The Vestibular Migraine & Secondary Hydrops Community
Read our welcome post, user support wiki & visit our member recommended products page

Low Carb Diet has improved my symptoms quite a bit


#1

Hey there,

I started a diet also known as the “Paleo diet”, and I’ve seen quite a bit of improvement since I’ve been on it. However, I did remove some common migraine triggers that are usually allowed on the diet. In addition, I’ve seen more improvement on this diet then I did on Dr. Bushholz’s “Heal Your Headache” meal plan. But, I did see improvement with his meal plan as well.

(NB from admin: these images link to a products this member has found helpful and at the same time helps fund the site: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support!)

Also, I’m losing quite a bit of body fat on this diet so it’s been really cool. I’m also on Verapamil as well. If you’re on Topamax I wouldn’t go on a Low Carb diet because apparently there are complications.

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been eating if anyone wants to give this a try:

Breakfast: 2 Eggs and Green Beans (W/ grass-fed butter KerryGold Grass fed butter is high in Omega 3’s)

Lunch: Chicken Thighs (organic/natural), with spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, Spring onion and salad dressing allowed in “Heal your headache” book.

Snack: Some fruits like berries or an apple. **If I work out I will especially eat some fruits. On a non-workout day I may only get the majority of my carbs from vegetables.

Dinner: Possibly more chicken or grass fed beef. More greens, etc. Possibly a sweet potato…especially if I worked out that day.

All in all I try to eat about 50-100 carbs a day. I went some days where I am going as low as 20 carbs in a day. I’ve seen some reports of many people who suffer from epilepsy improve dramatically on low carb diets.

Now, I’m still nowhere near 100%, but out of everything I’ve tried so far (in the last year and a half)…this has improved my dizziness the most. I’ve also been able to look at computers longer as well. Also, I notice when I cheat on this diet it can take almost a week and a half for me to get back to my newly improved state.

For example, I ate bacon recently and I wasn’t the same for almost a week. lol I think one of the biggest things for me on this diet was eliminating wheat and grains. I used to eat a lot of brown rice…but as soon as I eliminated this I started to feel a lot better. Weird right? Brown Rice was the main food I ate in my serious weight lifting days.

Anyway, I hope this post can help some one out there. There are a lot of other foods you can eat on this diet. Just look up Paleo food list and you should find a bunch of free stuff out there. I would just eliminate anything that’s a common migraine trigger or a trigger for you personally.

To learn more about this I would check out Robb Wolf’s book “The Paleo Solution” or Mark Sisson’s book “Primal Blueprint.” Also, Gary Taubes has some great books as well. I’m not affiliated with these people, but these are the books that have helped me.


#2

Interesting diet Joe. No question you’ll lean up on that. I’m not sure how sustainable you’ll find the diet over the long term … most cannot handle a low carb diet for a long period. If it starts driving you mad, you could raise the carbs but choose low GI carbs.

There’s a good paper out there by a guy named Loren Cordain on the paleo diet. He has websites on it – the whole deal. I met him in 1999 at a Sydney University conference. There was some good debate then about the paleo diet.

If all of this is reducing your migraine severity and frequency, stick with it. I wonder if it works because 1) you are avoiding triggers on the diet 2) lower postprandial glucose levels are helpful for you or 3) it’s just all around a healthier diet and you feel better?

I’ll put the paper up here if you like.

S


#3

— Begin quote from “scott”

Interesting diet Joe. No question you’ll lean up on that. I’m not sure how sustainable you’ll find the diet over the long term … most cannot handle a low carb diet for a long period. If it starts driving you mad, you could raise the carbs but choose low GI carbs.

There’s a good paper out there by a guy named Loren Cordain on the paleo diet. He has websites on it – the whole deal. I met him in 1999 at a Sydney University conference. There was some good debate then about the paleo diet.

If all of this is reducing your migraine severity and frequency, stick with it. I wonder if it works because 1) you are avoiding triggers on the diet 2) lower postprandial glucose levels are helpful for you or 3) it’s just all around a healthier diet and you feel better?

