Success! Exercise, anxiety, and sun migraines and hot head done!

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Success! Exercise, anxiety, and sun migraines and hot head done!

Post  corinneg on Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:15 pm

Hi Everyone,

I recently discovered the cause of my 20 years of headaches, migraines, and overheating issues and I wanted to share my story in case anyone else has a similar situation. Wheat! I can't believe it is something so plain and simple! I even work at a bakery! My great grandmother was a baker for National Biscuit Company before it was Nabisco.

If you have any symptoms similar to these..try it...no wheat. Please PLEASE PLEASE TRY IT!!!! In a week I noticed a difference, in a month I felt great! Here's the story (I'm including every pertinent thing I can think of):

I'm 29 and have had issues with hot head (overheating), headaches, and migraines for most of my life. I noticed it most when I was 10, changed schools, and had to run outside in gym class... I thought HOW does anyone run in the sun and not feel like they are going to die! As I got older the overheating became more frequent. Anytime I did anything outside I would get red faced (extreme) and not be able to cool down. Later I began to develop headaches which turned into pounding migraines and consequently I wasn't able to participate in many things I wish I could have...sports teams, trail crews, hiking with friends. I tried to be strong and not let them see how much pain I was in but it was SO exhausting!

I dreaded the summers knowing that the garden work, bike rides, and beach visits would always end in MIGRAINE. I dreaded traveling or anything else that caused the least bit of anxiety. I dreaded visiting my father in the south, skiing with my boyfriend, and basically everything else. The past two years I had a headache every day and 3-5 days/ week resulting in a migraine. I went to bed with headaches and woke up with headaches and as much as I hated to, I conceded to call in sick to work.

I dreaded the thought of ever having children thinking that the strain of labor would surely make my head explode. And then if I had children would I be able to do the things with them that I cherished doing with my parents...bike rides, hiking, picking strawberries in a sunny field.

I moved to Vermont and got a job at a bakery, a school, and a ceramic studio. At school, stress seemed to give me headaches. At the bakery the heat of the kitchen and the fast pace of the dinner hour gave me headaches. At the ceramic studio the concentration and attention to detail required to paint small designs seem to cause strain with caused headaches. Which all led to ...MIGRAINES.

Over the years I tried everything I could think of short of prescription meds... more fluids, eating more regularly, more protein, less carbs, more salt, more vitamins, turmeric, cayenne, L-Trytiphan, Co Q 10, valerian, breathing exercises, meditation, low impact workouts, exercise in cooler weather, massage, acupuncture, neti pot for sinus treatment, strong sun glasses, different eye glasses prescription, covering skin from sun, wide-brimmed hats....

More specifically my symptoms were: hot head, heavy head, red face, excessive sweating, inability to cool down, tight jaw and neck, throbbing shooting pain on one side of head when I moved, tension in forehead between eyebrows, soreness at base of skull, sensitivity of light, sound, and movement, sensitivity to sun, temperature, humidity, and increases in body temperature, throbbing pain when bending over, permanent crease between brows due to constant "knitting"....

Though I listed all of this to my doctors over the years many times, stressing the extremely apparent negative impact on my life, they did not take it seriously!

I finally found some relief when I was referred to a chiropractor who immediately noticed that my poor posture was causing undue tension in my neck possibly leading to headaches and migraines. He prescribed some strengthening exercises using a Theraband which helped initially. I was able to stave off headaches by staying calm and maintaining extremely perfect posture. This however did not help when I was working outside of wanting to exercise. And it did not last through the winter. I began having headaches again everyday.

Throughout the years I have been self-conscious about my weight... a little over, but not extreme...but how could I lose weight when exercise unfailingly gave a migraine...so frustrating! I got depressed and said to hell with it. I began eating every baked good I could get my hands on...and working at a school was no help...teacher appreciation, bake sales, holidays....

Then, this spring I decided to try to trim down in preparation for a family vacation to the beach in the summer. The easiest way I could think of to do this was to cut out baked goods. I have always realized that I had a weakness for baked goods and haven't seemed to be able to control myself with them when I have had plenty of self-control in other parts of my life. So I quit wheat products and....no daily headaches. Almost immediately.

It all started to make sense.... I always thought that I had a strange relationship with baked goods...I could not control myself and I was never satisfied...always hungry. My mom always said that she was sure wheat products were causing her bloating and poor digestion; a test confirmed that she had one of the markers for celiac disease. I often felt bloated, waking up thinking I looked pretty good and going to bed feeling like I had gained 5 pounds. If I had a headache in the evenings and thought that I just needed to relax after work, I would have a beer. This always seemed to trigger a migraine but I didn't realize that it wasn't the alcohol; the headaches didn't worsen when I drank wine. When I went to Mexico for a month I thought for sure the heat would give me migraines everyday...but it didn't....I ate mostly corn tortillas there, hardly any wheat products. Some nights I would come home from working at the bakery with a rash all over my face...I thought it was the heat. I didn't know that one of the symptoms of a wheat allergy is unexplained skin rashes. My worsening headaches over the past 2 years directly coincided with taking a job at a bakery, doing more baking, and eating more baked goods. Worsening migraines coincided with new asthma diagnosis - cold and exercise induced. Years of joint pain also a reflection of wheat sensitivity... Wheat allergies are most common in people of Eastern European and Irish descent..my family is Polish..

