains, exercise more) while I am going Primal.

      Her success has been slight and she doesn’t always feel good and she’s hungry a lot.

      I am hoping her seeing what I am eating and having the success I am will get her to switch.

      I know I can’t push too much or she’ll dig in and fight it. I figure I’ll just be an example and she’ll figure it out in time.

  35. I used to have migraines 1 or 2 times a month until I started eating Primal last october. I had only one migraine in the last 4 months (and after a cheat-weekend). =)

    I’m actually only 80/20 primal, but I’m pretty sure gluten is my trigger too.

  36. +1 on migraines + acne and you can add allergies to that, too!

    ALL GONE since I cut the crap (crap = grains & sugars, with an emphasis on wheat & refined sugar).

    So grateful, and at the same time I keep thinking, “Had I but known, had I but known 17 years ago. . . “

    1. Exactly! Mark… could write a book just on all the people who no longer have migraines since going Primal!

  37. Congratulations to you both! Migraines have so many causes, and different ways to treat. I’ve been primal for a couple of years now, and my migraines still come (though not as often), because they’re hormonal, so I know to be careful all around my period, but I haven’t found a way (food, supplements) to prevent these.

  38. Your hub lost 70 lbs! WOOT! Congrats to both of you! Thanks for sharing your story.

  39. This is so awesome! And I can completely relate. I also was diagnosed with ocular migraines, and for years, I was afraid to anywhere. Going on a trip was out of the question, especially if my migraine meds weren’t readily available. I felt like I was living in a bubble of fear. But as soon as a went Primal (kind of, I splurge every so often) and COMPLETELY gluten-free, my migraines magically went away. Who knew simply cutting out grains from my diet would change my life forever?
    Grok on!

  40. Katie, your story made my day! I’m so happy that you’re finally free from migraines, and reading all the comments of people who have also healed themselves is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing, and congratulations (:

  41. For 25 years I had daily migraines, all on the continuum. No kidding. Landed in the ER a few times. Tried all the different meds, food diaries and even biofeedback. Had to stop taking meds at one point because of the rebound headaches/migraines they gave me. People would always pass me at work and say “Smile, it can’t be that bad”. I’m sure they thought I was a bitch and anti-social. Everything overstimulated me – lights, noise, commotion, tv, music, laughter, arguments… I just needed to be alone all.the.time. I was just trying to get through each day. Went Paleo 2 yrs ago and haven’t had one migraine since. I’ve challenged it with wine, chocolate, cafeeine, etc. It was the gluten. I’ve since had one really bad headache and a few regular headaches that rest and food took care. While I haven’t lost the weight, getting rid of the migraines is worth it. So glad you found Paleo too!

  42. This story is just what I needed today. I have been primal-ish for the past 5 months. When I follow it accurately it has been awesome. But for one reason or another I always fall back into bad habits.

    I get migraines about once a month. I started a paleo challenge with my gym and have been following it since this past Monday. Yesterday, I got a crazy migraine and still have it today. I know things won’t improve overnight and I have to follow the diet to see improvements, but I’m really hoping that this helps in the long run. Thanks for sharing this story!

  43. I’m very happy for you. I’m immediately passing this on to my friend who just started getting migraines.

  44. I used to get optical migraines too. I find that I still get them sometimes on primal when I go out to dinner and have fancy salads. I think it’s the MSG or perhaps the preservatives in the salad dressings that causes them. It’s always the day after a dinner out that they happen. I get the annoying shinies and everything too. But yes, definite reduction in incidence since I’ve gone primal!!!

  45. Reading these success stories every Friday is so inspiring! Congratulations Katie and thank you Mark for spreading the love.

  46. I had basically the exact same experience. I started getting the debilitating ‘aura’ migraines about every 2 weeks or so and went through a plethora of doctors, with accompanying MRIs, meds (including anti-seizure meds), with marginal success. Finally after trying a few diets to try to lose weight for our wedding, my fiance talked me into going low-carb (which he had success with it in the past- lost 80 lbs on atkins) and I did and suddenly no more migraines, no more acne (at 30, still had acne) and looked and felt better. that was 3 years ago and I have the occasional pizza, but I know if I fall too far off the low-carb way, it will trigger another. When I was prego with my son and had the typical morning sickness and couldn’t eat anything more than nibbling on some saltines or english muffins (starch, starch and more stach)… one morning another migraine was triggered on the way to work. Fun! M/S with a migraine! I wanted to die a very quick death. Needless to say, I lived (and bore a healthy baby boy) and know to try to avoid those dastardly carbs.

