How to End Migraines

by

MORE THAN 10 MILLION Americans have migraines creating a burden of mostly unnecessary suffering.  These severe, nearly disabling headaches can occur anywhere from once a year to three to four times a week. They can last from hours to days. They are often associated with an aura, light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and severe throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Migraines are even associated with stroke-like symptoms or paralysis in some cases …

The cost to society is also enormous. Migraine headaches add $13 billion to $17 billion to our healthcare costs each year. These costs include medications, emergency room visits, hospitalization, physician services (primary care and specialty), laboratory and diagnostic services, and managing the side effects of treatment.

Migraines have indirect costs as well. A headache is the most frequent pain-related complaint among workers. Focusing specifically on migraines, one study found that the annual cost to employers exceeded $14.5 billion, of which $7.9 billion was due to absenteeism and $5.4 billion was due to diminished productivity.

So this is a HUGE problem — both for those who suffer and for society as a whole.

Worse, migraines are hard to treat and very difficult to prevent with conventional approaches. There are a host of preventive drugs — calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and more –which work poorly, if at all, and are accompanied by frequent side effects. Some doctors are even using Botox to paralyze neck muscles in the hopes of easing migraines.

There is also a new class of medication called triptans (like Imitrex, Maxalt, and Zomig) that can stop a migraine once it starts. Though these have made migraine sufferers handle the attacks better, they are expensive and have serious potential side effects, including strokes. Still other treatments can lead to addiction or dependence. Not a pretty picture. And for many, none of these treatments work very well or at all.

The problem with migraines is the same one we see so often in medicine: We treat the symptoms, not the cause. We deal with only the effects of something and not the underlying causes or the 7 keys to UltraWellness. But using Functional Medicine I have been able to get nearly 100 percent of my patients migraine free within days to weeks!

Migraines are no different from any other disease. It’s simply the name we call a set of symptoms that are common in groups of people.

I want to explain how I do that. I will tell you the story of one of my patients (a doctor herself) who, after years of suffering from migraines, finally came to me looking for relief. You will learn what I did to help her (as well as many others) and how you can apply the same measures to overcome your migraines. And I will give you 14 tips that will help you identify and treat the real causes of your headaches.

Dozens of Migraine Patients, Dozens of Different Cures

Many of my patients are doctors themselves and often are at the end of their ropes. One was a physician from the Mayo Clinic, the Mecca of conventional medicine. This woman had severe, disabling migraines that made it nearly impossible for her to function at work. She depended on oxycodone (a strong morphine-like narcotic) and Zofran (a powerful anti-nausea drug used for chemotherapy patients).

She had seen every specialist at the Mayo Clinic and had traveled far and wide to other top neurology headache centers but never found relief. Unfortunately, everyone she saw focused on her headaches, not her other symptoms — which held all of the clues to her problem.

Migraines are no different from any other disease. It’s simply the name we call a set of symptoms that are common in groups of people. This name tells us nothing about the cause of the symptoms, which may be very different depending on the person. In fact, there may be more than 20 different causes of migraine headaches!

My job is to be a medical detective and find these causes. It is not simply to prescribe powerful symptom-suppressive drugs. I remember very well working in the emergency room, treating all the chronic migraine patients with intravenous narcotics and nausea medication. I felt bad for them, but even worse was the fact that I didn’t have a way to prevent the symptoms from coming back.

Now I do.

Which leads me back to the doctor who came to see me from the Mayo Clinic who suffered migraines nearly every day for years with no relief. Here is what I did to help her …

First, I asked her a lot of questions and learned she suffered from many symptoms including palpitations, severe constipation, anxiety, insomnia, muscle cramps, and menstrual cramps — in addition to her migraines.

All of these symptoms are connected. They told me that her whole system was tight, irritable, and crampy. These symptoms are usually associated with severe magnesium deficiency, which often results from poor diet, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and stress.

