I suffer from chronic migraines and I was “prescribed” a ketogenic diet to help alleviate cranial pressure. For those who are not in the know, here’s how the Diet Doctor describes it:
A ketogenic diet (keto) is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance, but also some potential initial side effects.
A ketogenic diet is similar to other strict low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat). These diets often end up being ketogenic more or less by accident. The main difference between strict LCHF and keto is that protein is restricted in the latter.
A keto diet is designed specifically to result in ketosis. It’s possible to measure and adapt to reach optimal ketone levels for health, weight loss, or for physical and mental performance.
The diet is used to help with epilepsy, but no one really knows why it works. My doctor decided to try it with me because Topamax worked so well on me (Topamax is used to control epileptic seizures).
I’ve been on the diet since September and I can count the number of migraines I’ve had on one hand. That’s a vast contrast to what it was before when I had 2-3 a day. I was always in pain or confused, with a tingling right arm and a numb bottom lip.
So… I had a migraine last night. At first I didn’t know what was going on, but it quickly refreshed my memory. I got to work in the morning with a headache which wasn’t a big deal. I took two Aleve, my current abort medicine, but it didn’t go away. The headache was still there after I took a third Aleve. That was a span of five hours. Then, as I was working I decided to take a break and solve my Rubix cube. I picked it up and I drew a blank. I was confused, and I didn’t know where to begin (for those who don’t know, I go everywhere with my cubes, and I can easily solve all of them). It was the beginning of my migraine aura, and I couldn’t take anything to stop it from coming because I had already maxed out on Aleve, which still wasn’t working.
Then came the tingling in my right arm. Over an hour, the tingling moved up my arm, up my shoulder, then to my face where it stayed until the next phase began. The nausea was strong, but I fought the urge. I lost all appetite for food and water. The ambient sounds started to get louder. I knew the pain was coming.
There was a storm brewing outside my office, but it wasn’t particularly strong. In the past, I could feel storms like this coming one to two hours away and I knew to hunker down and take my meds. This time was just like how it used to be but I was caught off guard. I haven’t had a storm related migraine since Hurricane Matthew. I didn’t think my early headache was related to the storm.
I wanted to puke. I got in my car as soon as it was my time to leave and I prayed to God to get me home safely, to give me the strength to keep my eyes open, to keep the pounding at bay until I get the kids home safely. Thank God, I did.
As soon as I walked into my house, I took off my shoes. With tears in my eyes, I greeted my husband, my little girl, and my puppy-son, and collapsed in my bed. I didn’t run my 3 miles. I didn’t lead my Girl Scouts in our Troop meeting. I had to ask for help and it sucks to do that. I’m thankful that my family and friends understand my situation, but I really don’t like asking for help for myself.
I don’t like throwing in towels, but I had to. I really thought that I didn’t have to do this anymore since I started on my diet. I have been so successful and pain-free. I hope this was a fluke.