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Headaches/migraines most days of my Whole30

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This is my fourth Whole30. Typically, I eat paleo, but during my last pregnancy, I derailed quite a bit (I get horrible morning sickness that lasts for months on end, and I do anything to survive). At the end of my pregnancy, I cleaned up, did a Whole30 and stayed paleo, mostly. 

 

My son is now 8 months old and the hormonal ride out of pregnancy hasn't been pleasant. I decided to try to correct it the way I corrected it after my first - by eating super clean paleo (i.e. the Whole30) for several months. This time, all I had to cut out of my diet to do so was Diet Coke and occasional gluten free bread like products. 

 

I have a long history of migraines, but they went away after I started eating paleo. They didn't come back in my pregnancy when I derailed either. I've had a couple postpartum this time, but I was induced, so I think they were related to that as they were shortly after having my son. But, sense I started this Whole30 (and I am only a couple of days away from hitting the 30 day mark), I have had a headache almost every day. There has only been five days I have not had a headache. In the last week, I have had a migraine every day, and this is not at all related to my monthly cycle or anything else I can think of. 

 

I've not had an easy Whole30. I'm still waiting for the magic to stick, but I think there is a lot of improvement going on. Despite constant headaches, I've stuck 100% to plan and home cooked all my meals.

 

I'm wondering if anyone has experienced an increase in headaches before they go away on the Whole30, or if anyone might have some kind of input at all on this. I plan to stay on the Whole30 for a while, but the headaches and now migraines are torture. I don't understand why they are coming back when eating paleo has been my cure for them!

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I'm no expert on headaches so take my thoughts with a grain of sea salt. ;)

 

I've noticed lately that I get headaches when I'm dehydrated and when I don't eat enough starchy vegetables. It took a while for me to realize this was the pattern.

 

Are you breastfeeding your son? If so have you been increasing your portions and your starchy vegetable intake to account for that?

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This is not necessarily related to the Whole30, but I am a longtime migraine sufferer.  I found a lot of relief in doing yoga every day.  

 

Migraines are horrible- I am sorry you have to deal with them!  I was home schooled in the 8th grade by a tutor because mine were so debilitating.  Sending good thoughts your way!

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I am on my 4th day of whole30 and I have had a horrible headache since the early morning of day 2.  I rarely get headaches and am hoping that this will not last much longer!  I am enjoying the program and thus far it has been easy for me to follow.  I am drinking more water than I ever have, so it is doubtful that I am dehydrated- but possible.  I also am having difficulty getting in a second meal.  I assume the headaches are related to the sugar I have left behind.  I would appreciate any helpful tips as I have been taking ibuprofen to combat this and that is not helping much.

 

Cheers,

 

Tracy

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Hi Tracy!

 

There's a chance you're under-eating and, in combination with the sugar withdrawals, that's not helping things. Do the very best you can to get in meal 2 every day. Add some starchy veggies in one of your first 2 meals and see if that helps, as well.

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Hey there!

 

Sorry to hear your plight.  Migraines just plain suck.  I've been playing around with my diet for the last year and a half.  If I eat squeaky clean whole 30 I get no migraines.  If I venture slightly of course (even 90/10 paleo) I will get a migraine during the entire length of my period.  They are better and not as severe but I still get them.  We all know it's pretty impossible to have a whole 365 but I am trying for the most part when it is under my control.

 

I don't have any experience with pregnancy hormones/etc but here are somethings to consider (and for me to consider as well) to help puzzle solve.

 

I find probiotics help - ginger kombucha will help my migraine settle.  Keep in mind this is all unhappiness with your gut.

 

When I have the bouts of nausea/don't feel like eating because of the nausea I will survive on the following: Bone broth, sweet potato (or squash) , coconut milk or butter, Mint Ginger tea and Ginger kombucha. Drink no coffee.