  47. Congrats Katie,
    This and all the interesting comments is really interesting. I realize now that I used to get these ocular migraine as well, without the pain, just (!) a shimmering like looking through water on my peripheral vision. I didn’t know what they were, but found I could quieten them with pseodoephidren type anti histamines like a cold and flu tablet. Had them with me in my bag all the time. Haven’t had them since going gluten free. They used to make driving quite dangerous, and where I lived country roads were always a challenge. Another thing to notch up for cleaning my diet up. Thanks again

  48. This is an awesome story. Love love love hearing about people who manage their own health & wellbeing so successfully. Well done to both of you for supporting each other so well. I will be forwarding this link to two good friends who are migraine sufferers – maybe, just maybe they will take it on board – sigh!

    To “Diane” and “HillardJoe” – someone wise once said to me “would you rather be right, or happy?” Perhaps your partners would rather be right?

  49. I’ve had chronic migraines for over 40 years! I’ve been to every doctor and used every medication you can think of. I would get them a couple times per week. So sick that I would throw up every 15 minutes for over 12 hours. Always went to the best specialist. I’ve been on 3 Nortriptylin 25mg. @ bedtime to prevent migraines. I used “Sumatriptan Succinate Injections,” 6 mg. when I woke up wit or got a migraine. Fast forward to March, 2012. Went Primal/Paleo! Guess what….not one migraine to date! Off ALL medications! My doctor is amazed! I credit it all to my diet! Not only are my migraines gone, I’ve lost weight, feel great and my grey hair is turning dark again! (go figure?) Primal has given me a new lease on life! Thank you, Mark! Ps….I’m 63 so it’s never to late to improve!

  50. I too, cured my migraines with eliminating gluten from my diet. Doing so also helped me sleep better, increase my energy (which everyone knows…) and I actually became happier! I think because I was sleeping better with less migraines I was functioning like a normal human! I still occasionally get migraines from other stressors (loud noise, etc) but I went from 1-2/week to 1-2/month.

    I like your pie charts too. When I try to explain to people how I eat they cannot wrap their heads around it. Visuals are key!

    Thanks!

  51. My best friend gets occular migraines and I’ve been telling her for years to give up grains and all the candy in her diet. Maybe now she’ll listen!

  52. Cut your caffeine intake, it helped me to get rid of ocular migrains..

  53. Yeah! Good for you!

    I’m going to forward your testimony to my SIL who also suffers migraines. I’ve suggested that she consider Paleo, or at least gluten-free. It’s sad to see her suffer.

  54. Congrats, this is great! I had the ocular migraines, too, so scary and I would have trouble speaking/thinking a full thought…artificial sweeteners are also a trigger for me. My Mom’s side seems prone to them, and MS if there is ever a connection made, you saw it here first! My youngest daughter gets what we think are migraines from time to time..I would love to clean up her diet, but she has way too many outside influences at this point. Just have to lead by example! Thanks for setting a great one!

  55. Why was the after photo changed from a few hours ago???? so strange…..

    1. The original “after” photo was sent in with this story a few months ago. When Katie heard the story was finally going to be published she sent in a more recent pic.

  56. My migraines are gone too; and if I start eating grains again, within 1-2 days I get a new migraine. This is so, so true and I too am so glad to have found the cause!

  57. Congrats and I whole heatedly agree. I have not had a migraine since I started going Primal and I old not be happier!

  58. That’s wonderful! I’m truly so glad many of you were able to eliminate your migraines. Please, everybody, be compassionate to those who still suffer and don’t preach primal or gluten/grain elimination as the surefire migraine cure. I’ve been completely grain-free for 11 months and mostly primal (over 95%), and I still get migraines every week or two, sometimes 3 days in a row. Eliminating your grains has eliminated your migraines. It is a boon for many, but be aware it is not the cure for all migraines. Yes, I stay away from artificial sweeteners, flavor enhancers, and processed foods. While I welcome any suggestions you may have, I’ve already tried or still take butterbur, riboflavin, selenium, magnesium, feverfew, evening primrose, cod liver oil, various anticonvulsants, anti-anxiety meds, antidepressants, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and probably other things I’ve forgotten. I’ve been prescribed Lortab and Percocet too. I’ve been to neurologists, an allergist, and a chiropractor. I’ve had an MRI, EEG, and lots of TENS/e-stim sessions. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Excedrine and Motrin just give me a stomach ache. The only thing that relieves the pain for me is sumatriptan and time, lots of time, in a cool, dark, quiet room. The primal lifestyle has helped me lose weight, increased my energy, and increased my feeling of vitality…and for that I intend to stick with it. It has not cured or even diminished my migraines. Some of you sound a bit self-righteous when discussing people you know who have migraines. Primal living doesn’t cure everything for everyone.

