9

votes

Migraines and Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 17, 2010 at 6:47 PM

One of the greatest things about eating Paleo is the disappearance of migraines that had plagued me since early childhood -- I attribute that to eliminating wheat from my diet.

Any other former migraine sufferers out there?

BTW I should also add, for me, the onset of the migraine would be delayed as much as a day after eating a big bolus of wheat (pasta, beer, pizza etc etc). I didn't make the connection between wheat and migraines for a long time, and even then it was accidental.

6df687f771c8c3bbf2c37b2333645991

(158)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:57 PM

I too am interested in how much magnesium. My migraines are actually coming back :(

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on October 05, 2012
at 03:05 AM

-1 for that article. Bacon when trying to avoid migraines is a terrible idea.

Bece741db5f5fed6bafa12e3548f973f

(715)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:23 PM

Yep. Actually went to a neurologist a couple years back. I'm pretty well sticking to the list.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:07 PM

Rachael and Acton, how much Magnesium do you do ?

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:01 PM

Are you aware of the histamine/biogene amine thing? Have you thrown out all the bad stuff like sauerkraut, red wine and vinegar?

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:00 PM

Histamine and other biogene amines are my triggers defenitely. After I started a histaminelow/free diet, the migraines vanished.... The histaminelow diet brought me to paleo !! Yes !! Therefore I found what I needed to manage my MS.

Dabdb4e771b72dff14709b0258b207a7

(201)

on February 03, 2012
at 05:56 AM

I used to get cluster migraines. Aura, vision loss, vomiting etc... I do a higher carb paleo and they are completely gone. I have had a few brushes with them when I've had sugar/honey and when I've been very sleep deprived and blitzed out on coffee. Also wine. I can, however, tolerate very dark chocolate in moderation (at least 85%). I'm so so glad yours are gone too. Migraines are truly horrible.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 06, 2010
at 05:46 PM

Hi Laura, once in a while I will make hot cocoa (full-fat milk with unsweetened cocoa) and no sugar. If you add a bit of homemade whipped cream (again, no sugar) -- the actual milk sugars themselves will be more than sweet enough.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:47 PM

LOL. You can never escape the ice-cream headaches!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:46 PM

Interesting. I should get my thyroid checked out too.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:44 PM

@Ace -- could be. However, I am flit it and out of ketosis nowadays and still no migraines.

5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

(1922)

on March 02, 2010
at 03:06 AM

Although wheat and other grains are one candidate, if you're on a low-carb version of Paleo, it might also be ketosis that eliminated your migraines.

6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on February 19, 2010
at 05:00 AM

Seconded on the magnesium. I'd been paleo for a while before I started taking magnesium, but that was what finally eliminated my migraines completely.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6082)

on February 17, 2010
at 09:35 PM

Migraine, wheat is a grain, I don't think that is a coincidence. :D

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 17, 2010
at 07:57 PM

have that as well when i cheat during the evening. I will get an early morning headache.

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21 Answers

best answer

8
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on February 17, 2010
at 08:57 PM

I have a client whose migraines have gone from debilitating (and long) to mild (and short). My hope is that her migraines go away completely once she starts eating more meat and fat. I think her adherence to gluten-free is pretty good, but I'm not sure.

Robb Wolf has mentioned in his podcasts that Paleo/ketogenic diets have done wonders for many people in eliminating migraines that were previously severe.

http://robbwolf.com/2009/12/29/the-paleolithic-solution-episode-8/

6
3b27bf25dd0dd84700a6aa364c20c9fc

on February 17, 2010
at 10:25 PM

I had serious migraines multiple times per week for years. I started some supplements (B vit, magnesium, etc.) and cut migraine days in half. Went off gluten and got down to about 1 migraine a week. Treated my sleep apnea and down to 3 a month. Started eating paleo, down to one migraine a month before my period. If I work out consistently I don't even get that one.

I haven't lost any weight though... but for the headache and joint pain improvements alone I will stick with it.

6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on February 19, 2010
at 05:00 AM

Seconded on the magnesium. I'd been paleo for a while before I started taking magnesium, but that was what finally eliminated my migraines completely.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:07 PM

Rachael and Acton, how much Magnesium do you do ?

