I have been a migraine sufferer for many years. It took the past two years to finally work on it, and figure out what I could do. For those reading this, keep in mind it is individual, and what might work for me, might not work for you.
In late 2018, I found a Facebook group called: Stanton Migraine Protocol. It is based off of Angela Stanton, a Neuroscientist, who has worked on migraines the past ten years prior to that time. She has had migraines her whole life, and now in her sixties, found ways to manage them. Her advice is simple enough, although she explains it better than me. She says to: increase Potassium and Sodium levels to the recommended RSDA levels. She says that at the base level, salt and potassium are what comes out of your cells. Calcium is the third. If all of these are balanced, your migraines will be less.
I have worked with this concept for two years now, it is about 80% true. The only part she refuses to admit is hormonal.. She has gotten into many fights with people saying that fixing your hormones won’t do anything. She is wrong. She had a hysterectomy and still had migraines, that is why she says that, but many have hit menopause and had their migraines disappear. Again, it is individual. Angela also heavily pushes the Carnivore and Keto diets based off the fact that of the 4,000 or so she studied through the years, all the women had the same problem-they all had blood sugar problems, and half of them had Hashimotos Disease. She thinks if you balance your blood sugar, you can also lower the migraine levels. This is not wrong, but pushing Carnivore is extreme.
I did this diet in June of 2019 and was miserable for a month. By the end, I was quite sick, and had to stop because my body could not take it, and nobody can eat meat when they are sick. The idea is to reverse your insulin resistance, but long term exercise can do that, it just takes time. Read my post on my Carnivore journey: here
Rebound sadly is another unfair problem with migraines and even balancing your electrolytes will not fix those. Nothing will except slowly tapering off of the drug. I have had odd periods though where even after taking a lot of Imitrex ,I still did not get rebounds and would go four days without a migraine. I started taking Vitex, an herb to balance hormones and it worked really well the first few months. The problem is, nothing lasts long. It starts to taper off and you have to move to another herb, that is true of most herbal remedies. They have a time period of how long you can be on them.
Angela’s program is something I do every day regardless, because without it my head would pound every day for hours. She is sixty five now, and has immaculate blood pressure. The salt lie we have been told for years is not true. She said it only raises your blood pressure by three lousy points and can only be issues in people that have advanced cardiovascular disease, otherwise it is fine.
Her advice is to drink milk when you have a migraine attack. I have tried this a billion times. Results? It works-yes, about 70 to 80%. Which must mean when I have one that does not go away, it must be rebound then. Milk has the perfect combination of potassium, salt and calcium that nothing else on earth has. Yes, I know it is unfair that you have to drink an animal product. There simply does not exist a drink with the balance and ratio milk does, you can look, but you would have to add it up, and play around with things to get the same.
I personally put her diet to the test for months, hardly ate any sugar except a few strawberries and no matter what I did, still had migraines. I have tried hitting milk hard the past few months, and have seen positive results, but sometimes they come back anyway, which is why I think hormones are to blame. I am 46, and pretty sure I am in perimenopause.
I also noticed that my iron has been low off and on for years. Check your eyelids to see if it is white, or pink, or looks dry, that is a strong indicator of low iron, and that will create migraines also.
I have tried it all through the years, I have tried B-2, it does not work. I have tried herbs, nope. I did try diet, and now I just take whatever hormone balancers I can, and workout. I use Angela’s program, or parts of it, and I still eat carbs, but watch the amount and take salt with it.
Out of everything out there, her program is the most promising. But I am sorry, it does not solve all the problems. For several women though, it did eliminate their migraines. For me, nope. They want you to be perfect, and never take another drug again and that is very unrealistic.
The problem with migraines is Doctors don’t want to find out what causes them, they just want to numb it cover it up. You can guarantee the problem lies deep within nutrition, and pretty much most physical issues do. I have learned this through the years. You will never get rid of them entirely until you fix the problem at a base level deep inside. That is why it does not make sense to just get Botox injections or have nerves cut in your head, because if its glucose for instance, causing them, that still runs through your entire body, what are you going to do? Your head is in direct relation to other things, and your body works as a unit. Fixing one or more problems, will cascade to where you can eventually fix them all, or come close to it.
If you are a man and have migraines, diet and exercise, as well as electrolyte balancing would work better on you than women, because we have hormones. So your chances are higher of getting rid of them.
So let me list what I think works the strongest:
Angela Stanton Protocol of electrolyte balance and diet
Hormone balancers(I will say more on this in a minute)
Exercise every day
Limit sugar, and carbs, at least cut them in half if you can
For rebound, taper off a few milligrams at a time and go down for weeks and see if it helps
For hormones, here is my personal experience:
Number one would be Vitex. This is chasteberry. It is an herb. You have to take it for a full month before it kicks in. You can take it for probably a year and see if it works. It has minimized my pain and helped calm things down a lot.
Number two I suggest instead of Vitex, is Maca. This is a Peruvian Sweet Potato, not an herb. I took it earlier this year but sadly I had two infections going on so my head was killing me all the time. When I was not in pain from my teeth, I did notice that it seemed to work and cut back on the pain. Here is a sad fact though-Don’t take it more than two months. That pretty much is the deadline. It simply won’t work after that. I don’t know why, but that is how it is.
Up your Coconut Oil. Most people buy this oil from stores, and get the wrong kind! If it says refined on the bottle, then you are eating trans fat.. That is why so many people make fun of it and say it’s dangerous because they don’t bother to get the unrefined. Healthy Traditions is from the Phillipins and pretty much one of the rare few that have the correct kind of Coconut oil. Get Virgin or Expeller Pressed and eat two tablespoons a day. This helps balance your hormones.
Eat balanced salt and potassium and calcium
Throughout the day, if you have migraine pain come on, you can take a pill, but try first to help it. I notice that if you take medicine without fixing your electrolytes, it works less and has a harder time.
I am not allowed to go too much into detail, Angela wants people to go to her group and read all the files she has, there are several of them. To see her site go: here
Again, this is my personal experience and everybody is different, but I wanted to get it out there. Angela and her moderators can explain better than me, but she points everyone towards her files once you get it. Be aware that they make you test to see what your glucose is, prior to starting the group. I left Facebook so I am not part of the group anymore.
Their moderators work with you if you have an attack, and they explain what to do based off many factors. They ask you questions to better help you.
I personally do not like being pushed towards eating Keto or Carnivore, because it was not right for me, but each person is different, and you might have better luck.
I have tried it all through the years, and even though it is not perfect, it is the closest we have to getting the best help. I am no affiliated with her in any way, and am not getting paid to promote her.
This diet is full of salt at high levels, adjust individually. If you have issues with your kidneys, be weary of it.