    1. Hi G, I understand your frustration and I hope you find something that will finally work for you. I just wanted to let you know my experience with supplements. I cannot take any of them because they trigger migraines. Especially vitamin b and d. It may seem counterintuitive, but for some people supplements are a trigger. Best of luck to you!

    2. Same here. Went gluten free and was STRICT for 2 years, 3 months. Interrogating waiters and chefs strict. Initially the migraines dropped off – I was THRILLED. Had a good initial year. But the 2nd year they steadily creeped right back to where they were post GF living. Now I’m just eating well but not GF. I think some people just get migraines and while we can try and manage them with whatever personally works…they might not ever be eliminated.

    3. I hear you. I am by the book VLC which is more extreme than most people on this site and have tried every traditional and complementary therapy yet I have a headache every minute of every day. People don’t believe that, but believe it.

      The thing I like about this site is the sanity. Eat well, sleep, move around, play. I woke up at 4:30 am today and went from a 3/10 to 7/10 on the pain scale, and I thought well “Ron Paleo Burgundy would suggest some push ups.” Which I think is awesome. Distraction.

      I just live with the pain. Sometimes well, sometimes not so much. But I’m pretty sure our ancient ancestors either sucked it up or perished.

      1. has thyroid issues popped up on your radar when it comes to headaches?

        i’ve been getting slammed with daily headaches for the last month and a half. ow ow ow! these things suck. i’ve never had em before. so what gives, right?

        i’m thinking it’s thyroid-related because of an iodine increase in my diet due to the addition of Lite Salt (iodized potassium). i did it with the intention of supplementing low potassium levels associated with VLC. however, within days of using it i’ve been getting brittle hair, metallic mouth, and tension headaches.

        i’ve got thyroid labs on thursday to see what in the heck is happening. i do NOT want to live with this constant nagging pain.

        1. Yes and no. My headache started as a “thunderclap” one day in 2006 and hasn’t left. I went VLC in 4/12 — about 18 months after being diagnosed with thyroiditis (my immune system attacks my thyroid, thyroid fights back, lather, rinse, repeat).

          I wish I could say there was some obvious linear connection or that eliminating wheat made any of these nagging issues better, but I can’t.

          I will offer some unsolicited advice on the VLC front: I supplemented at first and had terrible night leg cramps (something I’ve had on and off my entire life). I followed the advice Mike Eades has on his blog, it’s quite detailed about how to avoid problems. In short, bone broth, drink a lot of water, and don’t be afraid of salt — but go read it for the details about supplementation.

          A few months ago, I got sick of all the monkeying around with supplements and stopped them and the broth (although it’s still great for cooking and warming up on a cold winter day). I have found that hydration before bedtime is critical and that my usual warm weather work shoe — the mule — probably had about 90% to do with the leg cramps.

          The metallic mouth is a sign you are in ketosis. There are coping strategies for that too, but generally I think you just get used to it. I have to guess the tension headaches may be similar to what causes classic VLC cramping, so see free advice above (not the part about the shoes). My hair also changed and fell out in scary amounts. My doc said that is a common thing with weight loss or gain (I lost 30 pounds). She said the thyroid generally causes actual bald patches (!) so unlikely to be the culprit. My hair is now growing back.

          This is all back to my point above about the MDA philosophy of taking awesome care of yourself whatever else you have going on. I have really tried to stop driving myself nuts looking for solutions to my little assortment of chronic health issues and just tend to the whole self with an annual check up to make sure something hasn’t gone completely off the rails.

          However, as is obvious in these comments many people have discovered direct connections between diet and chronic health problems, so investigating those connections certainly makes sense. And the thyroid is a crazy little thing that can cause all sorts of wild problems: you are wise to take good care of it.

          Good luck. I hope your headaches resolve quickly.

