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My Journey on my Elimination Diet For Migraines

For years i have experience migraine associated vertigo (MAV) which is essentially a migraine condition that causes vertigo. I dont always know i am having the migraine but instead I’m dizzy, off balance, or can fall to the floor. Some days i can just feel tired, fatigued, feel sick or just generally not well. However, other times and i more than well aware i am having the migraine and like any migraine suffer will tell you, am bound for my bed in the dark and begging for quiet and lots of sleep! With the vertigo and dizziness this adds another dimension entirely…

I noticed what I was eating was effecting my migraines, so i had cut out caffeine, chocolate, msg, cheese and a lot of dairy, aspartame, alcohol, and gluten (this is a family thing anyway as we have coeliac in the family so i have cut this out since my 20’s) but this has taken me 15-20 years to figure the food thing out by trial and error.

Having tried many different therapies, seen many doctors and even been to Harley street and still not to far forward, i have decided to seek the help from a nutritionalist and a doctor team.

So i thought it would be fun to write a bit of a blog about my journey and it may help others who are on a similar journey to mine or that have an interest in diet and nutrition, as anybody suffering with migraines or vertigo will tell you this is not fun, so if i can help just one person – my job is done!

November 2018

So i have spoken to my dietitian at London dietitian and arranged a meeting with them in December to see both her and the Doctor. We have decided to start straight away and run a batch of tests to get an idea of whats going on. So stool tests, hormonal tests and blood tests which should give them a clearer picture. We have a long chat and i feel quite excited to start. A friend of mine has been on this journey with this team and had amazing results with her psoriasis. She had a terrible case and was on a whole host of heavy duty drugs which wasn’t solving the problem – a year later and she doesn’t have any trace of it and feels great! so i feel like i’m giving it a good go and worse case scenario i have to be investing in my health! So having seen it first hand it made me think what could it do for me?

So my stool sampling kit comes through the post along with my hormonal kit for me to carry out and send back. Lets just say i follow the instructions for the stool sampling which needs to be done over 3 days, and call for the courier to collect them! The hormonal testing is a lot more in-depth and I need to do this at specific times of the month and then do it at set times of the day and drink set amounts of water, it’s a lot more in depth than another test I’ve ever had done before! I’m very interested in this test as I’m convinced this is hormonal lead but every test I’ve had done at the gp has come back normal and it doesn’t add up! I feel very hormonal and I’m convinced I’m in peri menopause and the doctors have pointed me in this direction but I have no evidence and my body hates and hormones in my body and makes my migraines so much worse so I don’t know what to do!! I feel i am left in limbo as nobody knows what to do with me and there is no further treatment almost to give me and the pill put me in bed and mini pill was terrible and made me awful and migraines worse! This seems to be as far as GPs or my consultant want to look at my hormones and how this work with my migraines and the options i have to work with my hormones.

December 2018

The week before xmas i go to see the nutritionalist, in Richmond. Sadly the doctor is ill so we have to rebook our appointment. The appointment is very thorough though and very informative. She has my stool sample back and knows what work we need to do.

I have one infection in my gut which we are going to kill off. This will take a few months. The inflammation in my gut is not to bad which is good to know but could be better so we will work on this. We will have work to do on making the gut more balanced and a better environment and bringing bacteria and other organisms to the gut. So lots to do. We are also going to work on making sure all I’m putting in my diet my body is happy receiving also and healing the gut lining. It was such a informative and interesting appointment.

We are going to start an elimination diet straight away (no time like the present!) and start on a range of supplements.

So we are eliminating so many items including just a few examples;

Then there is a list of migraine foods, such as•Sulphates•yeast•broccoli•spinach•beetroot•cranberries•some nuts•avocados

This is actually quite tough as being gluten free and taking out corn, tomatoes and avocado I will find pretty hard too.

