Headaches are becoming all the more common in our society, and the impacts of this ailment are becoming all the more clear, from decreased workplace productivity to general adverse health effects.
The problem with headaches, as they’re treated nowadays, is we only focus on treating the pain once it has started. Rarely do we aggressively target what is causing the headaches to prevent them in the future. That’s why we need to look at lifestyle changes. Here are some things I want you to consider as you figure out how to avoid suffering from headaches.
Migraine headaches represent a serious health issue in America today, and the statistics are staggering. As many as 13% of adults experience migraine headaches, and as many as 5 million experience at least one migraine attack each month. In fact, more than 90% of people who have a migraine headache are completely unable to function normally during such an episode. They experience symptoms far worse than those associated with the common migraine headache, such as pain, light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting.
Genetic and environmental factors both play an important role in the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. For instance, migraines are more common in women, and more than 70% of migraine patients have a family history of the disorder. A full 25% of patients with migraine headaches have one or more migraines each week! The standard approach of many healthcare practitioners to migraine headaches is typically two-pronged: drugs are prescribed to reduce migraine frequency and to provide immediate relief during an episode. But before prescription drugs are utilized, I think it’s useful to take a step back and ask an important question: what could be increasing the risk that any particular person would suffer from these debilitating headaches?
In Grain Brain, I found a book that had resonated with what I had for so long believed to be the truth about optimal health. Prior to reading, I had suffered from severe headaches since I was eleven.
Once I stopped eating gluten, lowered my carb intake, and increased my fat intake, my condition suddenly began to improve! Now, I rarely get headaches, and if I do they go away quickly. I also lost weight and my overall mood has improved. I’m very happy with my results!
Three weeks ago, a friend of mine, who has IBS, told me to eliminate flour and sugar after I told her about my symptoms of painful, achy feet, ankles and knees. In addition, I was experiencing migraines every other day, regular fatigue, and persistent brain fog!
Three weeks in, after cutting gluten and sugar from my diet, I exhibit none of those symptoms at all! I have only had two headaches in the past three weeks and my energy levels are at an all-time high!
If you haven’t had a chance to explore it yet, the Science section of this website is filled with scholarly articles and research on topics ranging from the relationship of diabetes to Parkinson’s, to the efficacy of the ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy. If you have a question, it’s likely that the answer to it can be found in one of the studies that exists in this area. Recently, I added two new studies, both published this year, which are products of my recent research. Their findings continue to reinforce the conclusions I reached in Grain Brain.
Peter’s ability to point to these concrete examples of how his life has improved since taking on a Grain Brain lifestyle is wonderful. I’m so glad to see the many different ways in which this change has helped him. -Dr. Perlmutter
Two weeks after starting Dr Perlmutter’s suggested regiment I count these four successes:
- I am actually enjoying my meals. They’re more flavorful and fun to prepare.
- I was initially motivated by the possibility of lessening depression: my mood has been even, without feeling either manic nor depressed.
- No days lost to sinus headaches nor brain fog. This was a weekly occurrence for many years.
- I’ve laundered my size 38 jeans and put them away, hopefully forever. This was an unsought benefit but makes for a great encouragement to continue.
I am a 68 year old man who was given over to excessive quantities of sugary breads like cinnamon buns and doughnuts, as well as moderate consumption of beer and grain alcohols. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say Dr. Perlmutter’s book has changed my life.