So I put her on high doses of magnesium and cleaned up her diet. Within a couple of days, she was migraine free and never had another migraine.

She’s not the only success story.

Another patient had disabling migraines for 45 years and could not have a social life or plan anything because she spent most of her time in bed with the lights out. She also had an allergy to eggs. When we eliminated the eggs from her diet, her headaches disappeared. No eggs, no migraines. Three months after treatment she felt so good she decided to have an egg and ended up in the hospital with a three-day migraine confirming our original finding.

Another patient always had migraines before her period, along with severe PMS, bloating, sugar cravings, breast tenderness, and irritability. These symptoms are all related to hormonal imbalances. She had too much estrogen and too little progesterone. Getting her hormones back in balance relieved her of her migraines.

Yet another patient had genetic problems with her mitochondria and energy metabolism and needed high doses of vitamin B2  and coenzyme Q10  to get relief. And another woman came to see me with persistent abdominal bloating after eating, which told me she had an overgrowth of bacteria in her small bowel. When we cleared out these bacteria with a non-absorbed antibiotic, her migraines went away and didn’t return.

One patient who lived on Diet Coke didn’t get rid of her migraines until she gave up the artificial sweetener aspartame. Another had low blood sugar episodes that triggered migraines, so eating small, frequent meals of whole foods stopped the headaches. And finally, there was the woman who got headaches after exercise in the heat or with dehydration. We made sure she stayed hydrated and her migraines were permanently eliminated.

As you can see, even though these patients all had the same symptoms, their treatment was different in each case. So getting the full story — with the 7 Keys of UltraWellness — is so important. To heal from migraines you have to locate the causes of your headaches and address these underlying issues if you want to be free of pain.

To help you on that journey, here are the most important causes of migraines, their associated symptoms, tests to help identify problems, and treatments you can start using today.

Finding and Curing the Causes of Your Migraines

Food Allergy/Bowel and Gut Imbalances

  • The symptoms: Fatigue, brain fog, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint or muscle pain, postnasal drip and sinus congestion, and more.
  • The testing: Check an IgG food allergy panel and also check a celiac panel because wheat and gluten  are among the biggest causes of headaches and migraines. Stool testing and urine testing for yeast or bacterial imbalances that come from the gut can also be helpful.
  • The treatment: An elimination diet — getting rid of gluten, dairy, eggs, and yeast — is a good way to start. Corn can also be a common problem. Getting the gut healthy with enzymes, probiotics, and omega-3 fats is also important.

Chemical Triggers

  • The causes: A processed-food diet including aspartame, MSG (monosodium glutamate), nitrates (in deli meats), sulfites (found in wine, dried fruit, and food from salad bars) is to blame. Tyramine-containing foods like chocolate and cheese are also triggers.
  • The treatment: Get rid of additives, sweeteners, sulfites, and processed food. Eat a diet rich in whole foods and phytonutrients.

Hormonal Imbalances

  • The causes: Premenstrual syndrome with bloating, fluid retention, cravings, irritability, breast tenderness, menstrual cramps; use of an oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy; or even just being pre-menopausal, which leads to too much estrogen and not enough progesterone because of changes in ovulation.
  • The testing: Blood or saliva hormone testing looks for menopausal changes or too much estrogen.
  • The treatment: Eat a whole-foods, low-glycemic load, high-phytonutrient diet with flax, soy, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Use herbs such as Vitex, along with magnesium and B6. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. Exercise and stress reduction techniques  also help.

Magnesium Deficiency

  • The symptoms: Anything that feels tight or crampy like headaches, constipation, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, muscle cramps or twitching, and palpitations.
  • The testing: Check red blood cell magnesium levels. Even this can be normal in the face of total body deficiency, so treatment with magnesium based on the symptoms is the first choice.
  • The treatment: Magnesium glycinate, citrate, or aspartate in doses that relieve symptoms or until you get loose bowels. If you have kidney disease of any kind, do this only with a doctor’s supervision.

