My personal science taught me that (a) there are useful things health experts don’t know (b) that the rest of us can discover. I am curious how these discoveries are made. When Patrick Vlaskovits commented
I suffered migraines my whole life until my 30s. I am prescribed meds to help me manage the pain. These meds are better than nothing. Then I quit eating grain-based products, no migraines ever.
I asked him how he discovered the connection. He replied:
This was in years pre-Paleo — I played with Atkins and one day my wife said to me: “You haven’t had a migraine for at least a month now.” And it hit me, holy shit, I hadn’t.
Until then, my whole life even as a small child, I would get insane mind-melting-migraines seemingly at random —- and when they hit, my face would twitch and aside from the pain, I would experience hyper-light-and-sound-sensitivity. My response would be to sit the shower in the dark for hours on end and then crawl into bed to fall asleep and hopefully wake up sans headache. This was from grade-school through post-grad-school.
What no one had seen until then was the lag time between my digesting some wheat product and onset of migraine — usually about a day. Nowadays, I tend to eat wheat-free (and disallow it from my toddler’s diet) but I will indulge in a NYC pizza or something similar if traveling — I reckon that about 10% of those cheat instances I am hit with an earthshattering migraine.
BTW I mentioned this a few years ago to Ryan Holiday, and he mentioned it to his girlfriend — a few weeks ago I saw both of them in NYC, and she has a virtually identical story. Crazy.
He added later:
[After avoiding wheat] my nighttime tooth grinding also stopped as did my insomnia [“being tired but unable to fall asleep, would go to bed at 11pm, my mind would race for hours on end in a state of neither sleep nor being awake, I would finally fall asleep around 5 am, and have to get up at 730 am to go work, and be exhausted all day —- this went on for years”] — generally, I feel 1000x better not eating wheat —
I have been tested with a skin-prick test and was told that that my results came back normal, not sensitive to anything.
I am unsure of what it is in wheat that I react to – an obvious culprit could be gluten in modern wheat, could also be mycotoxins (per Dave Asprey’s thinking), could perhaps be pesticide residue; I simply don’t know. — however, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. A simple risk less change resulted in orders of magnitude change for the better.
Last thing, another family friend has a 10 year old who has migraines, I recounted my story to them and early evidence looks like health improvement via avoidance of wheat.
The commonest foods causing [migraines] were wheat (78%), orange (65%), eggs (45%), tea and coffee (40% each), chocolate and milk (37%) each), beef (35%), and corn, cane sugar, and yeast (33% each).
Thirty years later, this extremely useful information has yet to reach most migraine doctors, apparently. An even older article (1976) said:
The 10 chief offenders among food allergens are cow’s milk, chocolate and cola (the kola nut family), corn, eggs, the pea family (chiefly peanut, which is not a nut), citrus fruits, tomato, wheat and other small grains, cinnamon and artificial food colors. Food allergy results in a remarkable variety of clinical syndromes.