Migraine Trigger: Carbohydrates
Low carbohydrate diets are successful at reducing or eliminating migraines. Reduce carbohydrates to reduce migraines.
Five reasons why carbohydrates are a migraine problem:
1. 90 Percent Success Rate in 2013
A 2013 study found that the low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet reduced migraine frequency in more than 90 percent of patients (study link).
The study labeled the success rate a “responder rate,” which typically means there was at least a 50 percent reduction in migraine frequency for more than nine out of ten migraine sufferers.
This is groundbreaking for migraine treatment.
2. Migraine Free in Three Days
A recent case study found that two chronic migraineur sisters became migraine free after starting a ketogenic diet (study link).
The results were replicated three times in a one-year period.
Each time, both sisters were migraine free within three days of starting the low-carbohydrate diet (Image above).
3. Sugar Spikes
Carbohydrates quickly turn into blood sugar (Harvard link).
Sugar spikes are associated with triggering migraines and obesity, which can be the result of excessive consumption of carbohydrates, increases migraine risk by 81 percent (study link).
4. Ketogenic Diet Destroys Prevention Drug Success Rates
A 2015 ketone study found that ninety-six overweight female migraineurs went from a group average of 2.9 migraine attacks per month down to 0.71 attacks per month.
A strong prevention medication may average a 42% reduction in migraines for the entire group. This study found a total reduction of 75%.
Also, patients reduced drug intake by 90% (study link).
5. Reduced Oxidative Stress
How’s it Work?
Reducing carbohydrate intake produces ketones.
Ketones block oxidative stress—the largest migraine trigger (study link).
There are also ways to increase ketones without reducing carbohydrates.
You can learn more about ketones and why ketones kill migraines here.
Watch Out for Dairy
The ketogenic diet may work in as little as three days. However, other triggers such as cheese may still be a problem on the ketogenic diet.
It’s easy to imagine the success rates of these studies would be even higher if you eliminated the top migraine triggers in combination with a ketogenic diet.
Carbohydrate per day:
- Consume under 150 grams for health.
- Consume under 100 grams for weight loss
- Consume under 50 grams for maximum ketones
Ketogenic diet resources. Reduce Carbs, increase ketones, and kill migraines:
- ketogenic-diet-resource.com for a top-rated free ketogenic plan
- Ruled.me for a guide and free recipes
- Keto Clarity by Dr. Westman
- eatingacademy.com for an in-depth look at what ketosis is, by Dr. Peter Attia
- http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/11/03/dominic-dagostino/ for a fantastic podcast with Dr. Dominic D’Agostino
- Google “low carb paleo recipes” or “ketogenic recipes”
Any natural diet or anti-inflammatory diet can be used as a migraine diet by also eliminating the top headache triggers. To make it ketogenic, reduce the carbs.
Here are a few great anti-inflammatory diets:
- Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey (does partial ketosis)
- Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser
- The Elimination Diet by Tom Malterre.
- Malterre also has great free recipes on nourishingmeals.com
Reduce carbohydrates to reduce or eliminate migraines.