6df687f771c8c3bbf2c37b2333645991

(158)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:57 PM

I too am interested in how much magnesium. My migraines are actually coming back :(

2
374b79a0e3d43c2d2835e0afadc2f7e6

(20)

on February 18, 2010
at 02:11 AM

I've had the same experience. Migraine sufferer since my teens. Switched to paleo and significant reduction in the onset of migraines. I also noticed that I get them if I don't drink enough water. Icecream brings on massive headaches after going paleo.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:47 PM

LOL. You can never escape the ice-cream headaches!

2
C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

on February 17, 2010
at 08:42 PM

On that subject, you might find this article interesting: http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/2009/10/migraine-headache-diet.html

I'm trying to get some friends and relative that suffer from migraines to shift to a more paleo diet. Great to hear from positive experiences.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on October 05, 2012
at 03:05 AM

-1 for that article. Bacon when trying to avoid migraines is a terrible idea.

1
364565447a8f934fe8c21bcb11cb50d3

on February 03, 2012
at 09:07 AM

Chris Kresser gives his recommendations on treating migraine at Robb Wolf's latest Paleo Solution podcast:

http://www.robbwolf.com/2012/01/31/chris-kresser-migraines-iodine-omega-ratio-fibromyalgia-dysbiosis-vitamin-c-and-the-personal-paleo-code-paleo-solution-episode-117/

Basically a low tyromine, arginine and histamine diet. Cut the cheese, sauerkraut, wine and other fermented foods.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:00 PM

Histamine and other biogene amines are my triggers defenitely. After I started a histaminelow/free diet, the migraines vanished.... The histaminelow diet brought me to paleo !! Yes !! Therefore I found what I needed to manage my MS.

1
9747ae0ff20a8f4a4a2857c66820b125

(439)

on March 06, 2010
at 01:30 PM

I've been getting 3-4 week long migraines a year since I was 13. They are AWFUL, sometimes I'd rather get a limb amputated then continue with the agony in my skull. The last one (in December 2009) was the worst one I've ever had; I was so nauseous that I puked once a day for 4 days and couldn't move from the bed for a week.

I've known about the Paleo diet for about a year now but have only dabbled a bit. I switched to a strict 30-day no-cheat period in January; am now on my 5th week. I had some hot chocolate with heavy cream yesterday (my first treat in over a month) and I'm sure there was some sugar in it, but it came after an 18 hr fast and I drank it pretty soon after my largish lunch meal. It doesn't seem to have done anything to me today.

As far as migraines go...I don't know whether keeping a super-strict ketogenic diet as Robb describes in his podcast is going to help me or not. If I haven't gotten a migraine 10 months from now, that will make a year since my last episode and will be indicative of paleo success.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 06, 2010
at 05:46 PM

Hi Laura, once in a while I will make hot cocoa (full-fat milk with unsweetened cocoa) and no sugar. If you add a bit of homemade whipped cream (again, no sugar) -- the actual milk sugars themselves will be more than sweet enough.

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on February 19, 2010
at 04:21 AM

My neuro is very supportive of my diet changes. I no longer take Topamax, a migraine preventative. Triptan use is way down. Any headaches I have now are generally mild and short.

I used to have 72 hour migraines, once a month, plus the occasional one due to a big weather shift. I also had CDH (Chronic Daily Headache) - the same headache in the same place, 24/7. I had this for about a year.

I've done enough testing to be certain the CDH was due to gluten. The migraines - I am not sure - I don't think they are all caused by only gluten. I think the whole Paleo diet has helped the migraines. I have also had a long standing thyroid condition finally recognized and treated during this same time period, which could be a factor in the improvement.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:46 PM

Interesting. I should get my thyroid checked out too.

1
Fa47fe5368e66325865f60a928609145

(961)

on February 17, 2010
at 07:48 PM

Never had any full blown migraines. But now that I eat pretty much paleo I get serious headaches when I heavily 'cheat'.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 17, 2010
at 07:57 PM

have that as well when i cheat during the evening. I will get an early morning headache.

0
1a91ec126b2b4189539b028d2767e518

(320)

on March 17, 2013
at 09:17 PM

Magnesium helps with migraines.

