Sunday, May 01, 2011

Oh my aching head.

I hate it when there's a long pause between blog posts on a blog that I read, and when a new post finally shows up, the blogger spends an inordinate amount of time making excuses and apologizing for the silence.  So, I'm not going to do that. I haven't blogged in a while. Now I'm back. Make of that what you will.

So I'm trying out this new migraine plan, based on this book by David Buccholz, Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Plan for taking charge of the pain. I can't remember where I heard of this book, just that I kept coming across references to it on various headache sites and finally thought I'd see what all the fuss was about. Thankfully, there was a Kindle version available because I am both impatient and lazy.  Keep in mind that I am full of snark and skepticism, and am the first person to mock "self-help" books and whatever diet plan is the flavor of the month. But I also have chronic headaches and migraines, and it sure would be nice to not have them control my life anymore. So I read the book. And, despite being soap-boxy and arrogant and overbearing, it pretty much makes sense. The author explains the three steps to taking control of your headaches: Stop taking "quick-fix" abortive migraine meds that are causing rebound headaches, eliminate dietary triggers, then try a preventative medication to raise your migraine threshold. The premise, while the author doesn't delve too deeply into the physiologic explanation, does make sense: you can't control external headache triggers (stress, sleep, barometric pressure), you CAN control internal triggers, such as diet and caffeine. And triggers are cumulative, so while peanut butter may not give you a headache one day, on another day when other triggers have accumulated peanut butter will be enough to hit your threshold, and BOOM. Headache.

I'll give this plan a try, since it can't hurt, and maybe it will even help. The diet is kind of hard to stick to: no caffeine, no citrus or bananas, no hard/aged cheeses, among other things. Eventually I'll try to add things back in on a trial basis, since I can't fathom an existence without onions, garlic, yogurt, parmesan, or lemons. So far so good, but it's only been about a week. I'm down to about half a cup of coffee in the morning, and I plan to taper that to nothing by the end of the week. I haven't had any headaches but it's early days yet. I have "cheated" a bit, but in tiny amounts. Like tonight I had caesar dressing on my salad, which usually contains some "forbidden" ingredients: anchovies, lemon, parmesan.

I'll try to post updates with my progress and results on here. I'm having trouble finding recipes for this diet, so maybe I'll post some of my attempts to modify recipes to fit the diet on here.

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