Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Migraines... CURED!

I have had headaches since I can remember. I found out early on that I could not change my hairstyle unless I washed my hair first. If my hair dried down and I tried to put it in a pony tail, the roots of my hair would hurt and give me a headache. I actually have never been able to have a ponytail! I could not where halter type clothes of any kind, it strained my neck and I would get a headache. I could not wear heavy necklaces or earrings, I could feel the weight and I would get a headache within minutes.
I have suffered from migraines for the last 6 years or so. I started getting migraines when I got pregnant. For the first couple miscarriages (before we figured out the problem) I only got the migraines while pregnant. Then I started getting them with every period. Then I got them 2 weeks out of every month! I was popping Excedrine every other day. Sometimes it worked, other times it didn't.
It helped if someone rubbed the pressure point on my hand, the meaty part between my thumb and index finger.
I learned that if I put ice on the back of my neck/head, heat over my eyes and lay down in a quiet dark room, most of the time they would be bearable by the next morning... with what I called a "hangover migraine". I was functional, just no sudden movements.

I was missing a lot of life.

I started a diet. Let me tell you how I decided on this, because it was not for me!
My son Stephen is sensitive to foods, last year we started drinking keifer, (which really helps alleviate their seasonal allergies!!) and Stephen went through a major detox. I gave the same amount to everyone and no one else was bothered. But poor Stephen was up all night with cramps, diarrhea and finally vomiting. And no, it was not a huge amount of keifer. I should have started him with an extremely small portion.
Anyway, since he is more sensitive, I finally decided to put him on GAPS. GAPS is supposed to cure allergies. He has a milk allergy and seasonal allergies. I figured we would try it- I couldn't let him "suffer" alone, so I went on it with him. I used Grain Free Meal Plans to help me, since it seemed a bit overwhelming. Cara's menus were a huge help and made it much easier!

Day 1: I tried the intro. I thought I was going to die. I had a horrible migraine. Brian threatened to not allow me to do GAPS. But I thought "I got a migraine going off the Standard American Diet (SAD), maybe, just maybe GAPS would help me too!" Finally after throwing up, I was able to sleep.
Day 2: I gave up on the GAPS intro (GAPS Intro Protocol) and went straight to a full GAPS diet. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I ended up eating a lot of almonds and fruit. I was hungry all the time.
Day 3: WOW! What a boost of energy!! I cleaned house and felt amazing!! I noticed my head felt great too!

I started GAPS right after a period. Normally I have headaches/migraines the week of and the week following my period.
Over the next week I got used to eating only GAPS food. I didn't crave other foods. Thankfully Cara includes cookies in her menu plan, I made a bunch of them! Stephen and I were snacking like crazy. He loved it, simply because he got snacks all the time! That kid loves food. He did really well, taking meatballs and soup to school for lunch. He really doesn't care about "being cool" in the food department! He gladly took GAPS cookies, sugar snap peas, cut apples, fruit leather and Larabars to snack on.

We did GAPS for 5 weeks.
Things that I noticed on GAPS:

  • I was awake. Like the fog that I had been living in for the last 34 years of my life had suddenly lifted. I was alert. Mental clarity, I guess you would call it.
  • I was happy! My mood was wonderful the whole time! There was no if you talk, breath or look at me, I will kill you irritable mood before my period. I was perfectly content all 5 weeks- through one full cycle!
  • I started wearing my hair up. I wore a ponytail for the first time in my life! I put my hair up, I wore headbands, I did pigtails! 
  • I wore big earrings! I put in some that I had been wanting to wear for years, but could only handle them in for several seconds. I wore necklaces too. All this jewelry that I'd been collecting could actually be worn!
  • No stomach issues. No cramps, bloating, diarrhea, irregularity or gas.
  • I had tons of energy! I felt amazing and got a ton of things done.

I felt so great, I actually had people tell me I was glowing and ask if I was pregnant! 

Going off GAPS... I had a stomach ache for 3 days. So, I have no doubt that I need to heal my gut and it would actually cure me if followed GAPS for a year or two, but to be honest, I'm not sure I'm that committed. I was off GAPS for a week before trying gluten- 2 days later I had a horrible migraine, followed by a hangover headache followed by another horrible migraine.
(I couldn't wear my hair up and I had to take my earrings out. So, when I felt it coming on, I convinced Brian to go out to lunch, because the whole time on GAPS I was craving a Willow Creek Sandwich from Mackenzie River Pizza Company, and then I stopped gluten again.)
It took 3 full days off gluten to really feel better.

So, now I am eating mostly GAPS and grain free/gluten free (all the time). I am back to wearing my hair whichever way I choose and wearing whatever earrings I want. I still believe my gut needs to heal.
I have started reading The Maker's Diet The 40-day health experience that will change your life forever


Misty ~ Not an Empty Room ~ said...

isn't it amazing what a little nutrition can do? im so happy for you! it takes a bit more work to keep the headaches at bay, but the benefits are so worth it. i have a slightly similar story...i had headaches every day of my life for 30 years. i didnt even know i had headaches because i didnt know i wasnt supposed to feel like that. my kinesiologist saved me. now i get them once every 3 months.
i did a few posts about it on my blog...

and i know how you feel...no halter tops or necklaces for me either...until now!

Alicia said...

Wonderful! I know I am enjoying the way I feel on Gaps and it does get easier....

I am also reading The Maker's Diet! I had read it a few years ago at the beginning of my health journey. And since I heard about Jordan Rubin's company Beyond Organic that is getting ready to launch this Oct. I thought I would read it again.

I am excited about his company and his mission...and can't wait to see where this company goes...

If you would like to check it out here is the link...


Melanie said...

Hey Rachel! You had stopped by my blog and it led me to yours. I love your holistic style. Please contact me at ohbabybabyblog@gmail.com. Sorry if your contact info is on the site somewhere, I'm having trouble finding it. :]


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