I think I may have asked this before without success, but I just found some new evidence via PubMed that ketogenic diets could potentially help TN. The research paper below is about treating cluster headaches, which they seem to consider as being similar/related to migraines, with a ketogenic diet (very low carb, high fat) and it had an astounding success rate. These diets are also used to (successfully) treat epilepsy (particularly in children), which is why I’ve always wondered if they might work for TN, since TN is related to migraine and epilepsy, however indirectly, by being about an over-easily triggered neuron problem (over-simplified, but you get my drift!)
Here is the paper in its entirety:
The most remarkable thing about this study is the success rate. It’s so high that it cannot possibly be a fluke, plus it is far higher than many (any?) medications can offer. Out of 18 subjects, 11 of them had “full resolution” and 4 more had sizeable reductions in pain and frequency. The monthly number of headaches dropped from 108 to only 31 after 3 months on the diet. Perhaps if they stayed on it longer it may have got even better!
This interests me particularly because I suffer from migraine and mine have a cluster headache appearance: they happen over one eyebrow (always the right - same side as my TN) and they can be so severe my eye waters and gets sensitive on that side. Often one of the most effective things I can do for my headaches is to pinch my brow/eye socket and massage it quite forcefully. I can actually feel the pressure right down into my sinuses and if I massage it it almost feels like liquid draining out my face - so because of this cluster headache effect I wondered if this might work for me.
Has anyone ever been on a ketogenic diet for any reason? If so, did you find it made any impression on your pain/TN/headaches/anything medical? I’d be very curious to hear of anyone who has and experience with is, even if it’s just from being on a low carb diet for weight loss!
I have a feeling I’m going to have to bite the bullet soon and do a ketogenic diet myself just to play guinea pig for us all. If anyone feels like joining me give me a shout!