Eliminating Wheat to Eliminate Migraines: Introduction

My experiment began in early-November when I began learning about Ayurveda. While I was perplexed by some of the seemingly disparate instructions, I did notice that many of the ideas presented appealed to me and that there were pieces of this philosophy I was hungering for. For my Ayurvedic experiment I added the practice of abhyanga to my morning. This practice of lovingly rubbing herbally-medicated oils all over my body was wonderful. It brought to my morning some peace and to my life, some self-love. Self-love has been a long and hard road for me; abhyanga was an easy place to start. I also practiced eating in silence and doing nothing else. Although at times challenging, if only because my mind was used to doing several things at once, I found this a wholly satisfying experience. I noted that I consumed significantly less food than I if I was multi-tasking. I also noted that I felt a much deeper sense of contentment and satisfaction, not only with my food, but with my life. These were amazing practices to bring to my existence.

Then, while discussing our Ayurvedic experiments, I overheard another student in my yoga training explaining that she had previously had terrible eczema but she had cut wheat out of her diet while completing an Ayurvedic cleanse and that her eczema had gone away completely.  Later, I was reading over the material of foods not recommended for Kapha people (I am 50% Pitta and 50% Kapha). Wheat, and many things like it, was in the “avoid” column. I woke up several days later with a revelation. I believed the migraines I had been having for 10 years were caused by wheat. My hypothesis was if I removed wheat from my diet, as recommended by Ayurvedic principals, my migraine headaches would disappear.

I have had migraines almost every day for the last year or so. They varied in severity, but almost always included sensitivity to light, sound and movement. They were very drug resistant and the only way I could even reduce the pain slightly was to take 4 ibuprofen tablets, wait 30 minutes and then take 2 extra-strength acetaminophen tablets. Considering I was doing this on an almost daily basis (I tried to “tough it out” if I could), I am sure this was wrecking havoc on my stomach.