My Migraine Journey – How did Angie Achieve 468 Days Migraine Free?
My Migraine History
My name is Angie, and I am a fellow migraine warrior. I’ve had migraines and other headaches since the of age 7. Other types of headaches I’ve experienced include cervicogenic, cluster, sinus, stress, hormonal, hunger, and caffeine headaches.
Migraine was the predominant headache I experienced. I could start with one type of headache, and it would eventually evolve into a migraine. I’ve never experienced auras or was keen to my prodromes. A lot of times I would fall asleep having little to no headache and wake up with a full migraine attack. This is just a short list, and maybe something you can identify with as well. Please know you’re not alone.
The People Around Me
My dad experienced migraine. He never had any headaches in his life until his time in the military. I was born 7 years after his military duty. His migraine stayed with him for the rest of his life. Growing up, I watched him suffer in silence. He had chronic and intractable migraines. I too would come to experience migraine for much of my life.
The Effect of Migraine on My Life
As a migraineur, I got to the point where I was worn out of being sick and tired. I grew frustrated with being on multiple medications. I was tired of trying different treatments that only provided short-term relief. I wanted to be healed of debilitating migraine attacks so I could live and experience a better life.
What I’ve Tried
I have tried musculoskeletal-specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), a triptan, a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA), and Topamax. This list alone is not for the faint of heart. Sadly, I’m sure there are others who are on far more medications.
I was in my early twenties when I was prescribed some of these medications. Over time, the list just grew out of control. I got to a point where I didn’t want to keep taking medications. Fortunately, I no longer have this extensive list of medicines. Today I only keep one emergency triptan on hand.
I also tried various body treatments including different types of massage, reiki, acupuncture, body vibration therapy (using different tuning forks to bring balance), yoga, chiropractic care, and occipital nerve blocks. I stopped when RF-Ablation was proposed (radio frequency burning of the nerves in my neck). Everything I tried only provided temporary relief. Within a day or two, I was back in the throes of another migraine attack.
How did I Achieve 468 Days Migraine Free?
Today, I look back on my medication list and the different therapies I tried to find lasting relief. I honestly wonder where 20+ years of my life went. I was in a perpetual fog and a dark place. I never thought it would end. Perhaps this resonates with you where you feel you’ve tried everything but still experience migraine attacks.
So, when enough was enough, what did I do? I assessed and evaluated everything I already tried. One thing I never considered was my diet and nutrition. Could my diet contribute to my migraine and headaches? This whole time I was eating the typical Standard American Diet… very high in carbohydrates and unhealthy fats with little to no protein. I was eating food I thought was “healthy” but was refined and processed. It was in November 2019 I came across a documentary called “The Magic Pill” (maybe you’ve seen it). After that documentary about the ketogenic diet, I thought “Why not, I’ve literally tried everything else. What do I have to lose at this point?”
I decided to become my own science experiment. I completely changed my nutrition. Doing this radically transformed my relationship with food. This was a game-changer for me.
I eliminated all refined sugars and processed foods. I consumed more protein, and more healthy fats, and drank the proper level of water for hydration based on my weight. I added some vitamins and electrolytes specific to brain health. My goal was to have a healthy brain. My results from experimenting with food were amazing: from November 2019 to April 2020, I went my first 80 days migraine free!
Then I got a migraine for 2 days on April 20, 2020. After that attack went away, I went the next 330 days migraine free (April 2020 to March 2021). After the March 2021 attack resolved, where food was my trigger, I’ve managed to remain migraine free to this day. I never say I’m “cured” because there is always a chance for another attack. But my goal has been better brain health through healthy nutrition, and to remain migraine free.
Things I Learned During This Period of Time
Here are some of the important things I learned that I previously never knew: migraine brains are highly sensitive; migraine brains are genetically different than non-migraine brains; migraine brains are very sensitive to carbohydrates; migraine brains have increased electrical and neurotransmitter activity; migraine is a brain disease of neuro-cellular imbalance. I am hypersensitive, even when I don’t experience a migraine attack. Perhaps you are also highly sensitive.
I realize that what worked for me in becoming migraine-free is unconventional and may not work for everyone. And that’s okay. Please keep trying to find what works best for your brain and body, and never give up! Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma and misunderstanding that exists around migraine. For you and me, it’s not “just another headache.”
At the time of this writing, I am 468 days migraine free (thank you, Migraine Buddy app!). It’s my hope and mission to help others who suffer migraines or other headaches find the information they need to improve their health and well-being. I hope to provide insight, inspiration, and education on how nutrition plays a vital role, and how taking small steps can lead to giant leaps of progress. I wish you well in your migraine journey, and please know that you’re not alone!
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Thank you, Angie, for stepping forward to share your migraine journey with the community.
When you share your stories, it not only helps others but you heal in the process too. If you would like to share your story and let your voice be heard like Sharon, you may do so here: http://bit.ly/MyMigraineJourney
With love, Jenny and the Migraine Buddy Team