So the first week I felt really good! Wow I like this diet!! Apart from not knowing what to eat?! And having to be very prepared and Ocado ingredients list is becoming my friend!! And relearning how to shop.., I like this…. I have received my supplements which apart from some multivitamin and magnesium I’ve never seen anything like this!

week 2… it’s a different story, my period comes and I feel terrible! In fact I look terrible. I’m dizzy, Im having spins, I have migraines on and off and I’m tired. This continues on and although I’m taking the supplements and eating well I don’t feel like a health guru. They have warned me it’s not like a miracle it’s slow to begin with and keep going but this bits hard and I am pretty hardy, this condition is not for the faint hearted! Lol 😂 and I’m pretty patient now but by week 4/5 I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it! There is some positives my feet are amazing, the skin is soft, I have these weird red spots on my feet that never go away which I know are linked to my vertigo and they have gone!! Odd… but amazing but I was hoping for more to be honest but it’s a good change but I feel like I’ve climbed a mountain and given so much up and not gained much but I’m telling myself this will take some time!

But finally by about week 5, I wake up one Sunday morning and it’s like a miracle…. I feel amazing! Just like that…. it happens to be on my sons birthday and I have a house full of guests I’m cooking for! It’s like a doddle and I love it 💕 it’s amazing how you get used to struggling and it becomes your normal.

So that’s continued really for 12 days now… and no migraine now for 12 days… that’s a miracle…. 😊👍

I have had spins but they have changed, they are quick and there is no migraine after which would always happen! That is amazing and they think so too. The spins are different too so it’s all change. Change is good.

End of January 2019

So I went back for a follow up appointment on Thursday last week to see the doctor (Daniela) and the nutritionist (Lynda) now that was an interesting appointment. My hormone test was back! No wonder I was feeling the was I was! My oestrogen was sky high and my progesterone was so low! This would cause migraines in its self! My cortisol levels were flatline, no wonder I was tired 💤 in turn this would effect my hormone levels and blood pressure. So there is lots of work to be done. There was lots of other info but to be honest I’m not a doctor but the main thing is I have answers and reasons now, it all makes sense. They also have reasons for why I’m spinning too which was all to do with my treatment. Amazing! The great news is they think it’s all doable and they have the answers. Even better I have been feeling so much better! And no migraines!! We are by no way there yet and to be honest that’s the beauty I have way more better to feel yet!

I had had these crazy spots on my feet for donkeys years which was always there but got worse when my vertigo and migraines were worse, they were always in a line and never itched or were painful  nobody knew what they were.  These have disappeared and the skin on my feet are amazing and baby soft!  amazing….

So we are putting in place the next stage of the plan.  We are still killing of the bacteria in the gut but changing the supplements slightly changing too and hoping this should ease the spins too soon.  The toxin levels should start to lower in my body which should help. 

I have to look at getting any toxins down too in my body – so lower the plastics, the heavy metals, water filter, hormone interrupters etc.  Im quite good with natural products etc but i have made further changes and swapped all my products over to Tropic products that are all natural and loving my new deodorant which is hands down the best deodorant ive ever used! and changed my daughter too (also made me become an ambassador was so good – (see http://claireskitchentwyford.com/2019/03/19/fell-fresh-deodorant-challenge/) my cleaning products are natural too. 

 We are still on elimination and migraine diet but we are moving onto the next stage of the plan that is repair stage. So this is my supplements for this stage…

along with this as many antioxidants as I can get in my diet and eat the colours of the rainbow! 🌈. Today I got in 21 portions of fruit and veg!! I didn’t think that was possible but once you get into the mindset it’s actually quite easy. So I have to think colour colour colour… you will find some of me inspired recipes on my site that I’m creating along the way!!

These wraps have been a saviour to me too i have been eating these for lunch, breakfast and dinner!! and you can batch cook these too! such a time saver!

Gluten/Dairy and Egg Free Wraps (Vegan)

I will not lie the diet is pretty hard going and you have to be pretty dedicated and have to plan ahead and its quite hard to grab things on the go! Eating out is tricky. Im still getting some spins, but still no migraines which i find just a miracle and i cannot quite believe it – i am literally counting up the days!!

My head is feeling alot clearer and i can actually think and i feel like the dots are connecting and feeling much more like my old self! wow that in itself is great. I have had two period has stretched out too and gone from 23 days to 29 days and i no longer have the horrendous pain at the end of my period too or the extreme fatigue the week before and getting alot more energy. I do have to remind myself to pace myself as i am my own worst enemy and will feel great and overdo it and wonder why i am feel so tired – they have to keep reminding me i am healing and my body is going through great changes and to rest, eat well, do little and often and pace myself. If i do totally over do it i feel like im going to get a migraine but thankfully its not gone that far and this is my warning and im learning to listen to stop and rest! Im still getting some spins but these are no way like they were and not like my normal vertigo – it has changed and they are quick and when it comes they come quick and pass and i can can get up and carry on as before i would be wiped out!