Mitochondrial Imbalances

  • The symptoms: Fatigue, muscle aching, and brain fog, although sometimes the only symptom can be migraines.
  • The testing: Checking urinary organic acids can be helpful to assess the function of the mitochondria and energy production.
  • The treatment: Taking 400 mg of riboflavin (B2) twice a day and 100 to 400 mg a day of co-enzyme Q10 can be helpful, as can as other treatments to support the mitochondria.

Keep in mind that sometimes a combination of treatments is necessary. Other treatments can be helpful in selected cases, such as herbal therapies (like feverfew and butterbur,) acupuncture, homeopathy, massage, and osteopathic treatment to fix structural problems.

The bottom line is that this problem — which affects one in five Americans and costs society $24 billion a year — is almost entirely preventable, simply by following the principles of Functional Medicine and UltraWellness. So get to the bottom of your symptoms — and get ready for migraine relief. It’s the best way to move toward lifelong vibrant health.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Do you suffer from migraines?

What treatments have you tried and how are they working?

Have you found a connection between the causes I’ve mentioned and your headaches?

What steps have you taken to address them?

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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35 Responses to How to End Migraines

  1. Kim February 2, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    Dr. Hyman,
    I NEED to find a doctor in Dallas that will help me find a solution. Can you help me? From your article I can identify that I have the hormonal imbalances and magnesium deficiency. I don’t about the food allergy or bowel/gut, but possible. These migraines are so debilitating. I was just in the hospital for a migraine that was just so awful, and was going on for 6 days in a row, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve tried so many things you talked about in treating the symptoms, but it just is only partly working. I’ve been trying to treat the causes, but I can’t find a doctor like you that can help. Please help!!!
    Thank you!!!

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff February 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. To locate a practitioner of functional medicine in your area see the “Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner” link at the Institute of Functional Medicine website: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117. Here you will find a place to enter your zip code and look for practitioner’s in your area that have completed the institute’s five-day training course in functional medicine. Understand that not all of the doctors listed here will fit your particular needs. Many different medical professionals complete this training, and you will have to do additional research on your own regarding a particular practitioner’s approach and whether or not it fits your specific medical requirements. This may include calling the practioner’s office, visiting his or her website, and/or scheduling a consultation.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  2. Kez February 6, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    Hi…I wrote to you a while back & never got a reply…?….

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff February 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. If you are asking for medical advise we cannot provide this over the Internet, what do you need a response on?

      Wishing You the Best of Health!
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  3. Patrice February 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease 6 years ago. Since then, i have been on a gluten free diet. I still continue to have bad migraine headaches, constipation, and stomach pain (from time to time). Most of these symptoms occur a week or two before my period starts. My PMS symptoms have gotten worse over the last year or so. I can tell that my hormones are out of balance, but i have tried many natural remedies as well as prescription drugs to relieve these terrible symptoms, but nothing has helped. I am 42 years old and would like to know if there is something you can recommed for me to try.

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff February 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff February 9, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Thank you for your message and interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  4. Caro February 21, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    WOW! Thank you so much.

  5. Louisa April 11, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    Migraines since 11 yrs old. Less from age 35-45 but more frequent in last 2 years. 50 yrs old, pre-menapausal. Night cramps, twitching legs, Taken Magnesium Oratate and also Transdermal Mag oil, still cramps at night. Also Bio-identical progesterone, feverfew, 400mg B2 for 3 months, Mineral and Vit supplements/ organic sulfer, super healthy organic home grown food and lifestyle, slim, plenty fresh air, exercise, into superfoods, plenty raw, seldom wheat, low grain diet.
    Been diet conscious since 18 yrs old., not stressed. recently did 20 day colon cleanse, with a couple of liver/gall bladder flushes along the way. OMG! gross! + (parasites F bucski)
    Am improving but still regular headaches .
    Am thinking of getting hormonal saliva test done, had general blood tests + Thyroid, Estrogen, Progesterone. etc all good, excellent cholesterol, 120/80 BP
    All Doc could offer was anti depressants, statin drugs and I didn’t even hear the third option! Might have gone in happy but his suggested prescription could depress anyone.
    Where too from here?
    Great info you are sharing, cheers

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff April 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Hi Louisa,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  6. Carly April 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Do you have any doctors in Canada that have done Dr. Hyman’s training and where I could find one?

