Monday, March 22, 2010

The Zen of Migraines or How I Learned to Love Kale.


I used to suffer from severe migraines. At my worst, I would get 6-8 a month, and it was not uncommon for them to be so bad they would cause me to vomit. I suffered through them for years before finally getting them diagnosed. I didn’t even know that they migraines until I was at the doctor’s office for a physical when I had a major migraine going on and I fell over during the eye exam. The doctor put me on some pretty good meds that took away the pain but left me groggy.

After some research, I figured out that consuming large amounts of dairy products was a contributing factor so I switched to soy milk and greatly reduced my cheese intake. That reduced the migraines to 2 or 3 a month and frankly, I was happy with that.

Five years ago, my mate and I got memberships to our local gym. We incorporated regular exercise into our lives and I was surprised that regular exercise (3-5 times a week) reduced the frequency of my migraines even more, about 1 a month on average.

Over a year ago, I was diagnosed with a certain type of kidney disease. As part of my treatment for this I have had to change over to a diet low in protein (especially animal protein), greatly reduce my salt intake, eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and pretty much eliminate fast food out of my diet. I can’t have any alcohol or ibuprofen and I have to get lots of exercise. And guess what…my migraines are gone, completely. Like I haven’t had one in over 6 months.

Apparently, all of the things that were causing them to begin with were the same things that I now need to do for myself and my kidneys. Isn’t funny how everything works out sometimes?

This last weekend, I was throwing a bit of a food tantrum and ate some stuff on Saturday I shouldn’t have. Sunday morning I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine. That gave me such a jolt that I immediately threw out the leftover bad stuff in the fridge and begged the health gods and my body for forgiveness.

Go vegetables!