Thursday, September 1, 2016

Migraines and the Ketogenic Diet

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Chronic migraine headaches can totally control your life. The pain can be unbearable, relentless and incredibly overwhelming leaving you depressed, scared and alone most of the time. The good news there are many ways by which you can stop it from oppressing you moving forward. And, one of them is having a ketogenic diet.

A ketogenic diet (keto) is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance, but also some potential initial side effects. It is similar to other strict low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat). These diets often end up being ketogenic more or less by accident. The main difference between strict LCHF and keto is that protein is restricted in the latter.

1) Keto decreases migraine frequency. In recent studies, scientists have found that the ketogenic diet significantly reduced the frequency of migraines in 90% of patients. This completely dwarfs the effects of migraine drugs.

2) Keto promotes glutamate inhibition. Glutamate is found in both epilepsy and migraine patients. Medications that work in epilepsy (anti-seizure drugs) also block glutamate production. These drugs have been used to treat migraines as well. Since about 500 BC, ketones have worked to help prevent seizures, but the ketogenic diet has only been popular for the last century.

3) Keto eliminates processed food in your body. Processed food are filled with preservatives, chemicals, and other triggers that could be affecting your migraine symptoms. Any diet that removes those processed foods, including the ketogenic diet, would be a good step to controlling migraine symptoms.

4) Keto reduces hunger. Hunger is a major migraine trigger, so is weight gain/obesity. Some studies have found that weight gain and/or obesity increases the risk of migraines by 81%. Ketones help reduce hunger, while controlling insulin problems, promoting weight loss, and regulating glucose levels in the blood. Weight loss and sugar control are well-known benefits to adding MCT or coconut oil to your diet. Now, as you can see, they will help control migraines by helping you feel nutritionally satisfied, more energetic, improve cognitive functioning, and lose fat.