onAccording to migraine.com, 13% of all American people suffer from migraine headaches – a genetic disorder that causes headaches which are much more painful than the average headache. One of these people is my mom; she regularly complains of splitting headaches that force her to rest up for a certain period of time. Fortunately for my mom and the millions of others that suffer from migraines in this country, a specific diet can help stop your body from having migraines.
As said in a recent blog post by researchgate.net, a ketogenic diet can make migraine patients’ headaches stop altogether. The diet, which was originally created to treat children suffering from epilepsy, tricks the body into thinking that it’s starving. A person who is on a ketogenic diet consumes a significantly smaller amount of carbs and a larger amount of fats than the average person, and this causes the fat metabolism to make “ketone bodies”. The new surplus in fat cells caused by the diet is used to make the ketone bodies; these bodies essentially replace carbs and do their jobs in the absence of carbohydrates. Each individual body acts just like a normal carbohydrate, but they produce more energy than normal glucose cells. As a result, the rest of the body is much more efficient than normal, which reduces stress, and therefore, migraines.
Dr. Cherubino Di Lorenzo, an Italian professor at Sapienza University of Rome, conducted and wrote a report on his study of suppressing migraines. He took 25 migraine-suffering patients to study, but seven of them did not meet the entry requirements he set for the study (i.e. their migraines weren’t bad enough to require this rigorous of treatment). The 18 remaining subjects, who ranged from the ages of 19 to 54, all were put on ketogenic diets for one month. After this month, all of them showed significant improvement in their frequency and severity of migraine attacks. The p-value of this study was found to be less than 1%, so the results were probably not found due to chance. Since Di Lorenzo’s findings matched his hypothesis that the test subjects’ conditions would improve, the results are neither a false positive nor a false negative.
These results are extremely encouraging for those who suffer from migraines in the United States and all around the world. While migraine headaches are genetic and there is no way of preventing yourself from getting them, the fact that something as simple as a diet can almost immediately stop the mind-numbing (no pun intended) pain caused by migraines is a great find and will surely help thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States and in the world. On a personal note, these results are very encouraging for me and my mom. Since migraines are genetically inherited, there’s a chance that I or either of my two siblings suffer from migraines in the future; the fact that they can be “prevented” is fantastic news for everyone in my family.