For anyone who suffers from chronic migraines, the debilitating pain can put you out of commission for hours, even days. The neurological symptoms are so much worse than a “bad headache,” and you usually can’t even tell when they’re going to strike. If you’re still looking for relief from the agonizing condition, recent studies found a popular diet could be your answer.
The ketogenic or “keto” diet has become one of the biggest trends in weight loss over the past few years. Folks following it restrict their amount of carbs, add more “good fats,” and limit their protein in order to reach a state of ketosis — forcing the body to burn fat instead of carbs for energy. Although it’s been praised for helping people shed pounds, did you know it’s also recommended for children with epilepsy? According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the diet has been shown to help reduce seizures for young patients who have difficulty controlling them with just medicine.
This led doctors to wonder whether the diet could also benefit people with chronic migraines. Research published in Neurological Studies looked at the data from 150 migraine sufferers who participated in various case studies on the keto diet. “Keto would contribute to restore brain excitability and metabolism, and to counteract neuroinflammation in [the] migraine, although its precise mechanism is unclear.”
Basically, participants on the diet who also happened to suffer from migraines frequently reported their symptoms noticeably dropping — but researchers aren’t exactly sure why. Jennifer Robblee, MD, a member of the American Headache Society, told Health: “One hypothesis is that, ultimately, you’re doing a diet that has less processed foods [a common migraine trigger].”
Obviously, more research needs to be done. In the meantime, check with your doctor and see if this diet could be a good option for you. Even if you don’t want to lose weight, any help with easing migraines would definitely be worth it.
Here’s hoping all chronic migraine sufferers get plenty more happy, pain-free days!