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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- Foods that make you gain weight: sugar, sugar substitutes, and empty carbs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.