February 2019

So we are continuing on with the elimination diet still – no change – i am finding this harder now as i am feeling like i am running out of options and having to put more work in and have to be creative. I am really enjoying have my smoothies every morning and i really look forward to this – i am noticing my skin is wonderful and the tiny odd spots on my feet and fingers have been gone now for so long!

Been feeling much better and so much so decided to take the plunge and we have booked a skiing holiday with a flight to Geneva!! This is a BIG deal as not flown in over 20 years!! the last few times i had flown did not go so well and my ENT consultant had told me it was probably best i didnt fly again due to my balance and my ears not being able to cope. Due to this upturn and the disappointment of not being able to abroad family holidays with my family (we did do france last year which was a major thing for me but this was on eurostar!) i thought lets do it!

March 2019

However 2 weeks before my trip, i had a downturn and had a migraine 🙁 This was a big blow for me as i had been doing so well and had got so used to it. I tried to get up and continue on as i had commitments, (you know what us mums are like!) and sadly passed out in the kitchen…. ive never done this before – thankfully i did recover quickly and was back up again the next day although i did take it very easy as i was now petrified of my impending trip! now i thought this was the worst idea id ever had! My functional doctor wanted to to get blood tests immediatley to check what was going on which i did. And i knew what i needed to do, eat good food, sleep, rest and relax, thankfully that worked and before i knew it i was back to health and on that flight! The flight was great and i even skiied on the holiday!! i did pace myself as its tiring at the best of times so it tired me quickly but i know what to do and we had a fab time and i was so pleased with my progress and never thought i would see myself doing this!! amazing

My blood tests came back and these were showing that actually i was doing quite well, vitamin d levels good, fasting insulin good, the supplements were doing their job and my body was responding. My hormone levels were improving but actually its looking as though i PCOS which is interesting…. Looking back as to why i collapsed and had a migraine, i was coping with alot of stress which will of not helped me! this could explain this as my system is not strong and i would have overdone it! Hence the migraine.

April 2019

So we had another catch up and we have now decided to move onto the next stage . So we are going to introduce some natural progesterone support to help my hormone levels now. We are continuing with the supplement support and althought i am continuing with the elimination diet and removing the migraine foods we can now start the reintroducion phase!! yeah – part of me is looking forward to eating some different foods again – tomatoes i have really missed and coconuts as i can eat vegan cheese!! but part of me is a little scared as i dont want the migraines back!! just incase anything causes one…. so lets see what happens…..

one thing is for sure though is we are now booking a summer holiday abroad with the kids and looking forward to doing more!! i have started to get my diary out now and hoping i can be more reliable now 🙂 so lets watch this space people and i hope this can be of help to just one of you xx

June 2019

So my reintroduction of foods has not gone so well. So I’ve tried about 5 items including beef, tomatoes, coconut, corn and it’s not going to well. The little spots on my fingers are flaring up and after a few weeks a few spots on my feet too. My hands and my feet are so dry and feeling uncomfortable. The spots are sometimes coinciding with some migraines (all be it not as long lasting and intense) I feel like I’ve taken a step backwards. So I am going back to elimination as my body clearly does not like this and I’m taking another supplement to ensure I have killed off the bacteria in my gut. Disappointing I know not to be eating more interesting food groups but i really want to get to the bottom of it and can’t bare to feel unwell again. At this stage 6 months in, When on the elimination diet I’m feeling amazing, so much more energy, head clarity, and the best but no migraine or vertigo! Im back to exercising and driving and working at full capacity and loving it! So nice to have my life back 🤗 (I’m still on my daily smoothies and will not be stopping this) and great clean eating, fingers crossed this biotin does the trick. All my hair, body and skincare as well as make up us all natural so no hormone distributors and nasties for me! And I’m loving being a Tropic ambassador too and sharing the love. My cleaning products are all natural too.

We have booked 2 abroad holidays and can’t wait which is something I’ve not managed for 20 plus years!! We are also camping and going on a boat, things I would never considered for years!! And booked and gone to so many events (something I would never do before as I couldn’t guarantee I would be well!! What joy 😃

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