Half of the general population has headaches during any given year. Headaches are one of the most widespread conditions – but also one of the most versatile. The most common classification distinguishes between primary and secondary headaches. Primary headaches occur without any preexisting conditions, secondary headaches however are comorbidity with an underlying disease.
Further, the primary headaches can be classified into migraines (painful throbbing), tension-type headaches, and cluster headaches.
Cluster headaches feature excruciating pain on one side of the head and most usually occur during the night or in the mornings. Patients with cluster headaches describe them as “the worst pain imaginable”. Very often cluster headaches are resistant to drugs or painkillers.
Clinicians still face the challenge as to how to help with drug-resistant chronic cluster headache. There are however a few other ideas emerging from the studies proving that carbohydrate restricted diet helps with migraines.
A group of Italian scientists studied 18 patients with drug-resistant cluster headache. The patients underwent 12 weeks of ketogenic diet regimen. In three months, different headache patterns were reported by 15 patients. 11 of them reported complete remission, four of them saw approximately 50% decrease in frequency of the headaches. The average number of headaches per month dropped from 108,71 at baseline to 31,44 after 3 months of ketogenic diet (Di Lorenzo et al., 2018).
DI LORENZO, C. et al. 2018. Efficacy of Modified Atkins Ketogenic Diet in Chronic Cluster Headache: An Open-Label, Single-Arm, Clinical Trial. Frontiers in neurology, vol. 9, no., pp. 64-64, 10.3389/fneur.2018.00064
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