    4. Heya,

      Yeah a lot of people think of grains as an “enemy” they are eliminating because they are allergic to it. What some people don’t realize is that there are specific side effects of allergies one of which is sneezing, difficulty breathing, cramps and vomiting. Please note that migraines are not an “classic” allergy symptom.
      What I have come to suspect is: its not so much that people are eliminating carbs, its what people are eating instead of carbs. They have effectively swapped a nutritionally deficient food (pasta) for a nutritionally dense food (salad). I think migraines are more of a symptom of MALABSORPTION. Some people only absorb 80% of the vitamins they consume, some people 20% and some people 0%. If you’re one of the 80% or 20% absorption rate, a nutritionally dense diet will help. If you’re one of the 0% sufferers then no amount of good nutrition will “cure” you. Hope this helps.

  59. My daughter is 21 and has had migraines since she was four yrs old, they cause her eye to even paralyze. I sent this story to her in hopes she will finally believe me and give up the crap – i mean gluten. Hope she believes me now. Good job guys!!

  60. You both look so much younger(especially hubby) and more vibrant! Amazing and bravo!

  61. Loved your story Katie! I also suffered migraines with the aura or “shinys” as you very accurately refer to them! It’s amazing to be free of it isn’t it! So happy for you and your husband. I can’t believe the difference in your photos! You both look fantastic and it shows!

  62. Well done to you both, being a migraine sufferer, I can relate and share your pain. Thankfully, I can also echo your experience, as I have had no migraines since I started my paleo/primal approach. I’m new to this way of life, but can honestly say I feel better, have more energy, and have 21lb off so far.

  63. My sister & I both had similar experiences! I would get a migraine every couple months, my sister was worse and got them several times a month. After I switched to a primal diet, I realized I hadn’t had any migraines in a long time! I gave my sister a copy of PB, her migraines went away too. And when she has gone non-primal for a week or two here and there, migraines come back.

  64. So awesome success story and so many posts in validation of diet-related success related to headaches.

    A few observations:
    -There is positive feedback loop from good inputs that come this lifestyle that can slowly reset the pain cycle: Sleep, play etc. It’s not just food.

    -It is sad to hear so many stories where the doc involved didn’t start with an elimination diet. I have daily migraines and everyone I every talked to recommended this strongly. It’s best practice.

    -If barometric pressure is a trigger, FYI, my allergist suggested a nasal anti-histamine. When I told my neurologist this after years of treatment, he was like “oh yeah that works great.” Yes it does. Evidence-based, look it up.

    -Pain is not a one-size fits all thing but there are certainly self-care best practices that 100% fit with MDA

    -My daily headache / chronic migraine is tiling to an 8/10 so I’m going to do some squats, push ups and meditate. Wish me luck. There is no less to do today just because I’m less able to do it.

    Godspeed to everyone dealing with pain.

  65. I used to suffer migraines (without aura, thankfully) but my mother had them with auras and they were completely debilitating.
    Bright light does make me feel worse and I avoid it but I admit I have had no real migraines in years and only a handful of headaches. I also used to have acne from the age of 11 until I was well into my thirties. I figured I didn’t have it much now because I’m 45 and hormones are on the wane but you know, diet could be a huge factor as well.

  66. Thanks for a great story. I was the ocular migraine queen and have been hospitalized because of it. I get the light flashes so bad that I’m completely blinded. I have to shut myself in a dark room and even with a pillow over my ears, a dog barking in the distance hurts. I went Paleo last year and it didn’t occur to me for about six months that I wasn’t getting migraines anymore. I tell people this and they don’t believe me. My eczema is gone and I feel great all around. I always know when wheat sneaks it’s way into what I’m eating because I immediately get a tight bloat and I’m uncomfortable for the rest of the day. Thank goodness it’s never enough to trigger another migraine.

  67. I just read this article and it made me tear up to see the difference in the photos. You two look great and I’m ready to get over my own migraine paranoia! Thanks!

  68. Congratulations! I love reading these stories. I particularly love hearing about people who were trying to be “healthy” (i.e. whole grains, low fat, etc.) realizing that Paleo is so much easier and more effective.

  69. Yup, same here. Have gotten migraines since I was twelve. I’ve been Paleo for about a year and a half and haven’t had a migraine since. Except once. I usually drink red wine, but was at a friend’s house and had one glass of white wine. By the time I got home I had a migraine that lasted three days. I read somewhere that white wine has more sulfites in it than red so that’s all I can think of for a trigger. I won’t be having any more white wine, that’s for sure!