I’ll put the paper up here if you like.

S

— End quote

Hey Scott,

Yeah, many consider Loren Cordain the one who jump started the whole “Paleo movement”. However, I believe he had a mentor as well. You know, I’m not absolutely sure if it’s the avoidance of triggers or my body switching to using ketones as fuel…that has been the biggest benefit for me. Good question.

But, I was on a pretty healthy diet before this that avoided all the triggers in the book “Heal Your Headache”. I was eating a lot of brown rice and chicken breasts and fruit before this. Maybe I had a personal trigger that I didn’t know about. Overall though, my body does seem to feel better now that I am eating more healthy fats and eating less carbs.

Hopefully, I can keep it up. On days where I’m starting to fatigue or that I work out…I do ingest low GI carbs (mainly sweet potatoes) so I already got that covered. Well, I’ll let the board know if more of my symptoms improve on this. And yes, I would love to look at that paper…so I could print it out.

Thanks,

Joe


#4

Joe,

You’re probably already onto this but sweet potato can be a trigger (for me it’s a biggie) as are citrus fruits. Of course we’re all different any they may not affect you at all. Eating oranges and apples gives me mouth ulcers as well. Damn, it sucks. How can something as tasty as an orange cause so much grief? :?


#5

— Begin quote from “scott”

Joe,

You’re probably already onto this but sweet potato can be a trigger (for me it’s a biggie) as are citrus fruits. Of course we’re all different any they may not affect you at all. Eating oranges and apples gives me mouth ulcers as well. Damn, it sucks. How can something as tasty as an orange cause so much grief? :?

— End quote

Hey Scott,

I haven’t had any trouble at all with Sweet Potatoes (and yams, but yams are technically sweet potatoes too…except for the ones from Africa) And, I did eliminate all citrus fruits. The main fruits I eat are blueberries and apples. I sometimes think apples may be a trigger for me. I hear some have trouble with red apples because of the tannins.

Here’s all the main food triggers and non-paleo foods I have avoided…if anyone is wondering:

cheese, citrus, caffeine, chocolate, regular onions, nuts,msg, processed meats like bacon and beef jerky, avocados, aspartame, most legumes, grain and gluten, etc.

That’s the main foods I can think of at the moment. That sucks about the Oranges. Those are a “Huge” trigger for me. I used to eat them all the time before all this MAV non-sense hit me. lol


#6

Joe,

Check out this chapter written by Loren Cordain, Neil Mann and my PhD supervisor Jennie Brand-Miller. FYI, my thesis was about the mechanism by which carbohydrate (high GI carb) increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. I also examined how high GI carbohydrate impacts people of differing ethnic origins – namely SE Asian, Indian, Caucasian and Arabic people.

http://thepaleodiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/chapter-3-Brand-Miller.pdf

Scott


#7

— Begin quote from “scott”

Joe,

Check out this chapter written by Loren Cordain, Neil Mann and my PhD supervisor Jennie Brand-Miller. FYI, my thesis was about the mechanism by which carbohydrate (high GI carb) increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. I also examined how high GI carbohydrate impacts people of differing ethnic origins – namely SE Asian, Indian, Caucasian and Arabic people.

http://thepaleodiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/chapter-3-Brand-Miller.pdf

Scott

— End quote

Cool, thanks bud.

Joe T.


#8

I would like to add that one night I ate only a small piece of beef on a bed of vegetables – and the next day I felt better than I had since the problem started the year before. I couldn’t believe the difference. Since then I have tried to avoid all bread, pasta, and rice or other grains, replacing it with green leafies, and I haven’t gone back to that horrible first year of vertigo. However, it is really really really hard because I was vegetarian and really love rice and pasta, it’s expensive because greens cook down to nothing and have to continually bought and replensished. So tonight I cooked millet and lentils – at least it’s gluten free. We’ll see what happens!


