Ketogenic Diet

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Ketogenic Diet

Post  Seaine on Sun May 19, 2013 7:35 pm

I am strongly considering trying a ketogenic diet for my migraines. None of the preventative meds have worked and none of the supplements I'm taking have helped - although the B-vitamins did help my sciatic pain, made my nails and hair grow better, and the D3 helped with my rosacea.

I've tried an elimination diet as well, eliminating wheat, eggs, and dairy. Not only was there no change in my migraines, but I began to lose weight very quickly (120lbs down to 105lbs in two weeks).

Has anybody tried a ketogenic diet before? The basic premise is that you cause your body to stop using glucose as a brain energy source by not eating sugar or carbs. Instead, you eat a lot of fat and some protein and your brain switches over to fat metabolism. The theory is that there's some sort of issue with glucose in the brain and I've even read that this diet limits the amount of glutamate produced. It's apparently known to help epilepsy.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Cassiej on Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:42 am

Hi Seaine, I've been rather successful in changing migraine pattern from every 10 days to every 14 days. I eliminated all grains except corn and oats ... Added to my already lengthy list of diet eliminations. I started this summer eliminating grains so my migraine pattern looks pretty stable now. If I get a cold, flu or food poisoning that will trigger out of schedule migraine.

So, next attempt, I'll gradually morph into a keto diet. Have you been giving it a try?


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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Seaine on Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:31 pm

Actually I've been slowly adding a coconut oil supplement as a precurser to a ketogenic diet attempt. According to my research, coconut oil is made up of medium chain fats so your body can very easily use it as a fat for energy. This makes a ketogenic diet easier because you can eat a small amount of carbs still if you eat coconut oil as well.

People say you're supposed to eat 1-3 tablespoons a day but I've had to very slowly increase my amount. I started with 1/4 of a teaspoon and had a terrible headache, brain fog, and indigestion for a week. Apparently this is normal because coconut oil kills yeast in your intestines, and when your body is flooded with a bunch of dead yeast cells you feel like crap until they're processed out. I also had appetite problems and dropped down to 105lbs quickly once again, so I've waited quite awhile until I recovered. Now up to 110lbs again so I've just increased my dose yesterday.

Long story short, I'm up to 1/4 of a teaspoon 3 times a day, or 3/4 total of 1 teaspoon. It might be a little while before I'm up to 1-3 tablespoons a day, lol. I've been trying to eat more fats and less sugar as well, and the coconut oil has helped by severely reducing my cravings for sweets.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Kem10 on Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:26 pm

That is good info Seaine. If and when I start taking coconut oil I will only take a 1/4 teaspoon per day to begin also. I have tried little tastes and it isn't bad at all.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Mule Kick on Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:18 pm

Seaine,

My dermatologist prescribed oral Erythromycin to treat the acne rosacea that I had in the mid-1990s. I took it for several years. The Erythromycin healed the rosacea. The only side effect that I had was some moderate abdominal pain for about the first month or so, while my intestinal flora adapted.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Cassiej on Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:00 pm

I will also go slowly on the coconut oil because fat is a trigger for me. The migraine will hit a day and a half after fat consumption. I normally keep my fat intake less than 20 per day so switching to keto is going to be cautious experimenting. I'm hoping the trigger is actually the carbs that normally accompany fat as my normal diet leans heavily towards carbs rather than animal protein. Always experimenting.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Reama on Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:20 pm

Hi Cassiej

When you say fat is a trigger for you, what kind of fat is that? Vegetable oils, animal fats, "whole" fats (meaning nuts and avocado), or mainly the fat in processed food? Have you been able to pinpoint any particular source of fat?

Thanks,
Reama

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Reama

Post  Cassiej on Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:15 pm

I haven't been able to narrow down which type of fat. My drive to defeat migraines has me eliminating too many food types but I really want to end migraines before my end! I take no chances. So I eliminated every fat and consumed no food over 3 grams of fat per serving. This got me to 10 days without a migraine for about 6 years. Then eliminated grains this summer.

When I realized that eliminating grains added 4 days before the migraine hit I began to wonder if maybe it was a grain and fat trigger not just a fat trigger. Bread without fat isn't fun. And without fat my grain consumption was rather limited. No fat eliminates lots of desserts, salad dressings with a mix of ingredients, no gravies, no prepared foods etc.

So no I'm not really sure fat is the trigger but I'm too scared to test it. Also, I'm pushing 65 and through the years I've developed allergies I did not have in my youth. The body changes and our tolerances change.