I requested a wheat allergy test (not the celiac test) from my doctor which came back negative. She said that this could be because I hadn't been eating wheat prior to the test...that I would have to go back on wheat for 2 weeks...no thank you! I read that many people don't test positive for the allergy even though they are helped by eliminating it from their diet. So I don't care what the test says and I'm not going to start eating it again just to try for a positive.

So now..My first normal summer ever! 2 months without wheat. No pasta, bread, cookies, beer, nor wheat based hard liquor (for now). I am working out in the garden and biking to work and feeling better every day. I am no longer overheating, getting red faced and unable to cool down. Sometimes when I really push myself in the hot weather (85 today) I feel the smallest seed of a headache but NOTHING like before...I am willing to accept that a lifetime of damage can't be healed in 2 months. I have lost weight because I can finally exercise without pain and I am no longer constantly hungry and obsessing about food. I continue to do my chiropractor prescribed stretches which I believe does ease the neck tension that I feel. My asthma has disappeared (also almost immediately); I no longer use my inhaler.

So if you can relate to anything like what is listed below, even if you've tested negative, please try to go wheat free (no cheating!) It's hard at first but it can't hurt and it could be the cure you haven't tried yet...

-Eastern European, Irish/Scottish descent (I know someone with a wheat sensitivity who is Italian)
-Unexplained skin rash or conditions (not necessarily itchy)
-Digestion problems, IBS, bloating, excessive flatulence
-Hot head, red face, excessive sweating
-Asthma and other congestion
-Thyroid disorder
-Problems conceiving (wheat can cause inflammation which can prevent pregnancy)
-Of course headaches and migraines
-and in very serious cases - emotional and neurological issues and anaphylaxis

Diet:
A wheat free, gluten-free diet would include no wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, oats (some), and triticale which are grains with gluten. Quinoa, buckwheat, and sorghum grains are gluten-free. So is rice.

Be careful, a lot of processed foods have wheat in some form that you may not recognize...best to stay with whole foods. Here's my normal menu:

Breakfast: Yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts
OR an omelet
OR non-flour pancakes

Lunch: Miso soup (just combine miso, water, ginger, garlic, cilantro, and tofu in a jar and shake it up), and a rice cake with goat cheese and/or avocado
OR hearty salad (with cheese, nuts, fruit, veg, beans)
OR bean salad (easy prep in crock pot)

Dinner: Grilled meat or fish with veggies
OR stirfry
OR soup (no flour to thicken)
OR lentil and rice dish

Dessert: ice cream (check first-no flavors with pretzels or cake)
OR homemade toffee chunk
OR non-wheat cookie

Snack: Lots of rice cakes with peanut butter, avocado, cheese, bean spread
OR fresh veggies with homemade dip


Hope this can be helpful to you. Please email me with any questions or recipe requests... I have a great recipe for non-wheat pancakes and chocolate covered toffee. (Sorry not vegan)

Best,
Corinne



corinneg

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Re: Success! Exercise, anxiety, and sun migraines and hot head done!

Post  Migrainegirl on Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:03 pm

So glad you found your trigger!! While it may not work for everyone, there are surely some people this will help.
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Migrainegirl

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Interesting

Post  Mini on Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:10 am

This is quite interesting. I have long suspected that flour, especially white flour is harmful, so for several years I only eat brown bread (or rye). IT is also a matter of taste, I dislike white bread it feels like cotton wool, especially the sliced variety. I find it only bearable as a toast (if there is not brown bread available).

I am also not keen on baking or cakes (unless they are exceptionally special). I dislike all pasta of any kind, so this would not be difficult to give up. But I have a friend who is madly keen on baking, her whole family is, and she suffers badly from overheating, just as you describe. She is always too hot She also complains of always being bloated, although she does not eat much. She gets M but only occasionally, so I will mention it to her; I doubt though if she would go wheat free, she likes cakes too much.

My M are more or less under control at the moment, but I would not mind trying wheat free for a while, and to see if this makes any difference. I also noticed that any more extensive exercise, or even intense housework can give me M, so I am always trying to pace myself, even when walking. Fortunately I do not have weight issues to worry about, but of I can get rid of the remaining M, this would be great.

The main problem is that many replacement foods you mention are not practical for me, due to other health issues. But I suppose, with much effort, I could find some substitutes.
For example I love potatoes, in every form, but even I cannot see potatoes for breakfast, Ha, Ha...

BTW beware that tofu, like all other soy products (and soy itself) contain that other M poison, MSG. For most of us MSG is one of the worst M triggers.

Thank you for your post Corinne, I am glad you have found something that works so well for you.
MIni
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Mini

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THanks

Post  corinneg on Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:07 am

Thanks Mini,

Yes, MSG has never seemed to be a trigger for me though, now that you mention it, I think I will keep an eye on it. The non-wheat diet has been amazingly easy to stick with this time because the payoff is so great... no headaches...but other times that I have tried it for weight-loss reasons I have not been able to stick with it...I guess it's perspective. And from what I have read about GM wheat...there's some funky-business going on...supposedly some people do not have the same reactions when they eat heirloom varieties...maybe something to try?

Best to you,
Corinne

corinneg

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Re: Success! Exercise, anxiety, and sun migraines and hot head done!

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