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How The Soy In My Dinner Very Likely Was The Thing That Kicked My Ass To Migraineville

December 19, 2012
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How The Soy In My Dinner Very Likely Was The Thing That Kicked My Ass To Migraineville
I first assumed the migraine that just ached at first this morning and then exploded was caused my punishing work schedule these past few weeks. Now, I think it may have been the Kogi food truck’s soy-soaked beef and pork I ate last night at a super event thrown by reason to celebrate the opening of their new HQ.

See below, with bold-faced bits by me, a bit from the website of the Kogi truck guys:

THASS RIGHT, KIDS! Soy sauce is made with WHEAT, which makes it NOT GLUTEN-FREE. So any of our meats and tofu (it’s organic!) is MARINATED in stuff that contains SOY SAUCE. YEAH, BASK IN OUR ASIANNESS!!!!!111ONEONE I’d teLL ya to get the saLad, but hey — it’s tossed in a chiLi-soy vinaigrette. So I’d advise you to get griLLed onion muLita w/ SaLsa Verde (roasted jaLapeño, citrus, garLic oiL and ciLantro). AND THAT’S IT. I know, it’s a pretty weak-arse list of options, but that’s the onLy thing I can think of that is stiLL dericious and WON’T KILL YOU. Sorry, foLks, I don’t want to be responsibLe for your trip to the hospitaL.

Oh, and before I forget — based off some lazy internet research, I’ve found out that soy sauce has smaLL quantities of naturaLLy-occuring gLutamate — for those deathLy afraid of MSG. So just keep that in mind.

From bed, in between sleep jags with the lights off and my noise-canceling headphones and little sleep mask on, I Googled up psychiatrist Emily Deans and “migraines.” And yay, she had something — on a gene migraine sufferers have in common, rs1835740:

The punchline. rs1835740 is an area of a chromosome that has two genes for glutamate regulation. Yes, glutamate, that excitatory neurotransmitter that can be exceedingly annoying and cause all sorts of trouble (like seizures, bipolar disorder, depression, and migraines) when the regulation is out of whack. The actual gene they think is implicated is MTDH. MTDH is responsible for downregulating the major glutamate transporter in the brain.

The hypothesis of migraines is that too much glutamate is left out in the synapse, causing too much excitement in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading to spreading neurotoxic communication, head pain, sometimes aura – a migraine. Why would too much glutamate be left out in the synapse? Because some people appear to have inefficient pumping mechanisms to get it back into the cell. The glutamate transporter is one you need to be working tip top!

This is all indirect evidence, but it is sensible and very cool. Maybe your common migraines are due to this very gene and mechanism. Perhaps topamax or valproate or other GABA-influencing medicines could work to improve the headaches. Or you could actively work to reduce your stress so the glutamate isn’t so prevalent. Or maybe even try a ketogenic diet. (not an FDA approved treatment for migraine – and I couldn’t even find any case trials on pubmed, but I have heard of cases mentioned on the internet. I’ll look harder) Intriguing!

I’m already on a ketogenic (low-carb diet), and the only variation last night was my dinner — with that soy sauce on top. (I of course ordered my kogi sans tortillas.)

Coconut oil is ketogenic, so I just made some chamomile tea with hot milk and about a tablespoon of organic coconut oil, which I foamed together with my milk foamer, and I’m hoping that will help.

I have a mammo at 3:30, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss it, get charged and have to go another day — a day I could spend writing my ass off.

And no, in case you’re wondering, I don’t get the kind of migraines that give you a visual aura, so I’ll be okay — but maybe in pain and crabby — to drive the three miles to the facility where I’m getting this done.

How crabby? If anyone suggests I take an aspirin, which are about as effective against my migraines as throwing a ping pong ball is at eradicating a tumor, come close and see how I can turn you into a small pile of ashes with a single glare.

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