Carbohydrates and Headaches

Last night I tweeted, asking if anyone else experienced bread cravings during a bad headache.  Today I googled it, the first result came back to: Live Strong, sugar cravings and headaches. Reading the short article, I almost felt stupid.  Like, duhhh…. why didn’t this occur me before.

bread“Many things can trigger headaches, but if your headache is associated with particular symptoms, such as a carbohydrate craving, this can help you pinpoint the exact cause of your headache.  The carb craving is usually triggered by your body and brain cells asking for a quick fix.  Trying to understand the cause of your headaches is the best way to better prevent them from happening.”

I’m not huge on eating a ton of carbs, but they are not completely void of my diet either.  So while the article makes sense on a very basic level, I’m still a little baffled to why my body decided now…. Unless it is a longer standing depletion that my body suddenly decided to revolt and crash.

Now on the flip side, those that believe gluten sensitivity is real -I for one, do, to a degree.  I mean, who doesn’t have some kind of reaction when they gorge on too much pizza or pasta or beer?  However, the problem for me, isn’t too much as in a night of heavy drinking or several days of pasta a week.  For me, it’s two beers or one pasta dish at any restaurant.  I will feel bloated within a short time of eating and just sluggish; this feeling will last several days, as long as a week.  Now maybe I’m not alone in that feeling, maybe that is entirely normal.  However, three years ago I didn’t feel that way. October 2012 I went completely gluten free, cleared out my cupboards, ditched cooking utensils and cookware…. Anything that I thought could still contain and carry over the problem.  This didn’t start because of the popular coined term wheat belly, it started because of the term leaky gut syndrome.

Lets back that up just a little bit, I have had psoriasis since roughly 2000.  I’ve tried just about everything, topicals, light therapy, injections (oh that was a fun and horrible experience!)  I had given up on everything traditional medicine was willing to do, I had come to the conclusion that none of the doctors cared and it was just polite bedside manners that made them smile and pretend to care, I was just another insurance to bill and way to make money.  So I began to research lifestyle, diets, home remedies…. anyone who has lived with a long standing genetic defect like this, knows the pain, anguish, frustration you go through as you desperately look for just about anything to relieve symptoms when they are bad.  So if you haven’t been forced to live with this, I really don’t want to hear your opinion on wheat belly and it’s relation to psoriasis, because you haven’t a clue what it is really like.

Back to my point. 2012 I cleared out everything.  I held on to a gluten free diet for a year plus.  I saw a huge improvement in the winter months.  However by late spring the psoriasis would return.  By the summer of 2014 it was worse than before, I learned the hard way that Red Dye 40 was as bad, if not worse than gluten.  So now I have two ingredients to watch out for.  On the upside, I had also learned that I did not have to be 100% gluten free like those who suffer from celiac disease, I just need to maintain a very low level.  Too much, my body becomes sluggish, I suffer migraines, I will feel like I’m walking around in a fog and externally, my psoriasis will explode and the itching sensation will be maddening.

unnamedI’ve tried to maintain a healthy balance of what my body needs to sustain in training and normal everyday life, but without literally becoming the fat (HW) strongman competitor.  I will admit, this past summer I became careless of my diet and bloomed up and had a very close call with 200 pounds,  I wasn’t at all happy with myself.  I was bloated from bad diet, no cardio and just not caring as long as I wasn’t hungry.  Beginning of September and a new coach, I got myself back on track.  Spending 2 hours regularly on Sundays to prep cook an average of 3 full meals and at a volume that would last through Friday night, leaving only breakfast and snacks to prep before work.  I’ve cut crap food days down to once a week….and when I say crap food, I’m talking ordering a large meat lovers pizza from Pizza Hut and vegging with movies all night, or a trip to 5 Guys with girlfriends….. Basically a large meal with very little to no value other than pleasing the pallet -a “dirty cheat” as my physique competitor friend calls it.  So when I stepped on the scale this past weekend, and saw that I was down to 185, I was both shocked and very content.  I was not trying to drop that much, I just knew I needed to clean up for performance purpose.   I am very happy with how I feel and look.  Scale was only out of curiosity.

Now, back in 2003 when I was pregnant with my daughter, my doctor asked if I was having any weird cravings like dirt.


Yes dirt, he explained that the cravings signified that something else was missing in my diet, something that can be obtained through normal food.  So I have tried to remember that, that when I am having a craving, it is because I have been overlooking the need for something…and that craving is how my body knows to tell me.  Now I’m left with re-evaluating my meal planning and seeing if I need to bring my carbs up a little more.


Author: boxerjeep

I am a mid 30s pawrent to my babies Reese (boxer) and Grimm (pitbull). A tattooed Army veteran, yogi and strength athlete. My second loves after my pups are tattoos, my Jeep, random music, real books, ancient history, the outdoors and art.

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