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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Kem10 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:11 am

From just about 6 weeks of cutting back grains, it's beginning to appear that grain consumption is a trigger for me. My plan is to cut grains even further to see if things continue to improve but I'v only needed 2 Imitrex in the last 3 weeks. That is a huge improvement for me. Still I will need at least 3 or more months to be sure.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Cassiej on Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:05 am

Hi Kim - glad its working. Deleting all grains except corn and rice extended my cycle an additional 4 days so my pattern became every 14 days instead of 10 days. I started phasing into a ketogenic diet about a month ago and I've lost 5 lbs but my migraine cycle hasn't improved. During this bad cold we've been having in the midwest, I've had to wake up every 2 hours to make sure the pipes weren't freezing so I've had 2 additional migraines during my cycle. I think migraines caused by lack of sleep rather than the diet. Although, with such lack of sleep, the diet went to hell also. Fatigue, cold, gray days - went into survival mode.

Anyway, I'm back to sleeping again and now back on the ketogenic path. Before the cold hit - my 14 day cycle was different in that day 10 there were some headache nudges, then 3 days of a perfectly clear head before the migraine hit. At the beginning of grain control the headaches were from day 10 to day 14 with zomig needed on day 14. With ketogenic, my fat consumption also went up - so there is a possibility that fat was my trigger as well.

I think any diet experiment has to last at least 3 months so I'm trying this new diet until the summer. For me, that has meant more fat from my protein, trying for less than 100 g of carbs per day and basically being hungry all the time. I try not to eat after 4 pm as so often my migraines hit in the middle of the night. Really, I'm not strict ketogenic, but more low carb right now. And, now that it's warmish (20 F) and sunny, I'm going back to low fats as well. For me, fats were always a trigger so until I stabilize back at a 14 day cycle, it's low carb & low fat. I had begun to hope that the fat trigger was actually the carbs that I had with the fats but perhaps not. My carb control has been very good - except during the frozen pipes period.

So, good luck in the next month - please keep checking in.

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Update on keto

Post  Cassiej on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:17 pm

I have finally achieved a low carb diet with some success. My normal pattern was M every 10days, expanded to 14 days without grains and now I've gone 18 days without a migraine. During that time I've had lots of head sensations but I'm getting better about controlling my carb intake. I've had some mild headaches and mild auras but nothing I needed to medicate.

I think I'm on my way to a month without migraines. Food is no longer fun at all. Boring. But, my head is better. I can do this because I don't cook for a family, I'm retired and can dedicate my life to migraine control rather than career and family.

I haven't been focused on fat ratios to protein but on eliminating as many carbs as possible. My veggies are spinach and mushrooms. Steak, ham and poultry my protein. No fruit. Trying for 20 g of carb per day. Grocery buying is much easier.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Seaine on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:16 am

Maybe if you continue to feel better on low carb, you can start upping fats?  I'm not sure how you could live on BOTH low carb and low fat, lol... I certainly couldn't.  I'm already 105lbs as it is.  On topic, I have increased my coconut oil a little again but migraines still the same.  My diet change is put on hold kind of since the doctor told me I am anemic.  After I told her I don't have periods (she initially blamed my anemia on blood loss during TOM), I have to get more testing.  I am really tired all the time.  Not sure how long I have been anemic for.

Edit: Also, you should know, that if you eat a lot of low fat protein, your body treats it the same way as carbs. High fat, and some small amounts of high fat protein is what ketogenic recommends to prevent your brain from using glucose for energy.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Cassiej on Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:24 am

Didn't know that about low fat. Thanks. I am beginning to think my problem isn't fat but carbs. I have begun experimenting with fat and so far, no M.

I have always been anemic. But, not heavily fatigued. And, being retired, I don't need as much energy as it took to sit through committee meetings. I think life is getting better.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  dcook60 on Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:13 pm

cassie, thanks so much for posting all this good info. i hope you solve your anemia soon; i was anemic as a child and was always tired.

then i was no longer anemic; had 5 children and was also always tired. big surprise! now 74 and tired from old age i guess, but still have lots of energy on some days. the few days w/o head pain, that is. now i'm getting botoxed and it has helped SOME.

my q: to you is this......why only spinach & mushrooms? surely there are other very-low carb veggies? i am always interested and proactive in dietary matters. nothing i've ever done has made much difference, but there's always hope. thanks, dianne

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Cassiej on Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:37 pm

Hi dcook

Only spinach and mushrooms because too much variety in the early stages leads me, psychologically, to straying from the straight and narrow path. Any veggie has carbs. I've been trying to get low carb for 2 months now and this current 18 day stretch is the longest I've managed. As you know, diet control isn't easy. What I want are the high carb veggies like potatoe and all the grains. However, no M.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Kem10 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:16 pm

Cassie, so glad your migraines are fewer and thanks for keeping us posted.

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YES it definitely helps + bone broth

Post  ConcordGrape on Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:31 pm

I started a ketogenic diet 4 months ago and within 2 weeks I had a significant reduction in headache hours. I went from daily constant migraine to daily intermittent migraine and EVEN had 1 headache-free day.