The Magnesium Miracle book has info. on magnesium and migraines, pages 63-66. Dr. Eades in The Protein Power LifePlan book, Chapter 9, The Magnesium Miracle, discusses the positive effect that magnesium supplementation has on migraines.

0
24a0a0d5073f0a77c3737ef9d0e4c426

on March 17, 2013
at 03:27 PM

Migraines cured by GF. :).

0
B4421aa5721c3cfdd45f5360dbff145e

on March 17, 2013
at 07:05 AM

i have been eating Paleo about a month and right now have a pizza headache.

0
A9def68e5ec27e9218d2e8765ed03b14

on June 20, 2012
at 06:23 AM

My migraines have become less and less after 4 months of strict Paleo. For me it is the processed food elimination and no sugar.

0
C8f74d79f56eb5a52a05807bca92090f

on June 20, 2012
at 06:11 AM

I've had complex migraines since the age of 14. I've been eating Paleo for the last 80 days and, while I had numerous migraines in the first two weeks, I have only had one since. I take the magnesium, vitamin B-2 and Co-Q 10 protocol to reduce the frequency -- which worked well, but still left me with two per month -- one mid-cycle and one at the end. I'm happy to say I've been through a whole cycle without a single one! I can't remember the last time I could say THAT!

0
46bee6b93ee79082ea1094f26c2da5a4

(837)

on February 03, 2012
at 04:32 AM

Getting rid of migraines is what convinced me to stick with Paleo! I think it is likely to be the wheat too.

0
Bece741db5f5fed6bafa12e3548f973f

(715)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:08 AM

Having less migraines, but can't seem to get rid of the hormonal ones connected with the onset of menses and end of menses (in my post 50 but still premenopausal state) Still on Topamax, but that hasn't seemed to do all that much for me. One thing I have noticed though is that one percocet is as effective as an Imitrex (which never worked before) and the migraines do not escalate to the extreme they did before.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:01 PM

Are you aware of the histamine/biogene amine thing? Have you thrown out all the bad stuff like sauerkraut, red wine and vinegar?

Bece741db5f5fed6bafa12e3548f973f

(715)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:23 PM

Yep. Actually went to a neurologist a couple years back. I'm pretty well sticking to the list.

0
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on August 31, 2011
at 04:21 PM

I had terrible migraines since I was a child. Was taking Topamax to keep them at bay. Thankfully now I don't need Topamax because I no longer have migraines at all. The only downside was the weight gain I experienced once I quit Topamax. However, its worth it because I regained memories that I had lost and I can think so much more clearly.

0
D0559b88bb22f2f7619622d208cc5738

(10)

on March 07, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Paleo eating also reduced my headache problems significantly.

0
65d7687f43de7806b6bd9b81d1d5d086

on March 06, 2010
at 03:17 PM

http://epistemocrat.blogspot.com/2009/11/nutritional-bricolage-bilpil-2009.html

Cured my migraines (and sinus infections) nutritionally by cooling inflammation. See slides if you don't want to watch the entire presentation.

0
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on February 18, 2010
at 02:08 AM

Perfect timing.

I used to get occasional migraines (maybe a few a year) but all headaches pretty much stopped when I went Paleo. Coincidentally, I just had a cheat with some pizza (very rare for me) and was rewarded by a migraine that lasted TWO DAYS! It was so "out of the blue" but of course it makes sense now...

0
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on February 17, 2010
at 09:42 PM

I've never had bull blown migraines before, but I did use to get regularly normal variety headaches. Ever since going paleo I haven't had to tap the large supply of Excedrin pills in my medicine cabinet. I attribute this to ending my former high bread/starch/carb diet.

0
9576702f6d2194012ed8a171b257fe5f

(0)

on February 17, 2010
at 08:45 PM

Just had this experience last night. I Have been eating about 95% paleo for a month and no headaches at all during that period of time. Then, yesterday afternoon I took a huge plunge off the cliff at my wife's birthday party--pizza, ice cream, cake. My reward: one of the worst headaches I've ever had in my life, my eyes were tearing when I went to bed. Luckily it was gone this morning. Not sure if the trigger was the "heavy cheating" but it sure seems as if it had something to do with it.

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