Does the Keto Diet Help Migraines? (Why Your Migraines Will Thank You For Saying No To Keto!)

Jul 06, 2021

People often ask me about the keto diet and migraines. Could the benefits of the keto diet help your body become migraine-free?

It’s a fair question.

It’s natural for people who suffer from migraines to wonder how their diet affects their migraines.

But what you put into your body affects more than just your waistline — it affects every aspect of your health. 

And since the ketogenic diet is continuing to grow in popularity, I thought I’d address it. 

There are many nutritional strategies that are good for migraines — but the keto diet gets a hard “no” from me.

It won’t help your migraines, and in fact, it might cause more problems.

Here’s why your migraines will thank you for saying no to keto.

What is the Keto Diet?

The Ketogenic Diet (Keto) is an eating plan that is low in carbohydrates and high in fat.

Many diets suggest cutting carbs to lose weight. But keto takes this a step further and replaces carbs with fats.

Ordinarily, the body burns carbohydrates for energy. That’s why grains like rice are staples in diets across cultures. But when the body is low on carbs, it begins to burn other macronutrients for fuel — namely fat.

This is the principle behind the keto diet. It forces your body to go into a state called “ketosis” where you burn fat. To keep this metabolic state going, those on the keto diet have to consume a high amount of healthy fats. (Think avocado, nuts and fatty fish.)

It’s normal for someone trying to lose weight to fixate on the idea of burning fat. 

But before going keto, there are some things you need to consider.

Why Keto Diet is Bad

The keto diet is a complete 180 from your typical eating plan.

While reducing carbs helps you cut fat quickly, weight loss is difficult to maintain.

Many people find the diet difficult to keep up within the long term and any health benefits are quickly reversed

The extreme reduction in carbs also leads to some dangerous deficiencies. People notice a lack of energy quickly. Because the keto diet cuts out fruits and healthy grains many also become low in important vitamins and nutrients.

Excessive intake of protein and lack of fiber can damage the kidney and contribute to intestinal issues.

Many on the keto diet also notice their body breaking down muscle. 

How Does the Keto Diet Affect Migraines?

But what about the keto diet’s effect on the brain? Could it help with migraines?

Since people with epilepsy are sometimes encouraged to go keto, migraine sufferers might wonder if they’d benefit too.

But a ketogenic diet is particularly hard on people with migraines. Here’s why:

1.The Keto Flu

When you start the keto diet you will likely suffer the “keto flu.” 

As your body switches over to burning fats instead of carbs, you’ll experience flu-like symptoms. Think sweats, jitteriness, fatigue, irritability, nausea and headaches.

Did you catch that last one? Headaches!

Why would anyone who already suffers from migraines want to start a diet that results in headaches?! 

To make matters worse — they can last for up to two weeks

2.Chronic Low-grade Stress

Most people (and many that don’t even know it) have chronic low-grade stress.

When this happens, the body releases adrenaline so often that the adrenal glands become fatigued.

This causes many different side effects including: 

  • Interrupted sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty maintaining body temperature
  • And you guessed it — headaches

When your blood sugar levels are low, the adrenal glands produce adrenaline to tell the liver to generate glucose.  

But if you have low blood sugar like many are on a keto diet, this becomes a problem. Your adrenals are already running overtime. They’re fatigued and the keto diet will only tire them out more.

3.The Loss of Essential Minerals

Ketosis has a diuretic effect. Put simply, it causes you to pee.

Most of the weight lost at the beginning of keto is water weight. But along with all of this water, you also lose a lot of essential minerals. 

Many of the people I help already have nutritional deficiencies. And these deficiencies are often a contributing factor to their migraines. So any diet that removes essential minerals from their bodies can only be harmful.

Keto Diet and Migraines - Does it Actually Help?

No. The Keto diet and migraines do not go well together. In fact, your migraine symptoms could make become worse!

The keto diet causes many of the same symptoms as migraines, so I recommend you avoid it at all costs!

Instead, I teach all my clients how to eat in a way that is health-supporting, but also for the busy lives they lead.  

One that allows them to enjoy birthday parties (and birthday cake!) without getting a migraine.  

You can’t do that if you have to stay in ketosis!

If you want to learn how to heal your migraines naturally, grab my free info pack on 5 Steps to Healing Migraines Naturally

I’ve helped dozens of women like you conquer their migraines and I’d love to help you too.

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