Migraine Facts: Slow Down and Read This

I posted this note in my migraine group so you are all aware of a few important things when you start your recovery from migraines. Some of these points assume you are familiar with the book I am talking about so if you are not, please consider purchasing the print copy or the e-book from the publisher or from amazon e-book or paperback or Barnes&Noble either paperback or e-book wherever you want to buy it.

Assuming you read the book, please make sure you follow these guidelines:

  1. Please do not take both salt and potassium at the same time during your recovery (with water of course) since we do not yet know which one your body misses. If you add both, you just increase the lack of your knowledge. You need to look at signs–listed in the book–particularly the urine one to decide which you need more of and focus ONLY on that until your migraines improve.
  2. Do not expect to get your migraine away from a single pickle once eaten. When you start your recovery process, it is your body that heals itself from the proper essential minerals and so the “cure” is not instantaneous but takes time. This is not a pill. Think of it like a broken bone. It takes the body 6 weeks to heal that. It takes the body time to heal the brain as well only you cannot see the process. Your “maintenance” as I refer to it in the book tells you (with a diary) that it is for the rest of your life! Don’t worry, it becomes second nature within a very short time.
  3. If you are salt deficient, the recovery is fast since salt absorbs into the body instantly and need not go through the metabolic process to become salt.. it already is salt, or sodium chloride to be exact. So it can work as fast as 10 minutes.
  4. If you are low in potassium, THAT takes longer since if you eat potassium rich foods, they have to go through the metabolic digestive process to become potassium that your brain can use. In the case of potassium, you should expect response in one day or so, depending on the speed of your metabolism.
  5. Some of you noted that you “gained weight” as a result of drinking water. Our bodies are over 60% water so if you “gained weight” that means you just refilled an otherwise empty bucket! That is the weight you would have to be based on your current food intake (by this I mean specific things I detail in the next point) and exercise (I also detail this in the point after that)
  6. Foods that make you gain weight: sugar, sugar substitutes, and empty carbs.
    1. Sugar–if you have not yet read my blog on this earlier, sugar is made of 2 elements: fructose and sucrose. Sucrose is empty carb and fructose is the sweet stuff in fruits. BUT fructose without the fiber of the fruit turns into ethanol in the body, never reaching the brain as sugar, and stays in the liver for life as “alcohol” ethanol even if you never drink alcohol. Sugar thus causes what is called “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” and makes you gain weight because it also signals the brain to go into starvation mode via a hormone called Leptin. Leptin that sees no sugar (it is ethanol now) but insulin is in your blood (signaling sugar) instructs the brain to slow down all physical activity since you are not getting enough food. It is a catch-22 game that is very dangerous and I often refer you to the book called Fat Chance by Robert H. Lustig. It is a hard book to read but worthy to read.
    2. Sugar substitutes cause weight gain and diabetes II by releasing insulin (yes, insulin sees the chemical structure and thinks it is sugar) but insulin finds no sugar (sugar substitutes do not behave like sugars) and so insulin floats in the blood until the cows come home, creating “insulin resistance” which is a.k.a. diabetes II.
    3. empty carbs do increase weight but they are important in small quantities to the body because they provide some instant and easy access to sugars for the brain and muscles–if you exercise. But eat too much and they deposit as fat. Thus while we need simple carbs, if we eat too much, we get fat.
  7. A word about exercise: contrary to popular belief, exercise does not make you lose weight (see the book Fat Chance). Exercise does 2 important things:
    1. it uses fat and sugar to build muscle tissues that are actually heavier than fat so working out will make you weigh more even if you now fit into a dress size half of what you used to fit into; weight is not a good measure of fitness or health.
    2. exercise does something rather complex (also in Fat Chance) but in a few words: each and every cell in our bodies has “mitochondria” which is a kind of bacteria that has long time ago became symbiotic with our cells. It converts the food we eat into energy for the cells. It is essential to have “fresh” mitochondria in our cells. If you do not exercise, you only have old and inefficient mitochondria and so their ability to burn fat is limited as they age. If you exercise, it promotes the creation of fresh mitochondria in your cells thereby increasing the fat-burning ability of your cells. It is these new mitochondria that allow you to become thinner (not the loss of weight) and thereby look like a model’s body… So do not go on weight loss plan under any condition, particularly not if you have migraines because that inevitably means water loss and another migraine.

I hope these help answer some of the questions. Please feel free to post comments or questions and also join our Facebook discussions linked above.

Angela

About Be Healthy

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist who evaluates changes in behavior, chronic pain, decision-making, as a result of hormonal variations in the brain. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a migraineur, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic mutations of insulin and glucose transporters, and voltage gated sodium and calcium channel mutations. Such mutations cause major shifts in a migraine brain, unlike that of a non-migraine brain. A non-migraineur can handle electrolyte changes on autopilot. A migraineur must always be on manual guard for such changes to maintain electrolyte homeostasis. The book Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines - An Insider's View explains why we have migraines, how to prevent them and how to stay migraine (and medicine) free for life. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know at the moment and also some hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. While working on the 2nd edition of the book she also published academic articles: "Migraine Cause and Treatment" Mental Health in family Medicine, November 23, 2015, open access "Functional Prodrome in Migraines" Journal of Neurological Disorders, January 22, 2016, open access "Are Statistics Misleading Sodium Reduction Benefits?", Journal of Medical Diagnostic Method, February 3, 2016, open access “A Comment on Severe Headache or Migraine History Is Inversely Correlated With Dietary Sodium Intake: NHANES 1999-2004” Angela A Stanton PhD, 19 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/head.12861 not open access, subscription is required to read it. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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15 Responses to Migraine Facts: Slow Down and Read This