  7. Kara_t May 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    After years of monitoring my die and eliminating alcohol and caffeine, I still suffered from migraines mostly aroubd the menstual cycle. (I have a bad reaction to two foods, one food definitely triggers migraines: black beans.)

    Finally, I found relief for migraines after becoming pregnant. Pregnant women have a more steady hormone level. If we follow diet recommendations, we also avoid caffeine, excess sugar, nitrates in deli meat and smoked meats, drink plenty of water and overall eat better. After the pregnancy I had only mild headaches, and went back to my normal diet.

    At three months post pregnancy I had the birth control device Mirena. This keeps my hormones at a constant level. I am still migraine free at seven months post birth of my baby. For me, food diaries to diagnose triggers and hormone leveling birth control has helped me keep migraines away.

  8. Sheri June 23, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    I want to add another cause for chronic migraines. And that is the emotional-psycholoigical link. I suffered weekly migraines for 18 years every Monday afternoon. They began when I was on jury duty during deliberations. I had to, as a juror, make a decision as to guilt or innocence. 18 years later, I was in psychotherapy in an effort to resolve a life-long conflict in myself over my relationship with my mother who was sapping the very life out of me. Without going into endless details about this very dysfunctional relationship, what is significant is that when I was a small child, my mother had constant violent fights with my father and would pin me against the wall and demand that I state whose side I was on…and of course it had to be HER side. I was always furious, but with a totally out of control mother who was very dangerous, with a large butcher knife in her hand pointed at each of us in turn, I had to say, over and over again, that I was on her side.

    One night I came home from my psychotherapy session to find that my artist husband had taken over the entire room that we shared as studio space and he left me only the space of my work table shoved up against one wall. I was in the middle of my usual Monday night headache and my defenses were at an all time low and suddenly blurted out with an intense fury, “whose side are you on?” My headache vanished immediately and now, 20 years later, I have not had another headache. It was a truly Freudian Epiphany moment. And it cured my migraines which occurred every Monday because for all those years I had to call my mother every Sunday night and feel that pent up rage over and over again without any way to release it. When that release of the original anger and fury occurred I was cured of my migraines. So I would urge all sufferers to consider the possibility of buried anger as a source of their suffering.

  9. Linda Zeidler June 23, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    What great information. Thank you.

  10. Jeanne Hilton June 23, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    I have had very infrequent, short-duration migraines since childhood but about 25 years ago they changed. I started having them at least 1 to 2 times a month and had visual auras for the first time. The headaches would last 3 days, and sometimes even Zomig would not give me relief. I have been on the BSS since April 2012 and the migraines have almost disappeared. I still get them occasionally, but I take Zomig, get relief within a half hour, and the headache does not return. This has been a huge relief for me, as you can imagine.

    • Dana June 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      But the problem with medications is not only are they toxic to the human body (because they are) and they create an acidic environment in the human body, but who knows what other issues taking this chemical (because bottom line, that’s what it is), will do to your overall health in the long run. Disease thrives in an acidic environment so in a sense, you’re paving the way for potential disease. Sure, it’s alleviating migraines now, but at what cost? Your best bet is food for medicine and natural supplements. If proper nutrition and supplements can cure so called “incurable” cancers, you bet it can cure migraines. Watch Hungry For Change, Food Matters, Doctored, Rethinking Cancer, The Gerson Miracle, (there are others) all available via Netflix or for purchase through Amazon.

