Ketogenic diet and migraines

Hi has anyone had any long term luck with this diet and migraines? Im a chronic migraine sufferer post viral meningitis. I started the proper strict standard ketogenic diet two and a half weeks ago. Was having a decent dose of daily migraines about two to three weeks straight prior to the diet. A week into the diet, so thats 10 days ago...the migraines stopped. Thats TEN WHOLE DAYS with nothing!!!Oh my god. There is a doctor who has written a book about it and a number of scientific studies in the field yielding good results.

I don't get ten whole days in a row very often. If I get too overtired, if I dont sleep enough, if I work too hard, if I sleep in, if I eat too much sugary food and chocolate, if I have some unusual event.....I will get a migraine. Sometimes I will get one for no reason. And now this....... an excellent result so far. If this means I will never eat more than 20 mg of carbohydrate a day for the rest of my life.......then I am fine with that. There is nothing I wont do to try and live without the migraines. Anyone else know of any other results? This is a super strict diet with high protein and low carb but lots of greens. You can have coffee. Which is good. Or I might have had to kill someone. Anyway, anyone else know anything? I m hoping its not a fluke. But...usually by this time, ten days before the next botox shot, I am hanging for the shots. But not this time.

24 Replies

  • Yes! I posted about it a while back! It's been five months now.

    I did have one humdinger, but I traced that back to an artificial sweetener called erythritol.

    Reading up on it they generally quite a figure of 90% of migraine sufferers are helped by thecketogenic diet. I cannot understand why everyone doesn't try it.

    And in addition to pretty well forgetting what a migraine is like I have said goodbye to heartburn, gastritis and constipation. My brain fog is vastly improved. My sometimes crippling anxiety has gone. I sleep like a log and wake refreshed.

    No food is worth giving all that up!

    Oh, and I have lost weight, I'm lighter than I have been for 20 years!

  • God!!! I'm glad your getting somewhere at last 👍. Ok you got me!! Been looking at this for a while.

    I need to find a book for beginners any ideas? You any ideas Ruthi?

    Remember i have severe TMJD so nothing crunchy! !

  • You may check this website.

  • Thanx Matt 👍

  • Hi , that's fantastic news , ketogenic diet was used for migraines / seizures and other brain disorders before drugs were available so it should work. I follow a milder form of keto but still get mild migraines occasionally so am thinking of going hardcore again! Can you share the name of the book you read and let us know which version of the diet you follow please? ( there are many variations of keto ) thanks

  • Hi Julia, I would very much appreciate hearing what your mild version has been of the ketogenic diet that's brought you some success. I've been reading about Dr. Stanton's protocol for migraine sufferers for awhile now, considering following her diet and lifestyle, or going ketogenic, (which is close to her guidelines), and have actually cut way back on carbs plus adding meat to my vegetarin diet in preparation.

    I am way too thin with severe osteoporosis, so am leery of losing weight and adding so much salt to my diet, but desperate for relief from daily killer migraine if I don't take daily triptans. Viscious cycle.

    I have read testimonial after testimonial of migraineurs finding complete or greatly reduced attacks with this diet-/ or protocol as Dr. Stanton refers to it in her book, as well as from ketogenic eating.

    Please let me know how you've started in a mild way when you have a moment. Thank you, Margauxjean.

  • Hi Margaux jean , I follow the Stanton migraine protocol myself , it's a milder version of keto ( 60gm carb per day) with protein and higher fat. It has definitely helped me and in fact I gained weight so don't worry about losing , I think it depends what your starting weight is.

    Angela does run a keto group as well , which is different from the protocol and is strict keto. (20gm carb) i tried this but found it really hard to stick to when the other four people in my family eat carbs ( I just found it time consuming preparing different meals ) that said I'm considering going back if it eliminates my migraines completely .

    I would recommend you try protocol first then edge your way to full keto if you like it.

  • Thank you for your immediate reply and supportive words, Julia. Take care! Margauxjean.

  • No problem , oh and don't worry about the salt , just like fat it has got a bad reputation for no good reason . Angela has plenty of scientific evidence backing all this up and you can find much of her research on

    Good luck and if you have any other questions I'll be happy to help

  • Hi Julia. I have followed up on the Stanton protocol from your post. I have just ordered the book but on her page, it says that the protocol is not in the book. How did you find out how to follow it??

  • Hi you need to join the Facebook page 'migraine sufferers who want to be cured' you can read up on the files / protocol there before your book arrives. The admins/members are great as is Angela. See you there 😊

  • Brilliant! Joining now!!

  • Good Luck!

    I'm sure you'll be feeling better soon

  • Just received an email from her. Think I am going to go for the one to one!!!!

  • Why can we only buy Ryder this from the USA? I wonder why we can't buy it in the UK.

  • Look at what Angela Stanton has to say about the benefits of this diet. She has written a book and runs a Facebook group for migraine sufferers and special one for migraineurs who want to try the diet. Google her.

  • Hi yes, I too have the last 8wks followed a strict ketone diet, after I was told from my neurologist of 25 years there was nothing else that could be done for me, no med I haven't had this country or abroad and no preventative device that I've not tried, I have had menstral migraine for many years on top and had to go for the drastic measures of havIng ovaries removed too.

    8 weeks in and yes I have to say I'd not go back, I am very strict with any carb at all and if I think of what I eat I don't think most days I even meet the 20gm carb level. I never thought I'd survive on just animal fat really and veg and berries, I do eat nuts but not peanuts or the high carb variety. My saviour if I need a sweet fix is a small amount of dried strawberries and some double cream, there a bit of pud whilst all around me eat cake…!

