Keto for Migraine: 1 Month Update


I have heard SO many negative comments about the Ketogenic diet and I completely understand. For your normal everyday person a low-carb lifestyle might not doctor recommended. The Keto diet was created for people with Epilepsy and works well for other Neurological conditions. I have chronic migraines and there is no “cure”. I was told that Keto may lessen my symptoms and it sounded better than trying another medication.

One month ago I started following the Ketogenic diet. This is my third attempt and I was really successful on my first two so I went in very hopeful. My other two attempts were more for weight loss so I didn’t track my migraines as much as I should have. This time I’m trying to only focus on my headaches and migraines.

How were my migraines this past month?

I actually had a really great month overall! I caught a nasty cold but I didn’t let that stop me from following the meal plan that I had created. There was no guarantee that Keto would help me but I’m happy to report that I am feeling better! I’ve known for the past couple of years that sugar is a trigger for me so it makes sense that not eating sugar would have a big impact on my overall health. I basically cut my migraine days in half so far!

One of the hardest parts of chronic migraine for me is rebound headaches which are also called medication overuse headaches. I couldn’t beat my headache cycle so I started taking ibuprofen or another type of over the counter pain medication every day to get me through. This constant use of medicine started causing rebound headaches and I ended up in a never-ending headache. By eliminating my triggers I am hoping to be able to end this vicious headache cycle.

Have I lost any weight?

Yes, I’ve lost a little over 10 pounds in a month. In reality I’d like to lose 30 more to be at my “normal” healthy weight. I wrote my weight gain story here if you’d like to understand more about why I say my “normal” weight. Most of the weight loss at the beginning of Keto is just water weight and I’m really not concerned about losing weight at this point. I am tracking it in my migraine journal but it’s not my main goal right now.

Has Keto been hard? 

Not really! I have found myself reading my cookbooks and looking forward to grocery shopping and meal prep. I’m learning new recipes and I feel more confident than ever in the kitchen. My overall mood has improved so much and I think a lot of it has to do with Keto.

My sugar cravings went away after about two weeks. I don’t feel deprived of anything though! I eat a square of my favorite dark chocolate after dinner and that keeps the sugar cravings away. I’ve also found substitutes for my favorite snacks like salt and vinegar almonds instead of chips.

Let me know if you have any questions about Keto! I am not a doctor so please ask yours before you start any new “diet” program. I hate calling this a diet and I only feel the need to share how I am doing for others with migraines who may find this helpful.


Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash



17 thoughts on “Keto for Migraine: 1 Month Update

  1. Paul says:

    Good to hear that Keto is helping mitigate the migraines! Do you find that salt also triggers them? Because I think that might be the cause of some of my headaches.


    • Life of Hayley says:

      Thank you! Yes, I have found that salt can trigger my headaches. Sugar is my worst trigger but salt is also high on the list. I try to avoid foods high sodium levels. I’d recommend avoiding salt as much as possible if you have found it to be a trigger and see if that helps!

      I’ve been liking Keto because it makes it easy to identify foods that may be triggering my migraines. I’ve also done the elimination diet and found it much harder follow so I’m glad to be doing well on Keto!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        That’s great! I feel like they should teach this kinda stuff in school, so we’re aware of how to take care of ourselves before problems creep in.

        My headaches have been a lot less frequent over the last 8-10 months. I only had 2 in January! I’m more mindful of how much salt I’m eating, but a big thing for me was getting a new pair of glasses with an updated prescription. I guess I didn’t realize how much strain on my eyes my glasses were causing.


      • Life of Hayley says:

        I completely agree! We are tossed out into the world clueless about the things that really matter.

        That’s great news!! You have inspired me to make an eye appointment haha. I’ve been putting if off for way too long. Do you have the blue light blocking on your glasses? I have blue light glasses for work and they have been helping my headaches a lot! I spent a lot of time on the computer for work though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Awesome! Yup, mine have the blue light protection and I really think it’s made all the difference. I was skeptical at first, but I’ve been so much better since getting them.


  2. Chanelle says:

    I suffer from bad headaches too. Glad this has been helping you, will you keep up with it? I’d love to see some of the substitutions you’ve made and your favourite meals etc.


    • Life of Hayley says:

      I am planning on doing Keto for at least three months but if I keep feeling better I think I’ll do it for much longer or at least follow a lower card or gluten free diet. That’s a great idea! I have so many substitutions now for my favorite foods. I’ll have to put together a post. I’ve been loving almonds, veggies, avocado anything, and dark chocolate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chanelle says:

        That sounds like a great idea! Id love to cut back on sugar a little bit, I don’t eat a big amount and I do prefer savoury food to sweet but I don’t enjoy the taste. Looking forward to a post 😊


  3. Rosie Culture says:

    How long do you think you’ll stay on keto? It’s honestly tempting because I’ve heard of so many good weight loss stories, but I can’t get behind it. My migraines are stress and hormone triggered and I only have 1-2 a month so I don’t think I would benefit from it in that sense.


    • Life of Hayley says:

      I’m planning on doing Keto for at least three months in order to get enough data on my migraines but honestly I will probably keep doing it after that. I feel really good and I’m able to pinpoint what foods are triggering my migraines or foods that could be possible allergens. I have a ton more energy and just feel better overall. I don’t think it’s the best idea for everyone to do but I would give it a shot if you are wanting to learn more about how your body reacts to certain foods.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hunida says:

    That’s so amazing keto has cut your headaches in half, wow!! I am so happy for you, Hayley, I hope eventually you won’t have any at all & hey, losing 10 lbs while you were at it?! Nice!!!


  5. Paula says:

    Keto helped my partner to eliminate chronic inflammation and joints problems, so it works for different health issues. But as you said, it might not be great for everyone. And I also think that strict keto might not be the best idea as a lifestyle, but lower carb and low processed food could be definitely good for everyone.


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