  11. Pam Bilfeld June 23, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Why don’t we just follow all of your treatment suggestions anyway? Your advice seems simple enough to follow as part of an everyday regimen…Why wait for the migraine? Let’s preempt it!

  12. Butch Phelps June 23, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I totally get what you are saying. As a therapist, I treat chronic pain from a structural perspective. What most people do not understand is our muscles apply so much pressure to their nerves, blood vessels. and bones that the muscles create the pain and the wearing out of joints. I have helped patients that have suffered for 60-70 years with back pain. They had seen countless physicians and therapists that only treated the symptom. When you find the cause, you stop the pain.
    The pressure from muscles has two sides, physical and emotional. We all know about physical injuries, but what we don’t understand is the emotional side. Stress, bad diet, and poor lifestyle can cause your muscles to compress on your structure to the point of damage of the joints and discs. Conventional stretching only makes the problem worse. I have found that Active Isolated Stretching and deep tissue massage helps improve the body so your body will respond quicker to treatments needed. Educating people about their bodies will allow them to make better choices and that will have the biggest impact on healthcare costs.

  13. T Bennett June 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    My eldest daughter had migraines for a couple of years, starting just as she got her first period. It was clearly hormonal, and once her cycle was stabilized, they stopped. My youngest is beginning that journey. Are there any basic steps to take to help girls who are just going through the changes of life?

  14. Janney Lee June 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Wonderful article !!! Could it be that adding a good amount of healthy fats (coconut and avocado oil may help. It has with me – I have been very conscious of my diet, possible food allergies, stress, etc. yet have still suffered from a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated symptoms (headaches included). I have since added hefty doses of healthy fats(trying not to overdo it) and find that my whole body seems to benefit.

  15. Carol June 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    What type of magnesium and how much would you recommend for a 60 yo woman with no apparent health issues? Thanks.

  16. Myriam Lluria Sitterson June 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Great article, as usual! Thank you for sharing this information! Sharing it on my facebook Health Coaching page!

  17. Janet June 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    I had chronic headaches since I was a teen. I was finally tested for Celiac disease & found out I was allergic to gluten. Within 3 days I was headache free. No more popping Advil like they were Smarties (which, incidentally, contain gluten!). To now live pain free has given me a new life.

  18. Freddy October 9, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and the rest of the website is really good.

  19. Kelley November 22, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    Dr. Hyman,

    Do you personally know an MD in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area that would approach my debilitating almost daily migraines the same as you would? I understand you have a database where I can search for physicians who took a multi day course but I’m looking for an MD that practices functional medicine like you do not someone who’s just taken a five day course.

    Thank you

    • Avatar of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 30, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

      Hi Kelley-You can visit functionalmedicine.org and find practitioner in your area! Good luck!

  20. tammy Majchrzak November 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    hi i have suffered with migraine since the age of 11. i am nearly 44! i have tried every avenue and live in hope that something can be done to remove them entirely. i would be interested if you can assist me in any way. i look forward to hearing from you. i have tried all the migraine formulas on the internet. they can actually give me a migraine! xxx i have chronic neck and back pain to. i think this is what triggers migraine as well as stress, anxiety, menstuation, tiredness etc but am open to any suggestions you feel you can offer me. x i look forward to hearing from you.

    • Avatar of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work with IBS. Unfortunately Dr Hyman cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum. If you would like to make an appointment at Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA please go to:http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/ When you are finished reading through the material you may call the office at After you have reviewed this, please contact our office to make an appointment. By phone, (413) 637-9991; by email, office@ultrawellnesscenter.com

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  21. wayne collier November 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    have experienced migraines for 20 yrs. have also been prescribed all of the above, standard “preventive’ meds by neurologists. have been searching for someone to address the cause. don’t need a different bandaid. the question which resulted in finding Dr Hyman’s article was “can magnesium end my migraines?’ I’m a 68 yr old male who averages 2-3 migraines/week. otherwise, in good health. currently taking 60mg of propranolol/day + Imitrex to end headaches. feel the symptoms of my 4th headache this week, as I’m writing.
    not expecting a medical response, just reacting to the article, which I don’t typically do. am interested in learning more. thanks, w

  22. Kelly Owens December 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Hi, I live in Southern California and I have had migraine headaches since I was 8-10 years old. I get them so bad I have nausea, vomiting until my stomach is completely empty or when I sit up or move during a migraine. I’m currently in a terrible migraine cycle with a headache and nausea for days. It has gotten to the point I can’t take care of my 5 year old I am missing work. I really need help and relief.