    1. I get bad migraines from white wine too – as well as IBS type symptoms. Sad, cos I love a glass of the bubbly stuff!

  70. I can relate to migraines. My triggers are varied but having sinusitis is a common denominator. I used to get sinus headaches fairly regularly as a kid but sometimes the pressure would get so bad that it would morph into full-on migraine mode and all my mother could do was give me the maximum dose of children’s Motrin, put me in a dark room, and let me wait it out, sobbing and clawing at my bedsheets and hanging my head over the edge of the matress over a bin, just in case the nausea got bad. I’d get them 3-4 times a month when I was a child, but as I got older they dropped off for various reasons (the A/C ductwork in our house was replaced, my diet improved, and I was on top of taking ibuprofen at the first sign of head pain.) I had one yesterday after about 2 years without one. I have had sinusitis for almost four weeks running, and combined with a chocolate binge (I was sick and wanted chocolate, dammit) it brought me ridiculously low, and once again, my mother and fiance were stuck just waiting me out while the pain and nausea took over.

    It’s funny that your story about your migraines was here this morning. I’m so, SO glad that you were able to stop yours, and I’m so happy when ANYONE finds ANY way to reduce their triggers for whatever kind of migraine they have.

  71. I suffer from migraines as well but am very well regulated with my Elavil. I am not quite ready to cut out all the grains in my diet but will cut out the carbs by half and see how I feel. Thanks for this information.

  72. Yep, add me to list of folks who ended the migraine curse (3 a week) by going PRIMAL!

    It was like being stuck inside a runaway hamster ball for 43 years and then I escaped!

    SWEET!

  73. Absolutely awesome – Great photos of you and your husband and I love the graphs showing your meals before and after Primal ! Congratulations !

    I started having migraines when I was around 12 and at the time I couldn’t swallow pills so I would eat handfuls of baby aspirin – which was pretty much useless. Later on I switched to BC Powder in orange juice of all things (which would occasionally help, but it was not good for my stomach !)Aspirin and acid, not a good idea.

    I used to have a migraine at least once a month, but since getting rid of the grains in 2010, no migraines.
    Very rarely even have a headache, and then it is related to my cervical vertebra and an adjustment does the trick.

  74. I’m not the author, but we share a name- and the same story! People act like I’m overreacting when I explain my experience (I cut out gluten, and the migraines disappeared, as well as the IBS and the inability to change my body composition), but it worked for me too. I’m so glad for you, fellow-Katie!

  75. All the bloody allergies,food intolerance and glucose resistance, migraine, itching body,sinusitis,headache,sleepiness,fatigue,anxiety,depression,water retention,puffiness on face has only one reason.That is these grains .which we eat.I am an Indian used to eat RICE as staple food since childhood.Once i left Rice forever I feel extremely good overall the body and I throw out all my medicine in thrash!!!!!!!!

  76. This is amazing! My sister suffers from migraines and I shall forward her your story immediately.

  77. Congratulations, wonderful approach to the Primal lifestyle & equal satisfying results 😉
    Happy for both of you, you’ve found the way 😀

  78. That’s great! I actually tell everyone that too, because last year I was having all kinds of stomach problems, and horrible migraines! I cut out all gluten, grease, sugar and milk for a few months, and my headaches stopped almost instantly. my stomach problems also went away after awhile. I did go back to eating some gluten, but trying to keep it mostly out of my diet, and that ended up not working. I had to go completely gluten free, and have decided that it is never worth it to go back!

  79. I am glad to hear about your success, Katie.

    Husband looks really different in the second picture! Especially the face, much slimmer. Looks good on both of you.

  80. First of all you look RADIANT in the pictures! I love your story. I go back and forth between this website and the Engine 2 Diet (complete opposites) and I started the low carb thing again this week. What I cut out right away was the daily Dr. Pepper I used to drink, but I started getting headaches. So I have been taking Excedrin. I think your story is inspiring to stay the course and get past the caffeine/sugar withdrawal and see if they subside.
    Thanks and keep it up!

  81. I get the Exact same migraine symptoms!!! And no one could ever relate!!! Great to read that the elimination of gluten is the “key”!!
    Does anyone eat the gluten free waffles, English muffins, cookies, etc??? I seem to always feel less IBS symptoms when I grab a good ol piece if white bread! IBS and migraines have literally taken over my life resulting in wonderful anxiety symptoms! :(. Concentrating on doing a better job At being gluten free now…
    Congrats to you both on a job well done and taking your health in your hands!!

