[message_box color=”blue”] One of the most thrilling things that’s happened since releasing the book are the reports from readers who have put the migraine miracle plan into action and changed their lives for the better. From time to time on the blog, I’ll be posting some of the stories from folks who’ve written in to share their successes with me. And if you have your own story to tell, please don’t hesitate to get in touch![/message_box]
I’d like to share my own experience with Dr. Turknett’s The Migraine Miracle, since I have a number of factors causing my personal migraine threshold to be relatively low, and because I have exhausted every other option that has been presented to me. I was a perfect candidate, holding both disbelief and desperation in equal measure.
A brief background includes a familial disposition for migraine. I watched my mother spend many days in dark rooms, or bent over a pot of boiling water with a towel draped over her head, convinced that the steam would help rid her of the intense pain.
Around the time of menstruation, my own migraines began. At that age, and through adolescence, they were painful, but not frequent enough to disrupt my life. I was experiencing one or two a year, at most. The true horror began when I was newly married, working nearly full-time, and in school full-time. Based on the information in Dr. Turknett’s book, I can see that the stress I was inflicting upon myself at this point was causing me to cross my migraine threshold with regular frequency. At least two or three days a week, I was experiencing headache/migraine. This was in the late 1980s, when the choices in medications were ibuprofen (which didn’t seem to help) or Vicodin (which I didn’t like and often didn’t do much but dull the pain). I actually carried an air sickness bag (taken from a plane) in my purse because the nausea came on so quickly I was constantly afraid I’d be caught somewhere in public and need to use it. There were many, many days and nights spent in the dark, or on the bathroom floor, in excruciating pain, with the added insult of having to deal with the nausea.
During that time, I cut out the usual trigger suggested by my doctor: chocolate. I should mention that during most of my life, I have been a chocolate lover, and eaten it whenever it was available. Even this sacrifice was de minimis.
Then, I graduated. And, my husband was transferred to France for a year, so I took a sabbatical from work. I was amazed to find I stopped having migraines. And, there I was in France, so I had to try eating some chocolate. And, still no migraines?!! Fantastic! I started sampling all the wonderful Belgium, Swiss and French chocolates, and never once had a migraine.
After returning to the States and divorcing in 1996 , my migraines remained manageable for years, cropping up only occasionally during periods of high stress. Also, during this time, I became aware of Maxalt, which worked wonderfully for me, and the few episodes that did arise were blunted fairly successfully. All seemed well until about 2010, when two things started pushing me back across my migraine threshhold: I became peri-menopausal, and hormones reared their ugly heads, and my business grew to the point of bursting, and I was impossibly over-worked.
Suddenly, I found myself having migraines again, nearly DAILY, and the Maxalt wasn’t helping the way it had been. I saw an acupuncturist; I got new glasses; I tried hormone replacement therapy. A Chinese herbalist put me on a detox diet, including a bitter tea. Nothing helped. I did notice, as I had in the past, that the migraines were worse during my busy season at work, when there was significantly more stress. This was all exacerbated by the fact that I was having migraines all the time, and would get behind on work, creating more stress. Very circular.
Finally, I started working with a migraine specialist who put me on Topamax. This helped quite a bit, but the side effects often left me tired, and without much energy, and I found I was having to take more and more of the Topamax to achieve the same result. By this point, I had cut out sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, and chocolate.
Additionally, I did a little research and learned that Topamax, a medication used to treat seizures, was helpful for migraines. Further, I found out that epileptic children are often put on very low carb diets. I wondered if low carb diets would then be beneficial for migraine sufferers. I stumbled onto a blog where former Atkins dieters were reporting that they noticed that their migraine symptoms subsided when they were on Atkins. I decided to try reducing my carbs a bit, too. But, I was still getting migraines!!
It was about this time that, like manna from heaven, I found The Migraine Miracle. I couldn’t read fast enough. Being a petite female, I saw that I needed to drop my carbs down to 20 grams per day initially, as well as maintain stricter adherence to the Ancestral Diet. I also started taking MigreLief. I am shocked and delighted to report that since I have maintained this diet with 20 grams of carbs per day, I have not had one migraine, nor have I taken any Maxalt, for the past six weeks. And, there have been some incredibly stressful work crunches during that time. Additionally, I have been reducing my daily Topamax from 125 mg. per day to 100 mg. per day over the past four weeks and intend to drop it to 75 mg. per day beginning next week.
I couldn’t be happier with this outcome! This is the first relief I’ve had in YEARS and I finally feel as though I understand the variables involved. With great thanks and admiration for your work and efforts to share it with those who can benefit,
Great job, Lisa! The plural of anecdote isn't data, but I have to give credit to a diet that has helped so many. I just don't have the discipline to stay below 20 carbs/day.
I am very happy for you, Lisa!
I have changed a lot of the way I eat, but I am not nearly down to 20g of carbs per day (though I am likely eating only a fraction of the carbs I was before I read Dr. Turknett's book). My migraines and headaches are much less frequent, but not entirely gone ( I really hope I don't have to continue to lower the carbs!). However, I am pretty sure that menopause is my friend in all of this, and historically, in my family, women feel better after menopause. Still, I have noticed that I have more energy and feel much better in general when I follow the guidelines from Dr. Turknett's book–I am also finding a lot of helpful information in Jonathan Bailor's book The Calorie Myth–in fact, his specific ideas about protein and green tea seem to be working well for me.