    Do you suffer from migraines?
    Yes

    What treatments have you tried and how are they working?
    Everything. Tomax daily however I felt numbness and still had migraines, imitrex injections upon onset no relief, and taking the pill without a break to keep hormone levels the same.

    Have you found a connection between the causes I’ve mentioned and your headaches?

    Hormone time always leads to a migraine. Food triggers but I really try to avoid daily, chocolate, msg, canned or processed foods. I only drink 1 cup of coffee a day. Don’t really eat sweets, ice cream, or salty foods.

    Stress leads to headaches. I don’t know what todo.

    • Avatar of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  23. jasinov December 13, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    Wonderful article thanks for these informations, I wish you much success.

  24. Kate c January 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    I had horrible debilitating migraines twice each month, day of ovulation, and beginning of period. I finally found thru trial and error, how to stop them! I take 2capsules evening primrose oil, 2 capsules carlsons fish oil, and an excellent pro biotic each day. It is also crucial that I exercise at least 6 days a week. I also drink lots of water. I have lots of energy and feel awesome! I am a 27 year old mother of 5 kids under the age of 7. When I follow this plan, I don’t even notice pms or cramps either! But when I fall off schedule, I notice within a week!

  25. ArcticLotus February 20, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    This is one of the most complete lists I’ve ever found. Thank you.

    I’m 29. I spent most of my teen years suffering silent migraines, my body upped the anti in my late teens, with migraines from mildly low blood sugar or overheating that resembled a mini-stroke but lacked testing results. At 22 I had an ocular migraine with a 10 minute blind spot that scared me tremendously, and that was when i finally got a diagnosis of migraine. At that point, I was suffering 2 to 3, 48 hour migraines per week. I started a food journal and pinpointed MSG and soy as my first triggers. An increase in allergic symptoms led me to remove gluten a couple years later, and dairy at the same time to give my gut a break.

    I do my best to eat a diet rich in whole foods, limiting processed foods due to excess salt and other additives, switched from soda to mostly coffee for my moderate daily caffeine intake, no artificial sweeteners, no MSG, limit pickled foods, and now gluten and dairy free for almost 3 years now. I am averaging 1 migraine every 2 months, and they still tend to be traceable to me being lax on my dietary restrictions. I had a single alcoholic drink last weekend, and suffered a migraine all week. Now I’m cutting alcohol.

    Of everything, MSG and soy were my fastest-acting food triggers, and morning fasting and overheating were my second worst triggers. I didn’t notice migraine symptoms due to glutenous foods, but after having removed gluten, it seems like I can occasionally consume small amounts of my other triggers without them causing a migraine.

    I would suggest individuals seriously analyze their overall health when considering dietary changes, get a second and third opinion, and trust your gut. I have a wheat allergy. Due to family issues, I think I may also be Celiac, but I cannot undergo the testing. Also, the testing for Celiac has a high false negative rate, and for every 1 positive Celiac, another 5 people are estimated to be gluten sensitive but not test positive. Over the course of a year, I experienced an increase in intestinal upset, then phlegm and throat constriction, until i realized the similarity between my throat response and my husband’s anaphylaxis due to dairy allergy, and cut out gluten immediately. It takes more than a couple weeks to start feeling better, as your body has been attacking itself and needs time to heal.

    My deepest sympathies to those out there still suffering without relief. Best of luck to all of you in finding and controlling your triggers.

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