Vegan Health ArticlesHeadaches and Migraines
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From Dr. Joel Fehrman, M.D.

There Are Many Success Stories

Kate was a 42-year-old woman with a 20-year history of severe and frequent migraine headaches. When she first came to see me she was taking Fiorinal® and Repan® on a regular basis as prescribed for her condition. She was also taking Deconsal® for sinusitis and allergic rhinitis. Kate started my dietary program for headache sufferers and, at the next visit three weeks later reported that her headaches as well as her chronic sinus condition had completely cleared. She no longer needed medications. She experienced only one further episode, the day after the first visit, and has had no further symptoms.

Kate later told me that for the first time in her life she was able to fast during Yom Kippur (the Jewish holiday of atonement). Prior to our visits she experienced an excruciating headache and other hypoglycemic symptoms, such as lightheadedness and extreme weakness, whenever she attempted to fast.

I see many patients who have come to me after seeing neurologists and headache specialists, have been given MRI’s and multiple drug regiments. Frequently these patients suffer from the side effects of the medications yet continue to experience ongoing headaches. I spend lots of time with these patients explaining that a complete cure, without the need for medication is possible. They can elevate their health with nutritional excellence. They can be slowly weaned off their medication and eventually achieve complete resolution of their recurrent headache problems.

Susan Castelle, a 14-year-old New Jersey High School student, had visited 5 different physicians in the last two years. Her parents traveled from New Jersey to Maryland to have her visit a renowned headache specialist. His only advice was to raise her dose of medication. As a consequence of her terribly painful migraine headaches, which caused a throbbing pain over her right eye and side of her head, coupled with loss of vision, she was forced to miss 6 months of school and needed to repeat the ninth grade.

When she initially came to see me she was taking Neurontin®, Toprol XL®, Prozac®, Imitrex® and Midrin®. Every time her medications were increased by her prior physicians, she would feel better for a few weeks, but then her migraine headaches would recur worse than before. The medications made her lethargic and gain excess weight.

I spent over an hour discussing my method of treating migraines with Susan and her parents, explaining that it may take 3 to 6 weeks to get rid of her headaches as we slowly wean her off the medications. Some medications were stopped immediately, but the Neurontin® and Prozac® were gradually tapered during the first 3 weeks.

As soon as I reduced the medication and Susan began my dietary plan for headaches, her migraines flared and she stayed in bed for the next two days. Within three days she began to feel better. The throbbing pain over her eye subsided and the headaches lessened in intensity. At the two-week interval, another migraine occurred, with the same typical symptoms she previously experienced. Susan’s mother called me on the phone expressing concern, but I reassured her that this was a typical response as further toxins were being mobilized due to the withdrawal of her medications. I further explained that the real test would be when she was completely off all medication for two weeks. Susan was a trooper and did not complain. Her eagerness to get off all medication, coupled with the hope that she could be well for the rest of her life, kept her motivated. I modified her food intake and she followed my instructions 100%. Susan’s case was difficult, complicated, and atypical; nevertheless, she made a complete recovery. Just as I had predicted, within a 6-week timeframe, she had been off all medication for three weeks and was feeling like a normal person. She lost the 20 pounds of extra weight she had gained from taking the Neurontin® and she came back to my office with a big smile on her face. She said, “You gave me back my life”.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.