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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Migraines. More than just headaches. They are assholes.

Now I'm getting requests.  I LOVE IT!!!  Keep them coming! 

Today's post is close to my heart.  So close, that I am going to try to do a series of blogs on the topic of migraines.  I have been suffering from migraine headaches since childhood and I know from personal experience EXACTLY how debilitating they can be. 

Migraines can come on for as many reasons as there are people who suffer from them.  Some sufferers can narrow their assholes (my nickname for migraines) to food triggers, their periods (assholes on top of assholes), or stress.  I was not one of those lucky people.  I could never narrow it down.  I was getting to the point where I was having anxiety attacks because I saw sunspots or an eye floater and thought it was an aura, which for many, signals that the asshole is on its way.  Oh yeah, and meds, sorry for my luck.  They never worked.  This is something I am thankful for now.  So after years of researching, reading, and self medicating with various herbs, I finally broke down and talked to a holistic nutritionist at Lionville Natural Pharmacy (Ben Briggs is amazing!  I would totally recommend seeing him for ANY ailment, not just migraines).  When I went to my appointment, I was skeptical.  Nothing had ever helped me before, but I was willing to try anything.  The first thing I was told was to cut out sugar and grains/wheat completely.  I even had to limit what fruits I ate.  This was part of another underlying condition, candida, which is an overgrowth of yeast in the body.  Mine was causing sinus infections on top of migraines.  It was caused from a long term course of antibiotics I was on from when I had Lymes Disease.  Then he gave me a paychecks worth of supplements and sent me on my way. 

My first thought was, "Great, I just spent a shit ton of money on vitamins and being told I can't eat anything awesome ever again."  But I put my mind to it and followed the diet and supplement regime.  Ben did tell me that eventually I would be able to wean myself off of all of the supplements once my body had finally figured out how to absorb nutrients (a problem from the Candida) which was causing my body to have migraines.  The assholes were acting as my body's distress signal.

Here are my results:  In the past year, I have gone from having 3-4 migraines/month to having 4 migraines in the last year.  These were all my own fault.  One I drank too much fruit juice, another I ate dessert at my anniversary dinner, the third and fourth were because of too much cheese and a rendezvous with some deli meat. 

Now does being on a restricted diet suck?  YES.  I cannot eat what other people eat.  I have to explain a lot about my eating habits/condition/situation.  BUT...I am virtually migraine free.  I lost 10 pounds from my body and 100 pounds of anxiety. I have managed to keep them both off for more than a year.  I feel AMAZING.  Cutting out wheat, dairy, and sugar allowed me to transition into the raw foods lifestyle which I had been researching and flirting with for years, but could never get past cravings enough to stick with.   Following the high raw diet is nourishing, nutrient rich, allows me to have a blast trying weird, new recipes, and always gives me something to talk about at dinner parties.  I have WAY more energy than I did a year ago and I think I look better than I did in my 20's.  Even before I had kids.  Oh yeah, and I am weaned down to taking 3 supplements/day.  A multi, an iron/B12 supplement (for anemia and as nutritional insurance), and Migrelief. 

So here is what I had to cut out:  all grain (wheat, rice, etc.), sugar (this was truly what was triggering most of my migraines), all dairy except for greek yogurt, starchy vegetables (potatoes, yams, and corn), very sweet fruit and dried fruit (bananas, raisins, etc.) 

Here is what I could eat:  meat, fish, greek yogurt, butter, almond butter, oils (olive oil, coconut oil, canola, any health oil), nuts and seeds but NO PEANUTS or CASHEWS,  fruits (berries, lemons, limes and green granny smith apples. That's it), almost all veggies except for the ones listed above (carrots were starchy, but okay as long as they were raw), unsweetened coconut milk (the So Delicious brand is great and I would add stevia to sweeten).  NO BOOZE, especially beer (that was especially painful for me). I stayed completely off for about 3 months, now I drink maybe twice a month. 

Something I loved was stevia.  It was my saving grace. You can buy it in a powder form at Giant or Wegmans and I would put lemon and lime juice in my water bottle and throw a couple of packets of stevia in there and have lemonade.  I would also add it to my greek yogurt. That really helped kick the sweet cravings to the curb. 

The supplement I found the most helpful is called Migrelief. I take it every day and it works beautifully.  I have even taken it during a migraine and it helped more than any over the counter pain killer ever could.  It took the asshole from a 7 down to a 2.  This enables me to function through a migraine.  I could never do that before.

Now I want to remind you guys of something I said earlier:  Migraines are very individual.  This worked for me, but may not be the answer for you.  I wanted to start with my success story to encourage you guys who suffer greatly with migraines.  Over the next couple of days, I am going to regurgitate some of the stuff I know about migraines so that hopefully some of this information can help you and you can be on your own path to being free of this asshole once and for all!!!


  1. Thank you!!!! I'm going to start trying to figure out what works for me.

    On an unrelated note, take a look at the prices for Migrelief. I can either get the best price of $16.87 or Buy New at $19.17. I wonder how the ones that are not new are packaged. LOL

  2. I am laughing so hard at you right now, Michelle!!! But seriously, RIGHT??? I think I will sell my opened bottle of pills on the internet!