We’re so happy to hear from Jennifer who has reaped fantastic benefits on a keto diet. Here’s her story about healing from debilitating migraines and digestive issues:
I grew up eating a varied diet. We were encouraged to eat lots of vegetables and a variety of protein, however we ate a lot of sugar in the form of homemade cookies and desserts every single day. At lunch time while in school I never wanted to eat the “healthy” lunch my mother packed. I used to toss it and go buy ice cream or candy from the canteen. I struggled with constant allergies and stomach issues all my life. Regardless of what I ate I never had problems with weight unless I took certain medications or artificial hormones like birth control or later in life HRT.
At 36 I began to have constant migraines with aura. The kind of migraine that makes you blind out of one side of the head and they caused me extreme panic attacks because every time I had one I thought I was having a stroke regardless of the fact that sometimes I had 2 or 3 of these migraines a week. I had two MRI’s to try and diagnose why I was getting these migraines constantly. I had all sorts of neurological exams done at a clinic in Germany but no doctor could tell me how to prevent them from happening. They gave me all sorts of medication from Imitrex to Depoprovera hormone shots to Amitriptyline (that caused some serious weight gain). None of the treatments worked and all caused side effects ranging from weight gain to getting even worse headaches and numbness and tingling in my left arm. At 40 I developed diverticulitis and once again went on a world tour to try and find out what could be done so as not to have so many frequent bouts of diverticulitis which all doctors treated with massive amounts of antibiotics which made me even sicker by destroying my gut flora. I knew that both the diverticulitis and the migraines had to be caused by what I was eating but not one doctor that I saw would admit that or advise me on what to eat.
In August of 2016 I was very sick and suicidal due to constant migraines and stomach pain. As always I was researching and trying different diets. I had tried the FODMAP elimination diet and paleo with limited success. I say limited success because I had a hard time regulating my blood sugar with both of those diets because I was eating a lot of fruits and making desserts with coconut sugar or maple syrup.
I was at my wits end as acupuncture and medications weren’t working, I was becoming more and more house bound, living in pain and fear that I would get a migraine while I was driving the car and not be able to see and fortunately I ran across the keto, low-carb diet.My biggest challenge was reintroducing dairy into my diet because from eating in the paleo way which eliminates dairy completely for 3 years I believed dairy was the cause of my diverticulosis but in two weeks after eating strict low carb with lots of organic dairy I was better! Another important thing I did was eliminate alcohol completely. I was as much an alcoholic as I was a sugarholic. Both are drugs that caused me other serious side effects such as tachycardia and the last time I consumed alcohol I even had convulsions.
I love to cook ( I had a farm to table gastropub years ago) so when I found the Diet Doctor website I was in heaven with all the great recipes! Watching the Diet Doctor webinars with the experts was very encouraging as that was my main support because no one else I knew was eating this way – not for long though because when my friends and family found out I was getting better I got the chance to advocate this way of living and share your website. There are now several people on the island I lived on in the Bahamas following your tips!My stomach pain never came back. I attribute that to eliminating grains and sugar. In the last 15 months I had 2 migraines versus the usual 3 a week I had for 18 years! The only reason I had those two migraines at all was because I was careless with what I ate and decided to indulge by eating bread made with wheat flour. No worries! I learned my lesson and no wheat bread is worth a migraine especially when there are so many delicious ways to prepare low-carb food!
The only thing I wish I’d known before I started was that this way of eating was a cure for my symptoms and that I had learned this 40 years ago! I can’t thank you enough for sharing this life-changing diet! I am a new woman, healthier than ever before, full of energy (I used to feel like I needed a nap everyday after lunch), the brain fog is gone, I lost the 10 lbs (5 kg) of HRT weight I had put on, I sleep better and require less sleep. I get up every morning for yoga at 6:00 am and I have the freedom to travel and do whatever I please without being paranoid about having stomach pain or a blinding migraine!
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Jennifer – we’re so glad to hear that you’re doing so well on a keto diet.
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More success stories
Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.
It would also be greatly appreciated if you shared what you eat in a typical day, whether you fast etc.