Can Keto Prevent Migraines?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet. Such diets contain high levels of ketones. It helps to promote the overall health of humans. It has positive effects on controlling neurological disorders and also helps to control seizures. Studies have also been conducted on the effects of the ketogenic diet on migraines. The ketogenic diet is now considered a new important method to treat migraines. Firstly, let us explore what is a migraine and its causes. Next, we will learn how can keto prevent migraines.
What is a Migraine Headache
It is a headache that causes throbbing pain and pulsating sensation on one side of the head. It also has some symptoms like nausea and blurred vision. Migraine is different from other headaches. It starts suddenly and pain is on one side. The pain is so severe that it can affect the overall daily activity of a person. Migraine is more common in women and children. According to the migraine research foundation, 12% of the population is having migraine. A high quantity of females is affected by migraine. 18% of women and 10% of children are struggling with migraine. It is mostly present between 18-44 years of age.
Types of migraine
There are two main types of migraine.
– Episodic migraine
– Chronic migraine
Episodic migraine is defined as a headache of fewer than 15 days. Chronic migraine is defined as a headache for more than 15 days per month.
Sub-types of migraine
The sub-types of migraine are associated with the symptoms. They include:
– Brainstem Aura Migraine Headache – symptoms include slurred speech, dizziness, and noise sensitivity.
– Hemiplegic Migraine Headache – Symptoms include a temporary weakness in one side of the body. Familial is transferred to other family members and sporadic is self-limiting.
– Menstrual Migraine Headache – This type of migraine is wit out the symptoms of slurred speech and noise sensitivity. It is along with other sub-types of migraine. This migraine usually starts before two days or after three days of menstruation.
– Ocular (or retinal) Migraine Headache – This type of migraine is disturbing migraine. It disturbs the vision before the start. There is a complete loss of vision for one hour before the start of pain. There is also a history of vision with flashing lights. It is a rare type of migraine.
– Vestibular Migraine Headache -A vestibule is an organ that deals with vertigo. The symptoms of vestibular migraine are vertigo, dizziness and spinning sensation.
Additional Migraine Symptoms
According to experts and studies, people with migraine are more sensitive to light, noise and touch. They are having an activated fight or flight mode before the first migraine. They have a high release of flight or fight stress hormones.
Other symptoms related to migraines include.
– Sensitivity to light and sound
– Flashing lights or strange shapes
– Difficulty speaking
– Temporary partial paralysis
Risk factors of migraine
The most important modifiable risk factors for migraine include
– Overuse of acute migraine medication
– Ineffective acute treatment
– Stressful life events
– low educational status increases the risk of migraine
Susceptibility to Migraines
The genetic factors are a common indication of susceptibility to migraine in people. It leads to a brain migraine. Any trauma to the brain or head injury is also a cause of migraine. Some kind of surgery is also a susceptible cause of migraine. The brain of migraine people is having glucose intolerance and low electrolytes.
What Triggers a Migraine
People who are genetically having migraine brains are more prone to developing migraine. Some factors can aggravate the migraine headache in people with brain migraine. These triggering factors include:
– Sleep loss
– Hormonal changes
– Weather changes
– Loud noises
– Diet, including caffeine, chocolate, and carbohydrates
Why Medications May Not Be the Answer for Migraines
Medication is not the treatment option for migraines. Some drugs are used to treat the pain and for preventive measurements. It includes calcium channel blockers, Seizure medications, and even antidepressants. However, these drugs are not having any positive effect in controlling migraines. These are causing side effects and addictions. Some drugs can be used for short-term treatment of migraine at the start like Imitrex. This drug has a side effect of increasing stroke risk. Some blood pressure-lowering drugs are also used to treat migraines. However these drugs often cause dizziness and other complications.
The Ketogenic Diet as Migraine Intervention or Treatment
Researchers suggest that a controlled diet is the best way to treat migraines, and the ketogenic diet is the best choice of treatment. People affected with migraines often have carbohydrate intolerance, are Glucose-sensitive, and require a higher concentration of sodium. They also need a diet rich in fats because fats are the best source of energy for brain cells. The ketogenic diet is the best option for such people. It is low in carbohydrates and high in fats and salt. It relives from migraines. Ketones are the best source of energy for the brain. Beta-hydroxybutyrate BHB the main ketone body is having positive effects on migraine pathology. Studies show that ketones also reduce the neuroinflammation in the migraine brains. The effects of the ketogenic diet on migraine are given here.
Ketones Nourish Cells Differently From Glucose
People with migraines show glucose sensitivity and carbohydrate intolerance. So these are metabolic effects of migraine. Our brain needs energy as fuel to function. When there is insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, a person is having migraines. The ketogenic diet is rich in fats which change into free fatty acids and then into ketones. Ketones are the best source of energy for the brain. It helps myelin to function properly. Also, ketones supply energy by three routes to brain cells. So they nourish cells in a good manner and relieve migraines.
Just Reducing Carbohydrates in the Diet May Be Beneficial
Carbohydrates are proinflammatory and inflammation leads to migraines brain. Studies suggest that a long-term carbohydrate intake is harmful and aggravates migraines. So the ketogenic diet low in carbohydrates is good to relieve migraines. A study in 2018 suggested that a low carbohydrate diet reduces the number of migraines and headache intensity in many people.
In conclusion, migraines are more painful and challenging headaches. It is different from simple headaches. They can be genetically transmitted or triggered by environmental factors. Medication is not a satisfactory choice of treatment for migraine people. However, a diet low in carbohydrates and sugar might be a good option to treat migraines. A high-fat diet is also recommended for migraine people. This means that the ketogenic diet is the best option for treatment because it is low in carbohydrates and high in fats and salt. One should go for the ketogenic diet to relieve migraines and to get good health. Consult your physician or doctor before having the ketogenic diet.
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– Primary Headache Disorders: Focus on Migraine, Reviews in Pain. >https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/204946371100500402
– Migraine: multiple processes, complex pathophysiology, The Journal of Neuroscience. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4412887/
– Migraine: Overview, Informedhealth.org. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279373/
– Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: Complete Guide: How to Treat & Prevent Migraines Without Medicines. https://www.amazon.com/Fighting-Migraine-Epidemic-Complete-Migraines/dp/154697637X/ref=sr_1_2?crid=MXZBGBK0NXTY&keywords=fighting+the+migraine+epidemic+angela+stanton&qid=1565634725&s=gateway&sprefix=fighting+the+mi%252Caps%252C141&sr=8-2
– Analysis of Trigger Factors in Episodic Migraineurs Using a Smartphone Headache Diary Applications, Journal. Pone. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4764678/
– Potential Protective Mechanisms of Ketone Bodies in Migraine Prevention, Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30974836