Author Topic: Migraine and vision issues  (Read 8998 times)

Offline JayJay

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Migraine and vision issues
« on: May 19, 2011, 09:01:19 PM »
I'm a 47-y/o male and I've been doing "Paleo style" since April 1st of this year. Came from a no high-glycemic carb diet (Sugar Busters) so the transition wasn't too tough and I've been pretty good about sticking to this WOE. The only non-Orthodox exceptions I've made are coffee, salt, and olive oil, all in moderation, and bacon in not so much moderation.

About 3 weeks in I lost about 7 lbs. and I'm now down 15 lbs. Although I need to lose weight, I did this because my BP recently went insane when my most recent meds stopped working and since I've been on every BP med there is, and numerous cocktails of combined BP meds, and nothing is working any more, I decided it was time for a radical diet change even though my doctor poo-poo'ed it (ya' gotta' love doctors, eh?). Anyway, my BP is now perfectly normal (this was after only 3 weeks on the diet) with only one remaining BP med, and very little of it at that. My goal is to get off the meds completely, once and for all.

BUT, a couple weeks ago I developed a horrendous migraine, which lasted until a couple days ago. It was mostly on the left side of my head, kind of under my left ear and radiating down to the base of my skull. At the same time my vision, which has always been pretty good, started deteriorating, mostly my near vision. Even though the migraine went away, the vision is still an issue.

I had a MRI on the noggin. Everything was normal. I had my eyes checked and while my doctor confirmed that my vision has changed sine my last visit only a few months ago (after being the same for many years), she looked and couldn't find any damage or issues in my eyes related to the blood pressure spike.

Since I was already eating low carb, I went into ketosis pretty quickly, about 3 days in. I had the "paleo flu", dizziness, etc. The migraine and vision issues didn't start until much later. So I have to ask some of you who have been through this, is it possible that the migraine and vision issues are related to the diet? Is it because of ketosis even though the timing seems off? Or is it just due to my blood sugar levels acclimating to a new level? Does it go away? For those who have been through this, how long did it take before everything got back to normal?

Any insight or information is much appreciated.

Jay

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 10:06:43 PM »
You need carbs.  Damn good carbs.

Make yourself a couple of cool lemonades with lots of the best RAW WILD HONEY you can find.

Stick with high FAT paleo, then add the high carbs from Raw Wild Honey in cool lemonades.

Get rid of the coffee. You will feel fabulous.


Offline mc534384

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 10:26:00 PM »
You give such good advice GS. Seriously- thanks on behalf of everyone!

Offline Jean

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 12:04:40 AM »
I've had migraines for 30 years - it runs in our family. Migraine generally lasts for a few hours up to three days. If a headache lasts longer than three days, it probably isn't migraine. I'm glad to hear you've had an MRI done! Are you seeing a specialist neurologist about it? If not I would ask for a referral.

Paleo should be good for migraine in terms of stabilising blood sugar, but I agree with GS, regular carb intake is probably a good idea. I have to avoid coffee (even decaf), all caffeine, and chocolate, and many people find that helpful, but if you are a regular coffee drinker you will probably get withdrawal headaches for a few days if you cut it out.

If this happens again and a neurologist confirms it is migraine, you should probably be on a preventer, like low-dose amitryptiline, and have a tryptan on hand for when one is coming on, and have a strong anti-inflammatory to take if one establishes. Untreated migraines tend to get worse over time.

Offline JayJay

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 07:14:33 AM »
Thanks for the info so far. I should clarify that this is the first time in my life I've ever had a headache like this. My doctor confirmed it is classified as a migraine but because it went away before I even got my MRI results back, which came back clean, he isn't going to escalate this to a neurologist. At this point my main concern is the vision problem. It came on as suddenly as the headache but it has not subsided yet at all.

As for the diet, while I don't weigh and measure everything, I eat a lot of fat, more than I ever have in my life. It's almost all animal fat too. Last night I ate a nicely marbled 16 oz sirloin steak for dinner. I usually sautee my veggies in beef tallow or lard. I never thought I'd get sick of fat, but I'm actually starting to reach that point. But I keep eating it.

Some good carbs may be the answer. I have been eating a lot of fruit, fresh and dried, so I thought I was getting plenty of carbs. Maybe I'm not although I do want to stay in ketosis for awhile and shed some more weight. I'll try adding some more carbs in though and see what happens. I'm not convinced coffee has anything to do with it since I've been drinking it off and on all my life and I actually don't drink that much of it now. I've always been able to start and stop drinking coffee with no ill effects.

Thanks for all the replies thus far.

Jay


Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 10:45:03 AM »
You say you went into ketosis 3 days in.  Did you measure this with ketostix, and did you continue to check every day?  If not, I strongly suspect you were actually on the edge of ketosis for a couple of weeks, and the migraine was the result of continued ketosis induction.  That's what happened to me the first time I went into ketosis.

