A few weeks ago I proudly blogged of my severe migraines, “I don’t get them anymore.” I followed up with a series of three posts on the connections between headaches and eating plant-based foods.
As it happens, during the two weeks after posting Migraine Testimonial, Migraine Reduction Diet and Migraine Triggers and Remedies, I suffered from three migraines. More than I’d experienced in the first seven months of 2020!
I’d call them light to moderate headaches without the severe throbbing head pain I remember from the past. But they all brought the dizziness, nausea, tingling and sensitivity to light and sound so familiar to migraine sufferers.
For me, the headaches have served as a clear reminder that eating plant-based isn’t a cure-all. Even the healthiest diet can’t eliminate headaches or deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease.
As I posted back on July 26, many studies have looked at the rates of cancer and other chronic diseases among people who eat mostly plant based. They’ve shown that different plant nutrients can lower the risk of these disease by 50 percent. But they aren’t known to prevent them entirely.
That said, a proper diet can drastically reduce the occurrence of many widespread Western diseases. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and most of our other top killers would be much rarer if only the whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet were more widely adopted!
America’s 2017-2018 obesity rate, for example, topped 42 percent according to the CDC. But among all the people I’ve met while running Fruitive, not a single one who’s been WFPB for longer than a year is obese.
So why did my migraines return? I’ve been plant-based for well over two years. If my diet hasn’t changed, what did? I was just generally feeling bad and had some cold and flu symptoms, but my previous colds hadn’t necessarily triggered migraines.
I even got tested for COVID-19!
Other than the Coronavirus, what could possibly cause the sudden onslaught of headaches in an otherwise healthy person?
One strong possibility is stress. COVID-19’s impact on my restaurant business has led to us to sell almost everything we own. Tomorrow we’ll be moving from our home to stay with my parents for the near future.
Then it’s on to temporary living situations as we figure out what to do. We’re choosing to see this move as the next step in a great adventure.
We know we’re just one family among millions financially impacted by the pandemic and all the uncertainty that lies ahead. But we’re working hard on solutions to stay in business.
I tend to be an optimist who doesn’t ruffle easily. Reminding myself that anxiety is normal during times of great change is my first step towards a healthier frame of mind.
The bottom line is that while diet is critical to good health, it’s not everything. Awareness that stress creates sickness has already helped me feel better.