ver since I turned 30, I have been plagued with debilitating headaches. They would come with unerring regularity – once mid cycle and once around the time of my period. When they came, they would last for a full 48 hours. A beating down, one sided headache. I would sometimes feel like someone is playing drums inside my head. The pain would be so bad, I would just cry.
Nothing would make them go away. No medicine worked. The headaches would be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a burning in the stomach. Constant fatigue, low energy, breathlessness… the list of things that made me uneasy would be endless. I hated the headaches the most, dreaded them. I was resigned to my fate, as it were and believed that this just had to be tided over till I hit menopause when I hoped they would cease. Four days every month, lost to the Headache.
Around the time I was 45, I had a headache that lasted five full days, relatively mild but five days of pain nevertheless. I then knew I had to do something drastic. That was when I met Dr. Achyuthan Eswar. He listened to me patiently and said that this was most easy to resolve. I looked at him, stupefied – here I was suffering for four days every month, for fifteen long years, and this guy says it’s no big deal. He put me on a whole foods plant based diet. He also insisted on an hour of exercise, which I was just not doing, as I would usually feel too fatigued on most days. Meditation and relaxation were to be followed everyday.
The first month after I started following these practices, when I got my period, I found I had a mild headache but it vanished in about 3 hours – from 48 hours to three hours! It was a miracle. This was enough for me. I was ready to keep doing whatever it took. Three months down the line, the headaches had stopped completely. I also felt like the middle of my body had disappeared – I was losing weight and I felt so light. My energy levels were better than before. Other symptoms like burning in the stomach, listlessness etc. all disappeared. Most importantly, I felt in control of my health and was not feeling powerless or helpless any more.
In about three years, I had lost 18 kgs and all my symptoms. The 48 hour headache has not come back even once. There were major lifestyle changes I made. Fruits became a huge part of my diet. What goes into my plate is in reverse proportion of what used to go in earlier. At every meal its 3-4 fruits, some soaked nuts and dried fruits, 2 veggies, and lastly a small helping of some grains – unpolished rice/ millets and pulses, in this order. Potatoes, cauliflower, rajma, channa - foods that were headache triggers earlier - are back on my plate! I became more regular with exercise (yoga), meditation and relaxation.
At 52, I have more strength, endurance and flexibility than I have ever had in my entire life. To celebrate my 50th birthday, I went on a high altitude Himalayan trek - I would never have dreamed of this if I had not started feeling confident of my own fitness. And you know what, I maintained a WFPB diet through the trek. By the end of the trek, many of my trek mates wanted the ‘Kavitha Diet’:) The miracle was possible only with the support and direction provided by Dr. Achyuthan for which not just me but my entire family are so grateful.
- Kavitha Krishnamurthy, Founder, Kilikili
Kilikili is a registered Trust, formed by parents of children with special needs, driven by volunteers and supported by professionals, that aims to create inclusive play spaces that will be accessible to all children, regardless of their ability.