In 2009 I started having very bad migraines. I didn’t want to surrender to my mum saying, „That’s inherited, nothing you can do about it“. My mother had migraines since I can remember. It scared me watching her. The migraine not only burdened her but the whole family.
When I had my first migraine, I tried to ignore it. I truly didn’t want to follow in her footsteps. I did not want to become the “hard to deal with victim of pain”. I kept my migraine secret, played it down “just some bad headache”, feeling embarrassed, betrayed and under control of an unpredictable pain.
Why me? The idea to have migraines for the rest of my life terrified me.
I ended up spending my time and money searching for a cause and a cure: Acupuncture, shiatsu-massage, chinese herbal medicine, osteopathy and homeopathic treatments. I tried yoga, meditation, sports, sauna, drinking iced water, I stopped drinking alcohol, no more hard cheese, no more chocolate. I tried to cure my migraines with therapy; I rolled my neck on tennis balls, pressed acupressure points and increased my intake of various vitamins incl. D & B and took 600 grams of magnesium a day. I felt I tried almost anything I could get my hands on.
My migraine attacks remained and steadily forced me to take increasing amounts of conventional painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, while calling the emergency doctor now and then to break my nausea and pain cycle.
I finally ended with triptanes, mainly Formigran™/Imitrex ™ (Naratriptan) and Maxalt™ (Rizatriptan). Both medicines narrow the blood vessels around the brain. (Their action is attributed to their agonist effects on serotonin (5-HT1B) and (5-HT1D) receptors in cranial blood vessels (causing their constriction).)
My mother provided me with Maxalt™ since I still didn’t want to admit to my general doctor that I became another hopeless migraine patient. At that time the frequency of the attacks reached a steady cycle: Every one to two weeks I had an attack lasting about 72 hours each. I knew it would only get worse.
After the attack, when I had reemerged from the black hole, I found myself in front of the computer searching the internet up and down for alternative solutions. One night I discovered the website of Peter Merch. He describes migraines as an energy crisis of the brain. THIS was the missing link! His “food and blood sugar” related theory made so much sense that I immediately changed my eating habits from high carb (including muesli, cornflakes, banana, rice, pasta, bread and pizza) to a no/low-carb and high fat food selection.
Basically I kept eating what I always liked but I STOPPED eating and drinking anything that contained sugar and other carbohydrates. Within a week my body switched into the so-called ketosis. Over the following weeks the migraines were not as bad and the periods without migraines stretched from once a month to twice a year.
It is wishful thinking to claim that I never ever had a single migraine again. (I’m still searching what else may help to protect me from migraines for good.) But coming from let’s say 12 to 16 migraine attacks a year down to 2 to 3 attacks a year made a huge difference to me!
In retrospect I cannot express how thankful I am for Peter Mersch findings. He himself used to suffer from migraines and shares his experience and growing expertise in his book called: “Migräne-Heilung ist möglich” and on the website: http://www.migraeneinformation.de. Unfortunately it’s all written in German.
His website was the initial starting point for emerging myself into the world of low carb-high-fat, ketogenic and paleo diets. I read endless amounts of scientific studies scanned through websites and findings of many great advocates for those diets. I realized how little I knew about the energy my body needs.
I am not a scientist, a doctor or nutrition expert. I became a passionate LowCarb Lover and first of all I want share my personal experiences, my lowcarb food strategies and some recipes.
I am also here to help ringing the alarm bell, trying to make a little difference in the way we all think, see and too often quietly accept the food selection that is provided to us.
May it inspire you or invite you to share other views and experiences.
All texts are written by a non-native speaker. ;)