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HYH diet


Like you I don’t get the painful headaches either. It was probably that lack of headaches that meant I was is diagnosed as having BPPV for 12 years instead if MAV…

Why would the thought of doing the diet make one sad. Some plp have found they recovered solely by the diet. Isn’t that an incentive. No drug side effects.

There are various different diets out there. Some seem stricter than others. I haven’t read the book but I have read Lauren Kossack’s piece, kindly posted on here by @Jessyka_Nettleton recently and which includes a diet version very similar to the John Hopkins diet I’ve seen. You might find it answers your questions. Helen

I have a strong suspicion these are just different presentations of different extents of a similar underlying issue, but should be treated as MAV not BPPV. (the whole ‘loose’ crystal story does not stack up if you understand the anatomy and consider it from an engineering perspective).

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Yes, indeed. I can, looking back, see why it was confused initiallyand the label then stuck like Superglue and nobody could see around it but it morphed very gradually into full on MAV. A VRT person later repeated the mistake. You only hv to sit up couple of mornings with vertigo and they start telling you, it’s two different things now. Rubbish. Different manifestation of same thing. I know some plp do get BPPV alone, true.

@Onandon03 I think the diet makes me sad because I enjoy food, and I enjoy many kinds of food, so the thought of eliminating many food types upsets me. I’m also a young person so I enjoy going out to eat. Right now I have been drinking caffeine every day so I think it would be good if I went back togoing off of that. I’m just questing wether or now I should do the full on diet or just eat whatever I want but just in moderation.

Camille if it’s any help I’d dump the caffeine and as much chocolate as possible and see how you go with that. I think I’m ok with dairy for example so I still eat cheese and drink milk.

The other thing I suspect is increased symptoms if I have a very sweet desert. Moderation needed there possibly.

Hi @turnitaround. Yea I honestly think I need to dump the caffeine. I was actually doing pretty well a few weeks back with what I was doing. The caffeine seems to make me irritated and not wanna do anything. So I think I’ll start with that.

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I’d cut it out slowly, that will make it easier whilst also not upsetting any equilibrium your body has reached with it.

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I just received my heal your headache book in the mail and can’t wait to read it. Wish I had found out about all of this sooner as I could have been well on my way to recovery by now.

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Hi my pals in this journey: I am wondering if people have done the HYH diet and sucessfully figured out afterwards what was/wasn’t a trigger. Out of desperation after 1 yr 9 months of symptoms I have been adhering as strictly as possible on this diet for almost 3 months while also increasing my nortriptyline to 25 mg and decreasing my hormone replacement therapy with consideration of elimating it. I have carefully charted, & used the migraine buddy app, to track my symptoms. Incrementally over maybe 6 months my symptoms have evolved from 24/7 disequilibrium & fatigue & tinnitis to very little disequilibrium except when very tired (vestibular pt did improve that a little) to attacks of tinnitis, greater fatigue & depressed mood that occur every 4 to 6 days for 1 to 2 days. But more often I have days that I can call good, or even occasionally close to normal. The diet is hard to do strictly. Easiest has been using the HYH book, dizzy cook or the migraine relief plan book’s recipes. Eating out eliminates most menu items. I find it hardest to adhere to citrus and onion, which are in most dishes for flavor, along with cheese. I don’t really know if the drug changes or the diet or both are what’s helping, & the attacks are so unpredictable and interfering with my work & social functioning I’d really like even more improvement, but would also like to have less diet restrictions… I think the HYH book suggests eating one of the eliminated items every day for a week to see if you have an attack. My attacks are frequent enough that I doubt that would tell me one way or the other. Others suggest 2 days. It will just be hard to determine correlation vs causation, I think, esp since other triggering factors may be present. Or if you have reintroduced one thing and then reintroduce another is there a cumulative effect? The author talks about higher dose of a trigger item(s), including non food, being more problematic. Despite doing this diet rigidly I am a bit skeptical about dietary triggers in my case. BTW, I have been off this site after my initial intro, in part bc I have never participated in a forum before and once I read some of the background stuff I was worried about posting redundantly or in the wrong category. Anyway, my current question is to find out who has done what to figure out any positive or negative triggers from the heal your headache diet. Thanks!

I’ve thought a lot about it, if that counts.

The last 12 months I’ve been more or less following the John Hopkins Diet which I understand to be very similar. This was personal choice. The migraine specialist neurologist I saw here in the UK doesn’t subscribe to any form of diet restriction for migraine or MAV at all. I understand consultants in the US often start people off solely with dietary restriction, and one at least insists on four months I think it was solely on diet before any medication is prescribed. From my own experience and what I’ve read I’d say all triggers are cumulative, food and environmental ones so personally I find it virtually impossible to conclusively prove food triggers in cases of chronic MAV where there are constant 24/7 symptoms anyway. Unless of course one can live constantly in one small space where all other environmental factors are totally consistent, a large test tube comes to mind.