    Now I'm not going to say I'm migrane free, there are many externel things I cannot control, like u say if I'm tiered, that's a trigger , and majorly,stress, that's my biggest trigger. I think that goes hand in hand with migrane sufferers, we are all wired up that way to a certain extent, also I had a very bad accident on one of my horses last year, my neck was damaged so that will trigger migrane as well , or course,

    so the beast does creep in here and there, but I do seem to be in control of the daily background head ache that never ever went and now there are times when I do know what it's like not to have a head ache, and they won't escalate into days and then a week of migrane, Something that's over the years was getting unheard of for me.

    It is safe to say Josh Turknett which is who's bible I follow, has in some way saved my life so far. His Book The migrane miricale defiantly put me on that correct path.

    I'm not going to say I'm cured, I'm not going to say I'm never going to have migrane again and be free forever , but for me for now it's a no brainier , I'd not go back. No sugar, no grain, no carbs, gluten free etc etc is my life. And bonus I've lost a stone. Not that that matters it's just my way of life now not a diet.

    I do exercise more now too, so although have had injury I have picked up a small amount of running again, the beast hates exercise …! I always feel better after I have waddled round a 3mile slow run with my dog…!!

    I really hope all my experiences help you too, I may have waffled a bit so sorry 😐, but if I could shout it from the roof tops I would, ketone has for and is for now giving me a better quality of life, I really really hope you can stick it out, I'm rooting for you all the way.


  • Search for Angela Stanton in Migraine Sufferers Who Want to be Cured she also has a Keto Group with excellent results 😊

  • I've been following a very low carb (under 40 grams per day) ketogenic diet for about 3 weeks now and have noticed a decrease in migraines. Enough that I think the diet has had an affect on my migraines, severity and frequency.

    But it hasn't eliminated them in my situation. It's decreased them somewhat that I have really noticed it. It's not a cure. Bad stress can still trigger even when on ketogenic.

    It is difficult diet... I find at Lunch at work I'm doing Swiss Chalet (quarter chicken with caear salad (minus the crutons) bun/no fries etc) or A&W Lettuce Burger Wrap (minus ketchup, relish,pickles and mayo). Bring maybe an avocado to work as a snack (high in good fat/protien/nutrients very low carb).

    Mainly it's just veggies and protein I eat on this diet. I have bought some of the atkins bars like their Caramel Chocolaty Nut Roll Snack Bars or Endulge Caramel Nut Chew Treat Bars for "desserts" as their net carbs are around 3 or 2 per bar but you still have to be careful with that....

    I'd suggest others with frequent migraines also try a ketogenic diet, at least for a minimum of 3 weeks. Buy Ketostix (highly recommend this) to self-test yourself daily to ensure your body is actually in ketogenesis (spelling?). It's very easy to do, and that way you know if your actually cutting enough carbs or not. Sometimes people think they are following a ketogenic diet but actually eating hidden carbs or too many and aren't.

  • I discovered Low Carb pretty much same as Keto over a year ago . I had chronic migraines being bed ridden for a lot of the time dosed up to the max on prescribed drugs! Im happy to say since going low carb this has all changed for me' im no longer chronic .i have approx 4 migraines a month though mild not so intense. Im able to think about getting back into work :) so its a win win for me! I feel like i have my life back! I still take my magnesium baths regular and meditate too and am mindful not to get overstressed :) But overall this low carb has been a hugeee help.

  • Are you on any preventive meds or just doing this diet now....i going to check it out i need help and anything is worth a shot!!!!

  • Thank you everyone for your interesting comments. I didnt know that this diet was used for Migrainers. I am seeing more and more parallels with Epilepsy, such as the same medications for both conditions and now the same diet. They will probably decide one day that it is all a spectrum of electrical disturbance conditions and not separate ones.

    Now, I need to research if Vegans can achieve the Ketogenic diet!!

  • Yes me too. I have been Keto since the beginning of January and i have had zero migraines (before which i was having 2-3 migraines a week, and they were severe) really does work! Also the more i read about 'sugar' the more i realise it really is a poison to the body. Infact many experts are saying that Alzheimer's & Parkinson's have a direct correlation to the bodies intolerance to sugars in our diets. I've heard Alzheimer's being referred to as type 3 diabetes. Anyway, it has definitely worked for me. Although the first 3 weeks i did have some Keto flu like symptoms which were tough. But so worth persisting. In fact the last few weeks i have started to introduce a few more carbs to see how my body would react, and it has had an instant negative result. I developed a migraine for the first time this week. It was after having dates in a nut based energy dessert & a stew which also had some gluten grains in it, my body did not like it at all. But as the weeks roll on i am craving my old sugar habits less and less, i do miss bread the most but even then, there are alternatives. In my experience Ketogenic eating really does work to reduce if not stop migraines, and once we drop out of the sugar addiction (including high carbs) it starts to become obvious what a negative impact it has on health, hormones & energy levels. I know my migraines are also hormonally driven as always very active just before and at the beginning of menstruation. But stabilising the blood sugar ratio really helps, plus taking daily Magnesium and Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2). Good luck and so good Keto is working for you, it's such a relief no longer having to relying on a drug based protocol to find a solution.

  • Hi everyone thanks for the replies and info. I'm still taking Botox injections every three months, small doses of propranolol 20 mg twice a sat and 30 mg endep once at night. But mostly slowly reducing the drugs. I mean really slide like 10 mg less a month. Thanks for the links to the Angela Staunton page too. Let's hope it keeps working and all the best to everyone.

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