Our consultant research scientist, Angela A. Stanton, PhD, focuses on making science accessible to the world. As a migraineur herself, she found a real solution to migraines through her extensive research into the condition.
Our mission is to create science-driven products that put effectiveness first. If it doesn’t help the body, we don’t want it in our products.
Have a question about the science behind it all? Learn more from our resident expert and the founder of the Stanton Migraine Protocol, Dr. Angela Stanton.
What causes a migraine?
- Insufficient electrolyte balance
- Migraines could be triggered by dehydration and sodium or salt deficits.
What determines that someone is having a migraine?
- True migraines start with a hormonal disruption as a result of overstimulation of the sensory neurons and end in electrolyte dysfunction that prevents action potential in some parts of the brain, which results in what is referred to as cortical spreading depression.
What are some important minerals in electrolytes?
- Magnesium is a very important mineral such that provides a key to open the sodium/potassium pumps. Magnesium also provides crucial nutrients for the mitochondria that are in every single cell of our body and convert the food we eat into energy packets our cells can use.
- Salt (sodium chloride) is an essential mineral for multiple cellular functions, including the generation of action potentials in our brains, as well as generating hydrochloric acid in our stomach to digest food.
- Calcium is a key mineral for bone formation and it also participates in brain functions via the voltage gated calcium channels, which help release neurotransmitters in our brain. Calcium also participates in the muscle function of heart beats.
- Potassium helps the arterial walls relax and is the mineral generating resting potential.
What is a migraine?
- Migraine is the manifestation of an energy (voltage) shortage in the brain, caused by insufficient electrolyte quality. This actually makes migraine into a symptom. The insufficient electrolyte mix is caused by certain genetic variances that result in some electrolyte mineral deficiency. Therefore, the electrolyte imbalance is also a symptom. The direct cause of migraine lies hidden in critical genetic variances that should operate the voltage gated channels of neurons but cannot.
Why do migraineurs have more receptors and hyper sensory brains?
- Genetics. The migraine brain has different voltage gated ionic channels for calcium, ATPase, the sodium/potassium pump, sodium channel, and potassium pump, implying that all electrolyte modulation for a migraineur is different from a non-migraineur, in addition to glucose and insulin regulatory variances.
Can stress cause migraines?
- Yes. Our nervous system translates external stress and transmits it to relevant internal organs, tissues, and cells via hormones.
What does it mean to be hydrated? (Hint: it’s not just by drinking water!)
- Being hydrated and drinking water are only partially connected. Drinking only water can dehydrate since it can enter the cells via osmotic channels through the membrane but larger elements cannot. Cells without sodium cannot retain water and remain dehydrated.
Are migraines genetic?
- For migraineurs, their genetic variances are all very identical or at least very similar. Nearly all their symptoms and reactions to treatments are identical. Therefore what works for one person may actually work for you as well if presented with the same symptoms.
- The migraine genetic variances lead to one key problem all migraineurs eventually face: metabolic syndrome.
Why do we feel pain when we experience migraines?
- There are no pain sensing nerves in the brain. So why do we still feel pain? All pain is felt by the trigeminal neuron receptors that are located on the meninges of the brain. That is, the pain we feel as migraineurs is disconnected from the actual location that causes migraines.
How do Nitrates impact Migraines?
- Nitrates cause trouble for migraineurs but not because of the harmful effects of nitrates as chemicals themselves. Nitrates can be life saving for hypertensive patients. Nitrates cause problems for migraineurs because they lower their already low blood pressure, which sets off the cascade of events leading to migraine.
What are some symptoms of migraines / How does a migraine differ from a headache?
- Migraine symptoms include: anxiety, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), nausea, sensitivity to darkness, light, smells, and everything can seem irritating.
How does salt impact our body?
- Salt molecules break down into ions Na+ and Cl- and these, along with potassium, magnesium, and phosphate participate in what is called voltage activated sodium/potassium pumps. This creates the voltage necessary for the cell to function properly.
What are some of the best hydrating options?
- Drinking whole milk is an ideal hydrating fluid because it is a perfect electrolyte balanced in sodium, potassium, water, lactose, calcium, and protein.
- Drinking salted water, such as salt-pickle juice
- Taking salt pills (also called electrolyte pills).
What’s the difference between the brain of a migraineur and a non-migraineur?
- The brains of these two differ in the way their neurons work. A migraine brain’s sensory neurons are hyper sensitive and hyper alert in comparison to the sensory neurons of a non-migraine brain. More alertness is explained by more receptors and neurotransmitters.
- Regular human brains that have adapted and are able to reset electrolyte homeostasis with ease have no trouble. The migraine brain cannot because all associated voltage gated ionic pumps and channels are in their ancient forms, where carbohydrate consumption was too minimal to matter in electrolyte dysregulation.
What is proper Migraine Nutrition?
- Migraineurs can use glucose as energy just like everyone else; however, if they use too much, it can result in major electrolyte disruption thus leading to a migraine. Therefore, stopping the consumption of carbohydrates such as breads, starchy sweets, and legumes can help prevent migraines.
- A migraineur can eat green leafy salads, cucumbers, zucchini, avocado, and many similar foods. However, they cannot eat a slice of bread or an apple, or drink smoothies, fruit juices, or soft drinks.
What are some migraine triggers?
- All foods containing carbs are migraine triggers. For example alcohol, sugar, and artificial sweeteners are major triggers for producing migraine headaches.
What does low magnesium level mean for our body?
- Magnesium is used by the cells like a key to open the pumps. If there is no magnesium inside the cells, even if there is plenty of water and salt, the pumps cannot open.
Do periods cause migraines?
- Throughout the month, the women’s hormone levels change drastically depending on the time period of their menstrual cycle. Premenstrual symptoms vary based on how a woman’s body responds to the stress of the cycle. She may retain water or lose water. These two different conditions call on a different responses to prevent an ongoing migraine. The electrolyte status-change in response to hormonal variation can cause migraines. To learn more, join Dr. Angela Stanton's migraine Facebook group!
How does milk keep me hydrated and relieve migraine pain?
- Drinking whole milk, which is full of electrolytes, is good for migraineurs and others alike. Few people realize that milk is a great source of electrolytes, protein, and good cholesterol.
What is the Keto Diet and how does it impact migraines?
- The ketogenic diet is mostly fat, a limited amount of protein, and very small amounts of carbohydrates—the exact opposite of the Standard American Diet (SAD).
- The ketogenic diet has been used therapeutically because of the high fat. It is used as curative today for epilepsy, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, for neuromuscular diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS, sleep disorders and autism, and even migraines and much more. It appears that the ketogenic way of eating cures the negative consequences of the Standard American Diet (SAD) diet.
How can I help prevent migraines through my diet?
- If migraineurs choose to eat a limited amount of carbohydrates with low glucose content such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some types of fruits, they can still prevent their migraines by the use of the Stanton Migraine Protocol® detailed in the book.