In addition, I had a LOT of other positive effects, and so I will not go back to eating carbohydrate unless I have to.

These included...

improved memory!
no more tremor!
no more GI/bowel/intestinal issues. cramping, bloating, gas, all GONE!
no more food cravings, and my mental health is more stable
lost 15 lbs

but most importantly, a raised migraine threshold! Prior to the diet, I couldn't do anything for a migraine except take medicine and cross my fingers/suffer through. But now, I can drink water or eat a meal, or take a triptan and the headache will go away.


I waited to share this until now because I still did have headaches fairly often, and so was not completely satisfied with the diet. But I found the missing piece......bone broth!

Not the kind of stock or soup you buy in a can, homemade, bones boiled in water for a few hours with veggies and seasonings. Since I started drinking 1 bowl of broth a day (~2 cups) I have not had a migraine! It is incredible. I am still in shock. I guess it is all the micronutrients + electrolytes + super hydration from the broth. All I know is it works, and I really hope it can help others too!

feel free to ask me anything about keto or the broth! I will gladly share my recipe as well Smile
xox

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Kem10 on Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:53 am

That does sound promising. I know Cassie is having good success with a ketogenic diet also. I've been dragging my feet about it but perhaps it is the way to go. In any case please tell us what kind of bones and are they readily available in most grocery stores? Also what kind of seasonings and veggies are you using? So very glad this is helping you!

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  ConcordGrape on Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:28 pm

This is a very good resource for broth recipes: http://nourishedkitchen.com/bone-broth/

You can make stock or broth from any bones, raw or cooked. If you use meat, pick a cut with a lot of cartilage, tendons, or things that maybe you wouldn't want to eat. I buy a couple pounds of chicken necks/backs, but I have also made beef stock with rib bones. Apparently chicken feet make the best stock, but I have yet to find those anywhere...

One easy way to make a quick stock is to buy a rotisserie chicken and then just throw the leftover carcass in the pot with water--no seasonings necessary.

Ingredients I usually add:
-1-2 celery stalks
-1 onion, halved
-1-2 carrots
-a couple cloves garlic
-2 tsp peppercorns
**Add salt at the end**
-1 bay leaf
-1 T apple cider vinegar OR some dry wine *important for leaching minerals from the bones
-fresh herbs like basil, parsley if available
--> If I'm going for a more asian-style soup I'll add ginger, mint, star anise, coriander/cilantro

Cook until the meat is falling apart and the bones are soft, ~2-6 hrs. Beef bones take 24+ hrs. Slow cookers are great for this!

*EDIT: some steps I forgot to mention:
1. In the first 1/2 hour of cooking, you will see a lot of foam bubbles on the surface. Skim this off and discard.
2. After the soup cools and you have strained out the cooked pieces, place it in containers in the fridge. The fat will harden and you can either leave it if you are keto like me, remove it and throw it away, or remove it and save for cooking.


Last edited by ConcordGrape on Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added some cooking steps)

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Kem10 on Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:20 am

Thank you! We are heading south for a couple of months leaving Monday. While down there I am going to try doing this. Very Happy

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Seaine on Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:30 pm

Thank you so much for sharing Concord, how long have you gone without a migraine? I bought a chicken and will be making bone broth with it for the first time due to your post. What can it hurt?

Seaine

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  ConcordGrape on Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:36 pm

Good luck Kem & Seaine!! I look forward to hearing your results (or just some tasty soup Very Happy)

I do believe this streak was 10 days. I woke up with an M on the 11th day and ended up taking 75mg of sumatriptan + 200mg ibuprofen before I kicked it (the next morning). I made beef stock and have been having that since, but I don't think it's as effective as poultry. I think the protein/amino acid balance in poultry is more ideal.

The broth that got me 10 days migraine-free was made from our Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, and probably the tastiest one I've ever made. Roasting the bones definitely helps bring out some flavor and nutrients.

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Seaine on Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:17 pm

I just made my first one out of rotiserrie chicken and it's delicious!! Mine didn't end up with a layer of fat on the top, wonder why? I had a glass this morning and I'm drinking one at dinner. If this has no effect on my migraines I will still make it... so good and so easy!

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  ConcordGrape on Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:38 pm

Hmm perhaps when they roast the chickens all the fat drips off?

I am glad you like it!

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

Post  Reama on Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:01 pm

Contemplating reducing my carbs significantly ... your experience is really encouraging. Do you have an approximate idea how many grams of carbs you eat per day? For example, I don't know whether someone needs to avoid grains/legumes but can have a little fruit, or whether it needs to be no fruit and even limited vegs. (Of course, I'm assuming no to limited starchy vegs, but what about the nonstarchy ones?)

There seems to be some variety to these ketogenic diets when I've gone searching online.

Thanks for any input!

Reama

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Re: Ketogenic Diet

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