  1. Moongazer this answer came lout really narrow.. lol.. so much for WordPress style. Here is my comment in a form you can actually read it:
    “Oh no Moongazer, you misunderstood. By “one” meant that they took samples of a population of “one type”–FM–and another type–non FM. Not one person but one group and each person in that particular “one group” had a tiny piece of the skin removed. 🙂 “

    Like

  2. Moongazer says:

    Interesting as with FM our cells burn the wrong type of fuel but exercise is so damned difficult with fm

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is not yet clear what FM cells do or do not do but it is clear that it is a Central Nervous System problem that becomes a Peripheral Nervous System pain. I had a couple of FM patients go on the migraine ionic balancing protocol and they responded extremely well. I suspect that it has the basic foundation as migraine and seizures do. Lots of articles I just linked you to on the comment on migraines you made under the Ambien article. If you read those, you will see the connection.

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      • Moongazer says:

        There is evidence now. There is a link on my blog to the recent discovery of the pathology of FM.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Do you mean to tender points article? I am familiar with the original research where they took samples of the skin of a person with FM and one without FM and discovered that all the receptors were burned up by the FM subject except for one. That one carried all the pain signals as opposed to the many in a healthy person. Thus one nerve carrying a HUGE pain signal does not get dampened by the inhibitor at the connection of the peripheral nerve to the central nerves and the pain will head up to the brain. The question is why the nerves burned up the first place and I think the answer lies in something as simple as a childhood infection–I had a survey in a very large FM group and nearly everyone had Mono or similarly unlikely disease as a young child. Most people I know who had no Mono or similar do not have FM but those who had some exotic illnesses like this do have them. It seems that there is a pathogenic start to the damage that then continues with lack of proper ionic balance of the micro and macro nutrients the nerves need to function.

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          • Moongazer says:

            I’m sorry, I’m on my phone and cant read all your comment. Not the tender points post – its further back but in the Fibromyalgia category.
            I also saw an ‘explanation’ of the ‘venule’ findings that likened the processes involved to an engine working with a faulty thermostat. That gave a good explanation of the fm muscle cells using the ‘wrong fuel’. Sorry i cant be more precise.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Oh OK, I will look further down.

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            • I am back already at the start of 2013 and still cannot find the article Moongazer. Do you remember the title? Or can you send the link?

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              • Moongazer says:

                The post is called “A Better Explanation of Fibromyalgia Pain” and was posted on 2nd december 2014.
                The link to the article is near the bottom

                Liked by 1 person

                • I found it. I found this earlier too but you said it was something other than skin receptors.. it is about skin receptors. It explains how without inhibition at the connection of the peripheral and the central the pain gets amplified (this means it gets to the pain; without amplification it is dampened and it goes nowhere). So this is what I was explaining earlier giving more detailed information about how and why the nerve signals to the brain. You can see the first ouch at the toe, the peripheral nerve. The second ouch is at the spinal cord–that is where it connects to the central nervous system, and the last ouch is in the brain where the pain registers. It is exactly what I wrote earlier. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Moongazer says:

                    You said earlier that the study was from ONE person with FM and ONE person without FM. i was pointing out that the evidence has been gained from a larger study.
                    My understanding is that the effects of these extra venules is on the blood supply, and ultimately the energy burned in the cells.
                    If I have mixed two studies up, I apologise.

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                    • Oh no Moongazer, you misunderstood. By “one” meant that they took samples of a population of “one type”–FM–and another type–non FM. Not one person but one group and each person in that particular “one group” had a tiny piece of the skin removed. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. y. prior says:

    Hi – enjoyed skimming this post – and I read it even though I do not get migraines – and thank the good Lord for that! and well, I still think that anyone with ANY health issue – still need to consider parasite cleansing as well.
    Okay, just had to add that in.

    But I really like what you added about the mitochondria from exercise. Never heard it put that way before and it makes sense. Exercise also oxygenates the blood – and whew – and strengthens the bones (the pounding) but I think some people forget that too much exercise also poses some risks (just read an another blog about the dangers of running marathons too often) anyhow, also wanted to say that ilk – who wants to look like a model – well I Know many people do – but gosh, the underfed – all bone look is not really ideal for moi. ! ha! but it does not feel nice to have clothes fit loosely and to move in shape – because being “fit” has so many little perks, ya know.

    okay, hope you are having a nice weekend – and best wishes with your book writing – 🙂
    ~yvette

    Liked by 1 person

    • y. prior says:

      one more quick note – came across someone today who was injured by a mistake during a surgery – and told her about your blog – and will link them later – whew –

      Liked by 1 person

    • You know that mitochondria also hit me by surprise; I totally forgot what their job was.. it is so easy to forget what one learns when at that time it is on little importance. But it is in the book Fat Chance by Robert H. Lustig I am reading and it made me remember of its importance! Running, in general, is actually really bad for you–even small runs. I hurt my back by running! It is only walking now.. glad I can do it… as for being “fit” the Fat Chance book has some interesting comments on that! Weight is cultural! What may be normal for a Chinese, for example, would be sickly for a European, and deadly for an African American… One needs to eat for health as per culture and not as per the stupid boyish magazines with ugly bones sticking out wearing the most bizarre and idiotic clothes.

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