Getting Back on Track

photo credit: Steve Corey via photopin cc

photo credit: Steve Corey via photopin cc

A number of months ago I started reading, Heal Your Headache The 1-2-3 Program, by Dr. David Buchholz, M.D, and following his program very carefully with, I’ll admit, an occasional cheat with food here and there.

According to his research, which includes case studies, chronic migraine can be successfully controlled and in some cases healed by following these three steps:

  1. Avoid rebound causing pain killers
    These include over the counter, and prescription, medication.  A detailed explanation and a list is provided in the book to help guide the migraineur.
  2. “Reduce your triggers” 
    These include anything that you can control e.g. medication (step 1) and food (Dr. Buchholz provides a list of foods to avoid). The science behind this is that we all have migraine thresholds.  In order to have an attack, the threshold has to be met.To illustrate, think of a glass of water as you, the migraineur; the rim as the threshold and the contents as the triggers. The less water in the glass, the less likely you are to have a migraine and vice versa. Therefore, if you control the triggers you can, such as medication (step 1) and food (step 2), you can keep your liquid content low and avoid a migraine.Here’s a practical example, let’s say the combination of stress, a change in barometric pressure due to a storm, chocolate and MSG trigger my migraines. If all of them are in the figurative glass, I’ll have a migraine. But if there’s just three I won’t. So if I avoid chocolate and MSG (which I can control), on a day when the other two take place I’ll be fine.
  3. Raise Your Threshold
    This is the last resort. If steps one and two don’t work at all after two months of STRICTLY following them, then talking to your doctor about introducing preventive medication, which doesn’t cause rebound, is the next step. If however, there is improvement, this step may be avoided all together. For details on deciding whether or not this step is necessary, please read the book.

Somehow, when I read chapter four, I missed that I was to do the diet strictly for two months and move onto step three if there was no improvement. I thought it was six months to a year lol … don’t ask. Now that I know there’s a closer deadline, I feel more positive and therefore reinvigorated to STRICTLY follow through with the suggested diet plan.

My husband and I go to the grocery store next week, so I’ll start then. When I do, I’ll announce it and start a milestone count down. I feel so excited and positive. I can’t wait to start!!!

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8 thoughts on “Getting Back on Track

  1. Good luck! My personal experience with migraines is that “identifying my triggers” and avoiding them has been really difficult or impossible. I could avoid eating chocolate, or being thirsty for too long but stress was just impossible to manage and of course, menstrual periods… I’m telling you, changing my diet has been a revelation… (albeit a difficult one). I never identified fruit as a trigger… but then taking it away (sob) changed my life…

  2. I was inspired by the efficiency of the ketogenic diet for epileptic patients – since I was taking topamax everyday for migraine prevention and that topamax is an anti-seizure medication. Therefore, I decreased my intake of carbohydrate and increased my intake in fats. I end up eating a lot of vegetables with tahini (and ground flaxseed)! It has been a life changer, seriously! After 7 years of taking topamax and more than 20 years of dealing with daily headaches, I am now migraine and medication free!! I can hardly believe it (now the real test will my next period ha!). I am not following a hardcore ketogenic diet though, more my own version of a Low Glycemix Index diet. I am currently writing a post about the ketogenic diet variations if you are interested. Would love to hear your opinion!

  3. Pingback: Migraine Trigger Free Diet | migrainepuzzlepieces

  4. Pingback: Migraine Trigger Free Diet – Action Plan Step 1 | MigrainePuzzlePieces

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