Diet, Treatment

Ketogenic Diet for Migraine: Too Much Weight Loss

ketogenic diet for migraine weight lossElementary school is the last time I weighed this little. I’m not bragging, I’m worried. I was at my ideal weight when I began the ketogenic diet for migraine in January. My dietitian wanted me to lose a couple pounds at first to kickstart ketosis. 17 pounds disappeared in two months. I knew I was too thin, but the weight loss seemed temporary and manageable. Until I lost three more pounds in the last couple weeks and crossed from too thin to frighteningly so.

You may be thinking I’m lucky or that this is a problem you wish you had. I expect you’d reconsider if you saw me without a shirt on. My sternum is pronounced and my ribs are clearly countable. I look sick. I do not feel lucky. I feel sick.

Talking about unintentional weight loss is a strange thing. I used to think it was the same as unintended weight gain, just in the opposite direction. Then I gained weight on cyproheptadine and discovered how different the two are. Weight gain is almost always reviled in this culture; weight loss is typically celebrated. I see a skeleton reflected back at me in the mirror, but people keep telling me how good I look.

I am on the ketogenic diet for migraine—that is, I’m on the diet to become healthier. Yet I keep losing weight that I’m trying to keep and am likely malnourished. Neither of these things is entirely unexpected. A less extreme version of the diet is popular for weight loss and it’s well known that ketogenic diets are not nutritionally complete. The surprise is in how much difficulty I’m having managing the diet. I didn’t expect so many different, complex variables. I certainly didn’t expect to drop to a pre-puberty weight.

P.S. I’m working with my dietitian and naturopath to increase my weight and correct nutritional deficiencies. The problems I’m having with the diet are solvable. Right now I’m feeling overwhelmed by how quickly the issues escalated and expect I will be on edge until the numbers on the scale increase.

8 thoughts on “Ketogenic Diet for Migraine: Too Much Weight Loss”

  1. I am currently Googling for other possible solutions for my migraine when I found your post. Wow, it must have been a hell of a ride, but I am happy you wrote that you are okay now. I have been advised by my doctor the same diet like yours, but I am looking for other options. I just hope that it will work for me as I want to stop my suffering.

  2. I’m also wondering if you shouldnt stop the adderall. It’s a known appetite suppressant, as well as a metabolism boost. The combo of your diet plus adderall is probably accelerating your weight loss.

  3. Wish I could give you some of mine! Any kind of exercise brings on migraine for me so I’m not wearing off what I consume. I’d dearly love to go back to Zumba, but with the loud music, etc., forget it. On the flip side, when I cut back on meals & portions, I get a hunger headache which turns into migraine. Migraine seems like this living creature bent on foiling all my attempts to feel good.

  4. You have my vast sympathies. I lost an awful lot of weight due to two undiagnosed low level gut infections in my twenties, when I was already at the lower end of the healthy weight range. I also scared myself when I looked down and saw my painfully protruding hip bones. The worst part, I found, was the constant feeling cold. No matter how many layers, or hot bottles, I was never warm until the infections were resolved and I began to regain the weight. I hope your journey to finding a working diet, within your restrictions, is the most straightforward it can be and you start to feel safer and warmer in your body soon.

    1. Thank you, Aoife. I appreciate the support. I’m glad your weight loss ultimately resolved. Summer is coming to Phoenix very quickly this year. Maybe I’ll find a silver lining to being cold from weight loss.

      Take care,

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