  82. I’m going to show my Mum this. She has been getting vicious headaches most days of the week, and if it’s not that, it’s IBS, and she’s been obese all her life. And, very attached to her bread……

  83. My husband and I are just beginning this new lifestyle. My headaches are horrendous and frequent. I am a graphic designer and have shoulder issues so the combo is a wham baam ooh daa** my head hurts kinda thing. We have been wheat/grain free for over a week – but I can tell already that sugar/artificial sweeteners are contributing to the headaches. I love chocolate so I need to find something to fill that void..

  84. I have gotten migraines since I was about 7 years old and just learned about the paleo diet! Really hoping it can at least reduce my 5-6 a month migraines. They aren’t ocular but the ones with one sides pain/nausea ect. I have a question about some of the foods ESP bacon, onions, tomato, and some other fruits they say can trigger migraine…have any of you found that you can eat these no problem or do you still avoid certain ones? Im excited to start but stumped on this. Such encouraging experiences!!

  85. Interesting article….Although not as much help to me. I have been on the primal diet for three months now and started getting ocular migraines the last month and a half. Very frustrating!! I have chronic bladder infections too. Have had four since January. So I am thinking it is more hormonal….

  86. Thank you so much for this. I’m a blogger from Centerville, United
    States and what you’ve said here on marksdailyapple.com couldn’t be written much better.
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roomie, Meri.
    He persistently kept preaching about this. I will definitely send these ideas to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing
    this.

  87. While I’ve never had a migraine I once had a roommate who suffered greatly from them on a regular basis. During that time she would just go into her room and stay there until it passed. Her kids and I would just let her be when she was in that condition. Don’t know if she ever connected her diet to those or not. All she took for them was Tylenol which didn’t seem to help much.

    I really appreciate your pie-chart visual aids to show the difference in the before & after of your eating pattern. Thank you.

    Congratulations to both you and your husband. Good job! 🙂

  88. I have suffered from menstrual migraines since the age of 16 (now 33). Can anyone weigh in on success in changing diet and migraines specifically related to hormones? In other words– thoughts on seeing improvement since I don’t have Celiacs or other food allergies. Thanks in advance!

  89. Twenty five years ago I started getting headaches on a semi-regular basis, and over the years the headaches became progressively worse to the place where the were migraine headaches. About 12 years ago I started talking to a couple of friends who had Celiac Issues, thinking there might be a link. I eliminated wheat from my diet. I found a doctor who was on the side of natural medicine. I told her what I was thinking. She sent me to have a blood test which came back very positive to wheat and only slightly to gluten. About 6 months later after having no wheat, at a relatives place for a meal, every course had wheat within it. The only way to avoid it was not to ear anything. 2am the next morning I awoke with the worst migraine I had ever had. The pain was excruciating, along with wanting to vomit and having to sit on the toilet, all at the same time. I was in tears with the pain. My husband fell hopeless as he couldn’t help me. I eventually cried myself back to sleep. That incident confirmed my wheat/migraine connection.

    No in my handbag I carry 2 things with me: Mersyndol and Tylenol, a anti-histamine. Although I’m careful when eating out, sometime wheat does accidentally slip through. If I feel head pain coming on, even the slightest, I take one of each. It isn’t ideal, but prevents the migraine from developing.

    Lindsay, the above might be useful for your husband when eating those family dinners with dim sims etc.

    Over the years my hubby and I have tried to eat reasonably healthy, due to so much about the connection between cancers and our unhealthy western diet. We ate by the ‘Fit for Life’ protocol for a while, backed off the carbs etc. Neither of us were terribly overweight, he at 5’7″ reached about 191 pounds and me 5’3″ reached 152 pounds, which was 11 pounds heavier than my full term pregnancy weight. My wonderful chiropractor always was saying to me that with my back issues, I do not need to be carrying excess weight.

    About 2.5 years ago, I heard about the Paleo lifestyle way of eating, so decided to implement that with our family as simply a healthier way of eating. The transition to it was easy since we had already cut out dairy and most sugars, again hearing the connection to cancer. For me there was just a little tweaking to be done. A bit harder for my hubby, as he still was enjoying his grains, though he was admitting that he would always feel a little uncomfortable in the belly after consuming them.