I would be very surprised if you could reliably stay in ketosis with "a lot of" fruit, especially dried fruit, which is very high in sugar and incidentally questionably paleo.  For most people it only takes a couple of pieces of whole fruit per day to knock them out of ketosis.

For the eyesight issues, in my experience there are two possibilities.  When I am in ketosis, I will have blurry vision in the morning if I don't drink water just before going to bed.  If the ketostix are showing you in ketosis, my guess is that this is what's happening.  The solution is to drink plenty of water - at least half a gallon per day for me, more if you exercise a lot.

However, I think given the description of what you're eating and your age, it's more likely that you're not in ketosis, at least not all the time, and that you're getting too much sugar from the dried fruit.  The likelihood is that this is causing temporary crosslinking and presbyopia - a deterioration in near vision.  For me, it was honey rather than dried fruit, but they're similar in that they have a lot of sugar.  Note that this temporary deterioration can be reversed if you catch it quickly, but becomes permanent in time.

Definitely get rid of the dried fruit.  You may or may not want to be in ketosis - either is fine - but if you do want to be in ketosis, be sure to measure with ketostix daily, preferably later in the day, for the first few months.  If you don't want to be in ketosis, fresh fruit should provide enough carbs to keep you out of it.

Offline JayJay

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 01:50:06 PM »
Warren,

Interesting things to consider. Yes, I tested with Ketostix. Three days in I tested at "trace" levels of ketones. When the migraine came, I was up to "small". The only reason I even started testing is because I really started feeling like crap on the third day and reading other threads here, it sounded like I was starting ketosis. Since I was already eating a low carb/high protein diet prior to going paleo, I wasn't exactly surprised. Unfortunately I was not consistent in measuring with the ketostix. Some days I would and some I wouldn't so I can't say for certain what was going on.

As far as "a lot of fruit" I guess that's a relative term. I eat 1-2 bananas a day (spread out over the day), sometimes some pineapple, peaches or nectarines, plums, kiwis, citrus, and rarely, melons. I don't sit there chowing down on fruit all day like a monkey. I actually don't like fruit that much so to me, whatever I eat seems like "a lot". I usually have some fruit after a regular meal and that's it.

On the dried fruit, I was using that to help me transition since I gave up on artificially sweetened foods and drinks and was having trouble with the old sweet tooth, mostly in the evening. I was eating 3-4 figs or 6-8 unsulphured prunes at a time, a couple times a day. Sometimes I'd substitute dried cherries or raisins. I didn't think it was all that much but you could very well be onto something.

I may not be getting enough water. To be frank, since I went paleo, my appetite has been quite a bit lower so I just don't think about food or liquid all that often. I may be subconsciously sabotaging myself by not making a conscious effort to drink more fluids. It certainly can't hurt to drink more water regardless so I'll give that a shot.

Thanks for your insight.

Jay

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 02:41:58 PM »
On the dried fruit, I was using that to help me transition since I gave up on artificially sweetened foods and drinks and was having trouble with the old sweet tooth, mostly in the evening. I was eating 3-4 figs or 6-8 unsulphured prunes at a time, a couple times a day. Sometimes I'd substitute dried cherries or raisins. I didn't think it was all that much but you could very well be onto something.

It's really easy to overeat dried fruit.  Each prune has all the sugar content of the plum it was made from; 6-8 plums at a sitting would qualify as a lot, but you don't realize how much you're eating when you eat them as prunes!

Offline jacobsweden87

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 01:23:22 PM »
Hello JayJay!
I see this thread is really old but I wanted to ask you how it went for you with your issues? I am experiencing something very similar. After a few weeks on really low carb (maybe ketosis I'm not sure) I started to get vision problems combined with very strong headaches. Did you ever find any answers to your problems?

Best,
Jacob

Offline JayJay

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2017, 07:31:48 PM »
Sorry for forgetting to post an update but it turned out it was because of a new (at the time) blood pressure medication, Losartan Potassium (i.e. Cozaar). My GP insisted that wasn't the cause but as soon as I discontinued the medication the migraines vanished.

Unfortunately, my vision issues never did normalize. I was very slightly nearsighted prior to taking this med. The medication caused near instant Presbyopia, which has never cleared up after all these years, meaning the Losartan did permanent eye damage.

I fired that doctor as soon as I connected the dots. Haven't had a migraine since.

Offline Eric

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 02:28:41 PM »
Is Losartan still on the market?  Sounds dangerous

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Migraine and vision issues
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2017, 08:52:37 PM »
Thanks for the update, Jayjay - always good to get the post mortem.

Sorry to hear about the presbyopia.  One of my biggest regrets is that I started paleo just too late to avoid presbyopia, though in my case I got it the normal way.