Experts Agree: Feed a Cold, Starve a Migraine

I agree, Doctor VonYikes, the idea of a suppository for people who can’t swallow a pill or who are afraid of needles is brilliant. BUT I think we may have to work on the dosage size.

I’m as interested as you are in disregarding expert advice on health and wellness. I mean, what do complete strangers know about my body that I don’t already know and ignore?

Sure, they’re more qualified than me in certain ways:

  1. They have fancy scientific or medical degrees and know how to light a Bunsen burner without setting their eyebrows on fire.
  2. They know how to get published…in obscure medical journals, but still, published is published.
  3. They go to boisterous science conferences to get the attention of journalist interns yearning for their big break by writing riveting exposes about the newest developments in the fight to end halitosis (bad breath) or the race to create remote-controlled cockroaches (as real as bad breath, people, check it out), so their work gets noticed.
  4. They take themselves seriously.
  5. They wear lab coats, which makes them look like they are experts. I need to get a lab coat.

Doctor VaVoom was the only psychiatrist on this mission. Had she been wearing a lab coat, this monster would have given her more respect. So would the other men on the mission, who were probably fighting over her and hiding her sensible shoes.

As you know, we Americans aren’t the healthiest bunch of humans on the planet. I’m a great example. I have lots of health “issues” even though I eat healthy foods (and very little of them) and get regular exercise that doesn’t always land me in the emergency room.

One of my “issues” is migraine headaches. I always called them migraine headaches, but my neurologist and all the commercials refer to the condition as “Migraine,” as in “If you suffer from Migraine, then I can understand why you are in favor of euthanasia.”

The light is too bright. There’s too much noise. I hope Heaven is dark and quiet.

I take medicine every day to help prevent “Migraine” and I have other medication for when the preventative crap doesn’t work. Not wanting to be a limping pharmacy, I’m always on the lookout for natural solutions to “Migraine.” One of the healthy lifestyle magazines I subscribe to published an article about the connection between foods and “Migraine,” a concept I know a lot about. But I decided to read it anyway because my Kindle Fire wasn’t finished recharging.

Are you frustrated with the battery life of the Kindle Fire, too?

My feelings are mixed about having read the article. I learned something new, which is good. What I learned, however, was disturbing to me given my already restrictive diet.

You may already know this, but it bears repeating because I really hate to suffer in silence. Here are the foods I’ve already eliminated from my diet to reduce inflammation in my body, thus helping my immune system, and to remain forever young and beautiful:

  1. meat (or as call it, “flesh”)
  2. gluten
  3. eggs
  4. dairy
  5. sugar or sugar substitutes
  6. anything that is white and processed (I’m not being racist or anti-immigration, just health conscious)
  7. caffeine
  8. decaffeine
  9. alcohol (drinking or rubbing)

This article, written by Neal Barnard, M.D.,  informed me that these foods are also “Migraine” triggers and should be eliminated for at least 2 weeks. One can be introduced every 2 days. If symptoms return, that food is a misery trigger. Makes sense? Here are the foods:

  1. meats
  2. dairy
  3. eggs
  4. chocolate
  5. citrus fruit
  6. wheat
  7. nuts
  8. tomatoes
  9. potatoes
  10. sweet potatoes
  11. soy products
  12. onions
  13. corn
  14. apples
  15. bananas
  16. coffee
  17. alcoholic beverages

After crossing off the stuff I don’t eat anyway, he just named my diet. Sure, I eat carrots, lettuce, lentils, and brown rice; but give me a break. Two weeks without all those other foods?

I bet my “Migraine” condition will go away. You know why? I have a “Do Not Resuscitate” order filed with my doctor and hospital. I won’t even be given life support when I pass out.

Well, that will be the first and last time I accomplish a full back bend. My yoga instructor will be both elated and in mourning.

So, my friends, it’s feed a cold, starve a “Migraine” and, for the flu, just take the darned shot in the arm.

~ by Lorna's Voice on October 19, 2012.

39 Responses to “Experts Agree: Feed a Cold, Starve a Migraine”

  1. I sure can empathize with you. If you are lucky, you’ll age out of them. My neurologist said that 1/3 of women stop having migraines after menopause. Let’s hope you’re in that group!

  2. I couldn’t agree more with the concept of starving a migraine! It’s interesting to finally find something on that method of treatment – it’s something my mother has always recommended (she gets them too of course). Thank you for the interesting post. I have my “good weeks” out of the month when I can enjoy certain off limits foods, however I avoid many things on the list you posted during the rest of the month.