In my youth I had occasional bad sick headaches - they weren’t called migraine where I lived - and even as a teenager I had no trouble tracing these to chocolate and citrus fruit, oranges to be specific. Cutting those two items out and they disappeared. Easy but was it right? Retrospectively and knowing all I now know, all that happened about the same time I started having periods. Um? Coincidence? Um? I added red wine to the banned list in later years as there seemed a strong link. Stopped red wine and again the heads stopped too. It’s easy with episodic events.

To prove causation When constant symptoms are present I think calls for a more scientific approach than most people living in the real world have access. There needs to be stability or a true ‘control’.

There are so many variables in the above it must be impossible to establish the reason for your apparent, and I’m sure much welcomed, symptom reduction.

I only take one drug but even then have found it impossible to establish definite triggers through the diet. That’s not to say the diet isn’t helping. I think it may well be doing so and I’m not intending quitting yet awhile. What I find every time I say blame that banana, a voice in the back of my head says ‘yes but that wind was blowing strongly yesterday; that extra hour in bed; and there then was all those flashing lights in that TV Programme last night’. The other thing of course is tolerance thresholds vary so yesterday’s banana might just not have been half as much to blame for the most recent attack as that one you had last Friday after Sally’s birthday party Thursday night was for the previous attack.

My conclusion after all that thinking is most of the time it’s too frustrating to contemplate! Helen

Helen, thanks do much for your thoughts and contemplations! Trying to figure out what’s causing what is indeed confusing or impossible.I did look at the Johns Hopkins diet, which is similar but throws in a few extra restricted items it seems! I considered doing one thing at a time, as the hyh diet suggests, but my various GPs suggested the med changes & I felt I couldn’t tolerate the wait because symptoms were so intrusive & hard to stand for so long! I study my charts I’ve created to try to track any patterns…very difficult. I can tell that staying up 1 hr later than usual or getting 8 vs 9 hours of sleep can make a difference. I took a seminar and read a clinicians book on treating migraine, and it appears they think missing meals, less sleep, stress, weather and hormones are more likely triggers than foods. Sometimes I think with dietary changes we just are benefitting from the illusion of having some control. I think I may experiment with reintroducing more common ingredients (onions, lemon juice) and then things lower on the likely trigger list according to hyh (fresh bread), etc…not quite sure how to go about it…maybe makes sense to eat less prohibited stuff on "bad"days? But by then it’s too late. I do need to study charts to see how/when constant dizzyness abated. I had bad migraines since teenhood, hormones were a known trigger…thought I was free after menopause, even after several years of hrt, til my 1st and 2nd “labyrinthitis” morphing into VM…anyway, thanks for your sensible perspective!

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Can’t seem to find the answer to this anywhere. HYH diet says to eliminate all nuts. Does this also mean dairy free nut milks?

I would assume so. Nuts are nuts. To further understand the diet. You need to look to the science behind it. Tyramine can be a migraine trigger and nuts contain Tyramine to varying levels. If you research tyramine free diets they don’t seem to actually mention nut based ‘milk’ but they do say soya based is OK. Trouble is for migraine soya may be no go because of fermentation in the process. Again this has been discussed elsewhere previously so check search facility.

Good point. Having said that, things such as rice and pea milk should be fine? Provided they are clean of any nasties.

Oat ‘milk’?

Oat milk works too I guess

Question for everyone. I’m finding HYH very restrictive on protein, especially when out and about, working every day (everything from salads to meats seems to be stuffed with chemicals & preservatives).

Most dairy is prohibited, eggs are limited and all cooked/ready-made meat is out. How does everyone get their protein fix? I feel like HYH is super high in carbohydrates.


I didn’t do the whole diet. I just focussed on the biggies and ones which felt like a trigger. Caffeine was clearly the biggest one for me, so I eliminated that.

The problem with the ‘diet’ is it can become a whole new avenue for mental anxiety. As if you didn’t already have health anxiety and meds anxiety!

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Very true. Reading the ingredients on 50 different products in a supermarket before I find something edible, makes me really dizzy.

Finally discovered M&S cooked chicken, has no nasties in it.

For a period I thought I might have Meniere’s, so I became extremely careful with salt. I drove my wife crazy in the kitchen.

Yeah best not to stick around the supermarket for longer than you need!

Great! And probably better for you as a result.