8 Things You Need to Know About the Keto Diet and Migraine

You're not alone if you've pondered altering your diet to stop migraine episodes. Numerous people cut back on particular meal nutrients because they think they may cause migraines. Some people seek a systematic food plan tailored specifically to migraines, and various these have been put forth over the years.

The ketogenic diet, or simply the "keto diet," is one eating plan that has become the subject of many research investigations and scientific publications.

What is Keto Diet?

According to the keto diet, people should consume items like eggs, grass-fed steak, full-fat milk-based products, and nuts to acquire around seventy to eighty percent of total daily calorie needs from fat, and less of those calories should come from protein and carbohydrates. 

For their vitamin and fiber content, low-carb veggies like spinach, cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, and vegetables are advised; in contrast, meals heavy in carbohydrates like fruits, cereals, sweets, as well as other caloric sweeteners should often be avoided.

Impacts of the Keto Diet

Data shows that a low-carb diet can have immediate advantages such as decreasing insulin resistance, weight management, and declining hypertension, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Yet drastically reducing carbohydrates can also have negative health impacts; common side effects include hunger, exhaustion, constipation, migraines, and "chronic fatigue".

But does the ketogenic diet aid with migraine management? While some doctors are more hesitant about advising low-carbohydrate diets, others think nourishing your mental and physical health with more good fats but fewer carbs may help minimize headaches and migraine suffering.

Migraines: What are They?

Most of the time, migraine headaches, also known as migraines, are characterized by intense pain on the forehead, sides, or back regions of the head, sometimes regarded as throbbing or pulsating. They frequently last four to 72 hours. In contrast, "atypical symptoms" unrelated to pain are present in a small percentage of migraine cases.

The typical list of incapacitating symptoms that accompany a migraine attack includes −

  • Vomiting and nauseousness.

  • Dizziness.

  • A foggy vision.

  • Extraordinary sensitivity to sound, smell, and light.

Up to one-third of migraine attacks are thought to be preceded by an "aura," during which the migraine patient experiences tingling in their limbs, colored spots, bright lights, or any other optical aberrations, or has trouble speaking.

Other factors, such as −

  • Certain foodstuffs could cause migraines in those who are vulnerable.

  • Dehydration.

  • Need for adequate sleep quality.

  • Anxiety.

  • Barometric pressure variations and weather changes.

From individual to individual, migraine frequency varies. In contrast to those with chronic migraines, who have 15 or even more headaches per month on average, other people only get episodes a few times per year, whereas others experience them once or twice every month. Only lower back pain is thought to be more incapacitating on a global scale than migraines.

While anticonvulsants, triptans, and other pharmaceutical types may help prevent migraines, they can also be used to treat acute attacks. The negative consequences of these treatments, however, are frequently unpleasant. Some patients may also get migraines that are resistant to treatment.

Keto-Diet and Migraine

The Body Produces Ketones as a Result of a Ketogenic Diet

As we begin utilizing fat as a source of energy instead of easily accessible sugar or glucose through carbs, ketones, which are acids, are circulated through the bloodstream. Due to their typical high carbohydrate intake, most people rarely reach quantifiable levels of ketones. As a result, their bodies can never transition to using fat as fuel.

The body could use ketones as a substitute for glucose if it is not supplied, even though many cells, especially brain cells, choose glucose as a power resource.

The Keto Diet May stop Seizures in People With Epilepsy, Research Has Proven

Researchers discovered that hunger was a successful treatment for epilepsy patients in the early 1900s, with seizures often subsiding around a period of between two and three days. Soon after, doctors started using the keto diet and other carbohydrate-restricting regimens, such as the Atkins diet or the altered Atkins diet, to effectively cure some people.

Numerous processes overlap between migraine and epilepsy. Sometimes migraine sufferers find relief from their symptoms using antiepileptic drugs such as Depakote (divalproex sodium), Topamax (topiramate), and Neurontin (gabapentin).

The Way That Ketones And Glucose Nourish Cells Differs

The causes of migraines are complex and multifaceted, and one possible factor relates to metabolism. This implies that for the body to be capable of obtaining the energy that comes from the food we intake, the water we drink, and the air we inhale, all of those things need to be metabolized before when the brain can use them as sources of energy. One notion is that whenever a shortage of energy is transferred to the central nervous system, it might produce discomfort in the neurons and subsequently start a migraine. Because our metabolic requirement rises when we are worried, stress can also produce migraines. Our blood flows from the core to our toes, whether to run or fight, and our heartbeat quickens. A significant metabolic requirement exists.

We are in trouble since our cells won't be nourished if we only rely on carbohydrates, glucose, and other sweets. Ketones, however, have three separate approaches to passively enter cells and nourish them when we additionally have them in our bloodstream, as opposed to glucose, which has just one.

The issue lies in the lack of evidence that just before and during a migraine, our cells temporarily become insulin-resistant or less susceptible to the consequences of insulin.

Keto Diet May Lead to Less Migraine Attacks, According to Research

Positive outcomes when the patients adopted a ketogenic diet have been recorded in some short studies or case reports, although the overall sample size has been small.

Those parameters briefly worsened once the ketogenic diet was discontinued, but the group proceeded to recover through the study's conclusion.

Only starting in months three and six, respectively, were there appreciable reductions in the duration spent with a headache, the usage of medicine, and the incidence of attacks in the standard-diet group.

Just Cutting Back On Carbohydrates In Your Diet Could Be Helpful

There is proof that inflammation is linked to migraines, and the biochemical deconstruction of carbohydrates is pro-inflammatory. The typical diet can seriously damage our bodies' metabolic processes; for some individuals, going on a low-carb or ketogenic diet will help them recover from an unbalanced diet. Dietitians advise against a keto diet in favor of a low-carb one. Just cutting back on carbohydrates helps a lot of individuals.

Diets High In Fat And Low In Carbohydrates May Not Be The Best Option For Everyone

Whether the keto diet's advantages exceed its drawbacks is a topic of debate among neurological specialists. It's not conclusive proof. However, there is some support for the idea that a ketogenic diet can reduce migraine frequency. The ketogenic diet may have negative effects on your health, and it might not be suitable for everyone. Also challenging to follow is a ketogenic diet. Try the Mediterranean diet, which is healthier than the typical diet but less restrictive than the keto diet, if you want to enhance your nutrition and reduce your migraine frequency.

Get Expert Assistance if You Wish to Attempt the Keto Diet

Working with your doctor or a nutritionist is a good strategy if you're thinking of cutting carbs from your diet or adopting a full-fledged ketogenic diet to ensure you continue consuming the recommended amounts of nutrients, critical vitamins, and other minerals, including sodium.

Look For Social Assistance To Remain Motivated And Enjoy The Benefits Of Wellness

If you decide to alter your environment to reduce migraines, seek support from friends, family, or a local or online group. Discover strategies to keep happy and motivated; doing so can have a lot of positive effects on your wellness.


A ketogenic diet may help reduce your suffering if you experience migraines.  According to published research and anecdotal accounts, some individuals have successfully reduced their need for medication and the frequency and intensity of their headaches by merely making dietary changes.

No assurances can be made, though. Not every individual who adheres to a ketogenic diet for migraine will probably experience improvement similar to that of epilepsy and other neurological problems.

A nutritious eating strategy like the ketogenic diet, on the contrary side, can offer additional advantages. Giving the ketogenic diet a shot would seem beneficial if it reduces your risk of developing migraine or cluster headaches while improving your health.

Updated on: 07-Apr-2023


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