Stopping medication to stop migraine – Leah’s Story

I first started getting migraines when I was 18, back in the 70s. (Yes, I’m officially old.) They weren’t too bad, though. I’d get one around the time of my period, and a second at some point during the month. Maxalt took care of them. This went on for decades.

Fast forward to June, 2015. I suddenly started having a lot of migraines. I went from my usual 2 a month to 15 a month.


I changed meds. I changed diet. I changed pillows. I took herbs. I followed blogs. I started taking Excedrin every day. I still couldn’t shake the migraines. I was losing more than half my life to them.

In March 2017, I started the Wahls’ Paleo Plus diet, ( a nutritionally-dense ketogenic diet. It reduced the severity of my migraines, from a constant 7-8 to a 2-3. But it didn’t stop them.

In April 2017, I attended the World Migraine Summit, and listened to Dr. T’s talk about “The Migraine Miracle” – how he cured his migraines through a paleo diet. I’d been doing a paleo diet since 2009, so obviously that wasn’t what I needed.

However, I went and looked around his website ( and learned that I wasn’t having migraines: I was, instead, just having rebound headaches. I was probably still only having the exact same two migraines per month, but the Excedrin and Maxalt were causing me to stay in rebound.

Well, crap.

First, I had to (slowly!) stop taking everything. Over five weeks I walked myself down from taking so many Excedrin every day. Then, when I had a migraine, instead of taking a Maxalt, I fasted, drank water with salt, meditated, and did a lot of what I call “mindful walking” – basically, walking very slowly and paying attention to my breathing.

The first time I “treated” a migraine this way, imagine my surprise when after a few hours it disappeared! Literally, over the course of five minutes, as if it had never been there.

I was very excited after that first success. However, the next two migraines didn’t behave the same way, they lasted longer with more pain. There were times when I was tempted, particularly after 24 hours of pain, to just give in and take a Maxalt. But I’ve persevered, and the migraines have tapered off. I’ve gone from 12-15 migraines a month to 4. The pain is less severe, and they don’t last long, maybe only 3-4 hours, if that.

I take nothing for my migraines, now, not even aspirin. That first month I had headaches almost every day. This last month, my number of headache days greatly decreased, down to a handful of days.

But my migraine story isn’t over. I’m determined to get that number down to 2 or less. As my brain heals, I hope to change my diet back to having a few more carbs as well. I’d like to be able to treat myself to something sugary without an immediate headache! However, I’ll live without the sugar, if it means I get my life back.

I hope that my migraine story, though it isn’t complete, has inspired you. There are people out there who aren’t merely surviving their migraines and treating their symptoms, but who are slaying the migraine beast. Won’t you join me in trying?

Leah Cutter