 

I have played around with starchy carbs and other veg.  I need to lie low on the nightshade family, as well as pork products.  Unfortunately I can't go too low carb either (hormones were NOT happy with low carb) I need to have a starchy carb everyday.

 

Sugars really effect the migraines as well.  I'm not sure if you are on a whole 30 or not so this is why I mention this.

 

You might consider taking (if you are not already) a magnesium supplement such as Natural Calm.  It helped for me quite a bit.  Especially for sleep.  Plus I have heard migraines can be trigered by having low magnesium levels.

 

SOmething to consider - I have not taken this at any great lengths so I cannot suggest how good it is - Milk Thistle.  This has been recommended to me by a couple of Naturopaths.  I have only started taking it recently. The jury is still out on it.

 

Accupuncture - This helped me quite significantly a number of years ago prior to finding the whole 30.  The migraines never went away completely but they did get much less intense during this time.  Unfortunately it's just espensive and I couldn't afford to do it after a while. (Group Insurance didn't pay for things like this)

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Thank you Robin and Carlaccini this is all good advise!!  

 

I will plan better to get my 2nd meal in and eat more starchy vegetables.  Also I have used calm before for sleeping, but it has been a while.  It really helped and I did not think about using it- I will have to try it again.

 

I do take a probiotic every day and have herd good things about milk thistle.  I go for accupuncture when I can, it does help.

 

Thanks again, I appreciate it.

 

Cheers,

 

Tracy

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I suffer from chronic migraine. I notice once I get over the sugar withdrawal my migraines lessen. One of my triggers is sugar so I feel pretty good while doing the Whole30.

 

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I am currently doing my first ever Whole30, I am on day 6. I have yet to feel any glimpse of this “amazing” feeling people are talking about. I realize that mountains can’t move in just 6 days, but I have been waking up feeling worse and worse..not better. 

 

Since starting Whole30 I have gotten the worst headaches that last literally all day long. I have been hesitant to take Advil as it is not compliant, but last night I caved as I felt my brain was about to pop out. I am eating plenty of fats, and protein with a wide array of veggies and fruits. I’ve been mixing up my foods frequently and listening to my body on when it’s full or not (so I haven’t been limiting myself to small portions). 

 

I started Whole30 to give me more energy and to feel better over all. But I’ve never felt worse in my life..

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@ChloeK I'm sorry you're not feeling well. Some headaches during the first week or so of Whole30 would be normal, but it definitely sounds like you're suffering more than normal.  

Things that might be affecting this include not drinking enough water (aim for 1/2 oz per pound of body weight, so a 120-lb person needs at least 60 oz), not salting your food, or not eating enough or the right mix of foods.

If you're at all unsure about whether your meals are meeting the meal template,  feel free to list a day or two of typical meals along with approximate portion sizes and we can take a look and see if anything stands out.

If the headaches continue or get worse, you might want to contact your doctor just to rule out any non-food-related causes.

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8 minutes ago, ChloeK said:

I am currently doing my first ever Whole30, I am on day 6. I have yet to feel any glimpse of this “amazing” feeling people are talking about. I realize that mountains can’t move in just 6 days, but I have been waking up feeling worse and worse..not better. 

 

Since starting Whole30 I have gotten the worst headaches that last literally all day long. I have been hesitant to take Advil as it is not compliant, but last night I caved as I felt my brain was about to pop out. I am eating plenty of fats, and protein with a wide array of veggies and fruits. I’ve been mixing up my foods frequently and listening to my body on when it’s full or not (so I haven’t been limiting myself to small portions). 

 

I started Whole30 to give me more energy and to feel better over all. But I’ve never felt worse in my life..

Could you give us a rundown on what you are eating, specifically? Include portion sizes, fat and veggie sources etc. How different is Whole30 from how you ate before? The "hangover" period can last the first couple weeks but shouldn't be debilitating. The "energy" you speak of is generally a later-stages thing. But let's see if we can get you feeling a bit better.

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