  3. Food is medicine (or poison). I really believe that. My mom and grandmother had migraine. After they navigated menopause, their headaches stopped. I’m not quite there yet…

  4. Oh, my diet is limited enough. I read the article, wanted to share it with any of you out there who may want to give it go, and poke a little fun at my restrictive diet. Actually, since my life has changed (less stress), my migraine issues have reduced.

  5. 🙂 🙂

  6. Neat. Where do you get them?

  7. Oh, you’re so sweet. I try to look at the bright side of life, even if it kills me! 😉

  8. If you had a migraine, you would know it. And don’t feel deprived, feel fortunate. I would reveal State secrets if someone promised they would make the blinding pain go away. Come to think of it, maybe I have…

  9. I always feel left out when people talk about migraines, I don’t think I’ve ever had a migraine, I’ve had really bad headaches but they’re usually a result of being kicked in the head or something. Maybe I have had a migraine but I’m so much tougher than everyone else it’s never really bothered me 😀

  10. I love how you can find humor anywhere. It sounds like you’ve been “blessed” with multiple annoying medical conditions, yet you can still write a funny story about it. Yay for you! And yay for the rest of us who can enjoy the humor, even if it is at your expense. We laugh, but deep down we feel bad for you. Hang in there!

  11. I’ve discovered sea-bands. They help with motion sickness which I actually have 24/7 because right now a blood vessel is pressing against the nerve that regulates balance (I’m told it will eventually get better) but they also help my migraines. They’re little bands with a button that hits an accupressure point on your wrist. I was shocked by how well they work. For less than $10. they’re worth a try.

  12. 🙂

  13. Lord Woman !!!!!!……Wishing you no Migraine…and great self-discipline..

  14. Migraines suck. I used to get them but since I’ve turned a decade you’ve not reached yet, I’ve been migraine free. I sure hope putting this in writing doesn’t disturb my tranquil brain minus migraine. But I noticed when I had them, certain foods did seem to trigger them.

  15. I got my first migraine when I was about 5 or 6. It was during my very first movie theater show–The Ten Commandments with Charelton Heston. I thought God was punishing me for being bad, like root for the wrong side, or something. Back then, we hardly watched TV and at that, it was small and black and white. That was one huge, loud, colorful movie. I think it overwhelmed my highly sensitive brain. No kidding…

    If you have any chronic condition, it becomes part of life–like you said, something you learn to work around. Not an ailment, but a hindrance.

  16. My only ailment is me and my big mouth… that often requires a foot change… the migraine, I have now been suffering from the age of 7 and I’m now 62, so it no longer feels like an ailment, but merely a hindrance..

  17. Aw, thanks. It has been an interesting adventure–11 years now. I talk about it in my memoir…

    But, hey, everyone has some challenge they learn to live with, right? This is mine. 😉

  18. Yep, I know 🙂

  19. I just saw the cartoon. Again, I wish you could hear me laughing! 🙂

  20. No apologies needed. I’m not the boss of you. 😛

  21. I did notice the link, but then I forgot to click on it. I’ll go back and check it out… sorry!

    As for loving carbs, I know the feeling. I love bread and pasta and was the sugar queen of my family. Quinoa or rice pasta is a great substitute for wheat pasta and has more fiber and good stuff. I haven’t found any descent bread substitutes. As for sugar, I just had to learn to live without and got used to the natural sugars in fruit being enough.

    It’s worth the health benefits and I look younger than I did 15 years ago!

  22. It’s wonderful that you found a cure for your migraines, oops, Migraine! My jaw has been X-rayed, but everything looks normal. My Basilar artery is misshapen, so my neurologist thinks that may have something to do with it. Brain: the Final Frontier… 😉

  23. Damn you never liked chocolate… that has to be a first… CFS wow I don’t envy you that, I did a lot of research on CFS, Lupis and Behcets Disease, as I have friends that suffer from these… a terrible ailment with generally no cure.. as you know… but I did some how link Genetically Modified foods to all three, so Boy I agree with you, watch your diet… I’m not sure which is worst migraine or CFS… my sympathies go out to you…

  24. Good grief, I thought I had dietary probs (can’t eat anything with any kind of sugar in it, so I’m a feverish label reader, and it’s amazing what they put sugar in and the names they come up with to disguise it — “evaporated cane juice” — please.) I’ve had migraines (oops, Migraine) all my adult life and never left home without drugs. Spent some nights in strange places because I couldn’t bear a car ride home. Slept on the floor at work. A few years ago my dentist took an x-ray of my jaw hinges and they were bone-on-bone. There’s a lot of nerves and tendons that go through that joint, and mine were ground to pulp after growing up with my father and then being married to my husband, neither of whom put up with “back talk”. Anyway, by writing it up as a “medical necessity” she got my insurance to pay for a splint made for me that fits over my lower teeth and widened the gap and keeps me from grinding that gap back down. In fact, I now have trouble eating without it because my back teeth no longer want to come together. But you know what? I haven’t had a headache in over three years. I know now that if I had to pay out of my own pocket, I’d do it in a flat minute!

