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 salt?
- Magnesium is a very important element that provides a key such that the cells can open at all given the proper electrical environment. Magnesium also provides crucial nutrient for the mitochondria little bacteria in every single cell of our body that converts the food we eat into energy packets our cells can use. You get more magnesium out of a bite of food--just about any food--than from an entire box of designer salt.
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.
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 chose to eat limited amount of carbohydrates in 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.
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 only these two ions participate in what is called voltage activated sodium pumps. This creates the voltage necessary for the cell to function. The influx of Na+ and Cl- can cause the signal of pain to go off, causing chronic pain.
What are some of the best hydrating options?
- Whole milk since it has the perfect electrolyte balance in sodium, potassium, water, blood sugar lactose, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein therefore making it ideal to hydrate.
- Some athletes also take salt pills (electrolyte supplements) which is also a great supplement since they are easy to carry around and take when needed.
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?
- Since migraineurs cannot use glucose as energy—and if they try, they end up with major electrolyte disruption as a result—it implies that by stopping the consumption of carbohydrates, migraines can be prevented. A certain amount of protein also converts to glucose (gluconeogenesis) so controlling protein amount is also important but less critical.
- A migraineur can eat green leafy salads, cucumbers, zucchini, avocado, and many similar foods. However, she cannot eat a slice of bread, an apple, or drink smoothies, fruit juices, or soft drinks.
What are some migraine triggers?
- The clues that alcohol, sugar and artificial sweeteners are major triggers for producing migraine headaches are so strong, their avoidance would appear to be mandatory.
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.
Is it possible that a migraine with its metabolism and energy associated variances is a sign of metabolic syndrome?
- The answer to this is likely yes. When migraineurs change their nutritional regime by excluding or greatly reducing all carbohydrates, they reverse their metabolic health condition, achieve full remission, and with that, their migraines also disappear.
Do periods cause migraines?
- After a female goes through her period, the brain is sent into overdrive due to the amount of hormonal changes occurring throughout the entire body. We do not believe migraines are caused by hormones, but rather they are triggered by the lack of energy available to the brain as the hormones cycle. When the brain runs out of energy, a wave of cortical depression begins in some part of the brain. This is what we feel as a migraine.
- After the menstrual cycle is over, the female body immediately prepares for the next menstrual cycle. There is no downtime for rest. The brain turns off one group of hormones and turns on others, thereby manipulating how women see the world prior to and during estrus (fertile time). After a menstrual cycle is over, the brain turns on the estrogen to do a few things:
- Prepare the uterus with a new fertile lining to accept the fertilized egg should one arrive and start a new life.
- In order to make the fertilized egg happen, the egg must be prepared in the ovaries, so hormones initiate the ripening of a new egg.
- The woman’s body goes through amazing visible changes at this time of the month. If she had pimples, they magically disappear. If she was bloated, her bloating goes away. Her face becomes the most symmetrical it possibly can; the more symmetrical the more sexually appealing she becomes to the opposite sex.
- She becomes extremely attracted to high testosterone males, requiring her pheromones to change and to be able to sense a high testosterone pheromone male’s presence. This high testosterone attraction changes after fertile time to attraction to low testosterone males for the safety of the child, should mating end in a baby.
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.