Tom was in his late thirties when he first started to get migraines. With a demanding job as a social worker in a hostel for alcoholics, and three young children to bring up, he put his symptoms down to stress. Over the next ten years the problem gradually got worse, until he rarely had a day without some sort of head pain. He was also very tired and lacked the energy to join in with family activities or help look after the children at weekends. This inevitably led to friction, and his marriage was in danger of breaking up.

In the hope of improving his health and keeping the family together, Tom and his wife decided to move to the country and he gave up social work for a job in a garden centre which did not pay as well but was much less taxing. Moving house involved registering with a different doctor, who asked all his new patients to come in for an initial check-up. The doctor spent some time with Tom, and asked him what he thought the cause of his headaches and tiredness might be. ‘Stress,’ Tom replied, without hesitation, ‘That’s why we’ve moved out here.’ The doctor suggested that he come back and see him after a year, when he had had time to settle in and judge the effects of a slower pace of life.

Tom did so, and had to report that, while there was some improvement, it was not nearly as much as he had hoped, and he was still very tired, with migraines several times a week. The doctor then suggested that he try changing his diet, for an experimental period, and told him to eat nothing but meat and vegetables, and drink only spring water for ten days. Tom felt very ill on this diet at first, with stomach pains and a severe migraine. But after a week he noticed a remarkable improvement, his energy restored and his head without any pain. The doctor then explained to Tom that he should test foods individually, which he did. To test wheat, he ate some spaghetti. Within

an hour of eating the pasta he was his ‘old self again, and with a vengeance -exhausted, depressed, nauseated, and with a throbbing pain on one side of his head. Cow’s milk, oranges and rye had similar effects. After avoiding these foods for a year, he finds he can now eat them occasionally without ill-effects. His children are amazed and delighted with the transformation in their father, who now plays football with them, takes them swimming and is a lot more fun to be with. The family have decided they like country life, but Tom is planning to go back into social work as soon as he can get a job locally.


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