#9

Hi, I’ve been gluten free for 6 weeks now after being diagnosed with Celiac disease. I’ve read a few articles about people with Celiac disease or who are just gluten sensitive having vestibular issues. I’ve been feeling about 60-70% better since going GF. I’ve given up trying to figure out whether the gluten issues trigger MAV, or if gluten issues have damaged my vestibular system causing migraines. I’m very happy to be better than before since going GF. Stats say 1 in 100 of EU descent have Celiac and even more are gluten intolerant. Only 10-15% are diagnosed so there are a lot out there with it. I went to 5 doctors about the MAV and wish more knew about Gluten intolerance as a potential trigger for MAV or cause of the neuro issues.


#10

I thought my diet was strict :). I actually have it pretty good compared to going full Paleo diet. I recently started to go the opposite direction and include more food variety. I was going a little insane like Scott said with my ultra strict diet. Plus i wasn’t getting any relief. I tried to give up all carbs, sugar and dairy. I found it really difficult to stick with. I now eat things like brown rice, brown pasta, rice noodles. Before that my only carb was sweet pots. I’ve stuck to being gluten and dairy free.

I would like to try the paleo diet. The core problem for me with diets is, I have a hard time figuring out what’s a trigger because I am generally always dizzy.

The diet you are on is suggested for people with Candida. Not sure if I believe in the whole candida thing, but that’s why I wanted to go full paleo is to figure out if it made a difference.


#11

I was just reading about mashed cauliflower instead of rice or potatoes. That sounds like something I can do, because it is the right texture and even colour!

But the best for me is a plate of cooked greens or cabbage with a piece of salmon, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, dill. Yummm. I hate all the washing, cutting, but on the days that I truly don’t sneak in some baked goods, I can absolutely feel the difference.

Do you know, I asked for a burger at a takeout/takeaway (not at aMcDonalds) and said without the bun, and they said, Everyone is asking for that lately. They even had a special container with a little fork and knife all ready.

Eliminating the bread etc has done much more for me than any medication, therapy or exercise. I just fall off the wagon a lot because I love to bake for my family. Haha, comparing eating flour to alcoholism, that sounds absurd, but the vertigo is actually worse than being drunk because there is no fun in it at all. I can find no reason at all to eat breads and starches except that the veg costs so much and takes so much time to prepare, and I really like my old pasta recipes and miss them. But other people act like there’s something sacrilege in not eating a sandwich and they get really upset about it.

To sum up, I don’t understand at all why I would have significantly less vertigo with this diet, but I can see the proof. I hope I keep it up! It really hinges on changing things for the family, because now I have to cook two meals and eat alone. But you know what, my meal looks like a million bucks so I don’t know why I’m not getting more support.


#12

See the article in DropBox titled “Hyperinsulinemia in migraineurs GRUBER 2009.pdf” You can achieve the same effect by following a low glycemic index diet thus having to not avoid all carbs which is a tall order and not much fun.

S


#13

I don’t follow any particular diet(s), but I do know that I feel better eating lots of protein (LOVE nuts and fish) and not a lot of starch. Not that I can stay away from chocolate, though!


#14

Also I find that if I go for a long time without eating, many hours during the day (such as: no lunch and only TINY amounts of grazing during the afternoon), my dizziness, fogginess, aching, and energy level all improve quite noticeably. Then when I eat dinner, even if it’s a small one, it all comes crashing down on me again.


#15

Dear Scott, Thanks for suggesting the low glycemic idea. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I think it means some carbs are better than others.

Nancy, I agree about not eating – I had a bad night last night, tossing and turning and watching the sun come through the blinds in the morning, after testing millet and taro (starchy but not gluten I think). Today was horrible, I spent it simply picking up things around the house, and I had one weak black tea and just water. Suprising by evening I was feeling better instead of worse as one would have thought. I am eating now so it wasn’t a big fast, but I think there is a food connection.

Edit: Scott, can you point me in the more specific direction with regards to that article. I mean, what can you eat and what shouldn’t you eat? Sorry if I’m being a bit thick :wink: But eek, millet is higher glycemic than wheat so that explains a lot, even though it has no gluten. I’m so confused!