January 24, 1931
'SICK HEADACHE.' How to Keep Well by Dr. W.A. Evans
Dr Barborka uses ketogenic diet for migraine. "He tried this by putting fifty migraine people, mostly men, on a diet which caused acidosis and keeping them steadily on this diet for six months. In this series he found that 28 per cent were cured of their migraine."
(Copyright: 1931: By the Chicago Tribune)
The Sick headache that goes by the name "migraine" is nothing more than a group of disorders having headache and a few other symptoms in common, but produced by a considerable variety of causes. Some get an attack when they eat too much starchy food. Others are disabled by eating chocolate. In many cases migraine seems to be a close kinsman of nettlerash and asthma, and to be caused by acute sensitiveness. In these people migraine is an allergy disease.
There are others in whom still other causes are the principal offenders. In addition, there are many causes which operate as contributing factors. Among these are: Constipation, monthly phenomena in women, worry, excitement, poor sleeping, poor ventilation, and fatigue.
Dr. Barborka tried to discover what proportion of cases of typical, well established migraine were due to alkalosis or something related to it. He tried this by putting fifty migraine people, mostly men, on a diet which caused acidosis and keeping them steadily on this diet for six months. In this series he found that 28 per cent were cured of their migraine. Another fifty per cent still had attacks of sick headache, but they were further apart and the headaches were less severe. Something like the other 22 per cent were not improved in any degree.
The diet he used was known as the ketogenic diet. It is about the same as is used in epilepsy.
It is very high in fats, oils, and greases and is correspondingly low in bread, potatoes, sugar,
cereal, and other carbohydrates. The individual is, or should be, kept constantly in a state of acidosis as shown by laboratory tests. In so far as he could he did not change the routine of life of the people under trial except as to the diet. Practically speaking, one hundred per cent success
in such efforts is an impossibility. Try as hard as you please, the people under
such a régime do not live just as they did before. They worry less, or more; their outlook on life is different for the time; they work less, or more; exercise less, or more.
Something is always different. On the other hand, it is not always easy to keep a person in a condition of uniform acidosis. Eating so much fat and so little bread becomes very monotonous.
The experiment proves that a fair part of those who have migraine can escape headaches by eating a diet rich in fats. Other trials have proved that still others can escape their headaches by other diets.
All in all, there is considerable chance that a person with migraine can be cured if he will persevere.