  25. Food is indeed medicine. I’ve cut back a bit on carbs lately – no easy task for my ethnicity that loves pasta, breads and pizza, and I’ve expanded the vegetable garden in my back yard to near farmer’s market proportions, and have to say, I’ve never felt better. I wasn’t sure if you noticed the link in my original post – the link underline didn’t appear in the Migraine’s suck line. Just for giggles… 🙂

  26. Thanks, Janice. What I’ve got, I think I’ve got for life. But my days are generally better than they were a few years ago. My stress is a lot less than it was when I was married, working and having my husband leave me. I’m happier now, and that makes a big difference in how I feel. You know that as well as anyone!

  27. Since I stopped eating anything normal people eat, all of my symptoms (chronic fatigue, IBS, insomnia, migraine) have lessened. I still have them, they just aren’t as severe. Food is medicine, my friend–both what you eat and what you don’t eat.

  28. You will have a challenge, U! I can detect cheese, milk, butter and meat in everything. Even meat broth in soups. So, when I visit, best to have lots of veggies and grains! And I’ll bring Scrappy. He really loves traveling. 🙂

  29. I found that with my elimination diet, a lot of my chronic fatigue symptoms minimized–including migraine frequency (but not intensity when one decides to hit me). For me, the deprivation of food is worth not having the blinding pain. But to each his or her own, right?

    By the way, I never liked chocolate. Go figure, eh? A woman who hates chocolate! 😉

  30. Not much left, that’s for sure! I’ll have to rename my blog, Lorna’s Whisper… 😉

  31. Yeah, my meds work great most of the time. I just would rather not take them. I have this purification diet and then yuck up my body with chemicals–seems counter-productive, you know?

  32. Food is definitely medicine and what I don’t eat makes as much a difference in my health as what I do eat. I just wonder where the heck I’ll get my protein besides beans and rice for two weeks… 😐

    Just thought the article was interesting.

    Hope your tests go well, Lee.

  33. Hey Lorna, Your list of can’t eat is nearly identical to mine. I don’t suffer with ‘Migraine’ (though I’ve had 4 in my life, very memorable) but I have severe arthritis, celiac, ibs, I’m lactose intolerant, and have an undiagnosed problem for which I’m still undergoing tests. My doctors seem to think they will figure it out if they can just get a positive reading, so they will retest me at a bigger hospital! Argh! Doctors!
    When I go out to eat it’s a nightmare. When I eat at people’s homes they ask me, “well, what can’t you eat? I won’t make that…” Really? It is so much easier to tell people what I CAN eat! (I love your list)
    If you really want to try avoiding food in that list, try removing one of them at a time. And if there is no difference, enjoy eating it again. Just a thought.
    I wish you the best. -Lee

  34. I also get them, have a big box of pain tabs that seem to do wonders.

  35. Many years ago a friend of my mums used to suffer from migraine, she stop salt, and relaxed in darkness for an hour or so and seemed to help her..You are not left much to eat and drink…

  36. Migraines… I suffer from them as well… starve them?.. no way… I need to keep my strength up for other things and how am I meant to do that without the foods recommended… I don’t partake in alcohol.. so that’s all I can cross off the list… but be without my chocolate and other power giving foods?… no way… Take the pills when it starts and suffer the hours of pain and discomfort.. and when it’s over… have a chocolate and start to build your next migraine… whats a little pain for the enjoyment of good food….??

  37. My dear dear Lorna, you have just proven to me the limits of compassion for another human. Should you ever grace my doorstep I will blindfold you and force feed you. You will have no idea what you are eating (it’ll all be mushed into a pulp so you won’t be able to distinguish flavor and thereby identify what you should or shouldn’t eat). No migraines in my backyard.

    Actually, come to think of it, I think I have given myself a bit of a challenge. Do bring Scrappy. Or at least a doggy bag.


  38. Oh my!

    Migraines suck!

    Hope you are doing better.

  39. Thinking about taking the shot in the arm, lol. Hope you feel better soon 🙂

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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