    Two weeks ago I decided for myself that I wanted to tweak my eating a little more and am currently doing the Whole30 for 30 days. All I had to really do was eliminate the little bit of honey and the odd Chai Latte that I was having, as a treat, which was really easy to do. I have also eliminated eating nuts, as I have learned that I just have to look at them and weight goes back on. I have stopped cooking ‘Paleo Treats’ also which usually contain lots of nuts, which is really exchanging eating one form of junk food, for another. In the last 2.5 years since the introduction of Paleo, I have lost 35 pounds. Now I’m just working on stabilizing my weight, which I think I’ve managed to do simply by eating one piece of fruit a day.

    I do not regret the change. Other small positive changes has been the elimination of indigestion, 3 weeks after switching to Paleo, flaky skin on my feet is improving, no more acne, which is really annoying when you still get it when your are 49. My eyes are brighter.

    I recommend it to everyone I can. I have recently heard of Sarah Ballantyne, and purchased her book, ‘The Paleo Approach’ which I highly recommend to everyone who really wants to know the science (communicated in an easily understood way) behind our food and the connection between
    sickness and our food. It provides a way to help heal yourself of many ailments and autoimmune related health issues. She also has a website and Facebook page under the name of ‘thepaleomom’.

    For those starting the journey, it can look overwhelming, but there are many benefits. Just take one step at a time :-). For those already on this journey, keep going and never give up, the positives far outweigh the negatives :-).

  90. I’m happy for the person writing the article. I found this article trying to look for some solutions as I had a migraine with flashers (my name for the vision) today. I get them about twice a year. I haven’t had grains in months so that’s not a trigger for me evidently.

  91. For all those people who are still having migraines, yet have eliminated wheat and are eating very healthily, try looking into salicylates, amines, and glutamates. All my headaches and migraines and feeling like I have hangovers most days of the week have now gone. I had the healthiest, organic, strict diet in the world, yet was constantly still sick and unable to function well at all until I discovered just what the saliciyates and amines were doing to me. I now eat a very low amine diet, still organic, low salicylate as well, and can not believe the difference. I can think clearly, I can get up feeling well and strong. And no more headaches, with me driving my kids to school with a towel on my lap in case I threw up on the way. But I have to watch how they can build up. I had three bananas (which have Amines in them) in one day recently, and back the nausea came, and depression, and having to sit in one spot until it passed nearly 24 hours later. At least I now know when I do it to myself. And how to get back to great health easily. Restricting my food choices is nothing compared to how I feel day to day these days. There is an Australian book put out by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit called ‘Friendly Food”, which explains it all. I use this for the basics. Some of the recipes are just sugar filled and too awful for words.

  92. Yep me too. I used to be the headache queen even back in high school. And by my 30s I developed migraines so violent that my doctors tested me for stomach cancer and multicellular intestinal parasites.

    After years of losing my life to the migraines I finally realized that skipping lunch was a major migraine trigger. And then I realized that I also got fewer migraines when I cut down on carbs and ate a high fat and high protein diet. Coffee and a croissant for breakfast plus no lunch = migraine by dinnertime. Eggs and bacon for breakfast plus chicken for lunch = no headache and no sugar crash. Go figure!

    Now that I’ve experienced life without ANY refined grains and added sugar I am starting to suspect that I felt better when I was loading up on protein partly because it was replacing grain and sugar. I still eat grains and sugar sometimes but only as occasional treats. And I always make sure I eat them with LOTS of healthy fats.

    It’s crazy that reducing grains and sugar isn’t the first thing that doctors suggest for people who suffer from migraines. Why put them on medicine with serious side effects when there’s so much evidence that simple dietary changes can cure the problem?

  93. I am curious – I get migraines and whenever I diet, and especially if I go low-carb, this is a trigger. Typically, I eat sugar/ carbs to help the headache go away (oddly, this always FEELS like it will help, but it rarely if every actually does).

    Am I understanding correctly that this is normal as my body shifts from “sugar-burning” to “fat-adaptive”, and the expectation would be that after I make that shift, I’d experience fewer headaches? And, if so, how long does that shift take?

    Many thanks in advance!

  94. I’m amazed my husband said give it a shot I thought that I was allergic at one time to milk milk but that was for two years. I was able to incorporate it back into my diet. I don’t get migraines but now it’s more hormonal base (the onset of the last 8 menstrual cycles) so I wondering if I cut all the grains and legumes out will they go away altogether and I’m going to give it a shot