Migraines: Have they controlled your life?
I have suffered with migraines for 50 years. They have stolen from my job, marriage, kids, and life. If you suffer as well, please take a minute to read this blog post about balancing your electrolytes and hydration to control your headaches. I would never have believed a $1 box of salt could reverse so much pain. I hope this is able to help you.
If you know what your triggers are...Yeah! If you do not...Please add a weather app to your phone that shows the barometric pressure, and check it several times a day. My headaches start when the pressure shifts. If I can recognize and jump on the start of a headache, it is much easier to control. The barometer typically is between 29.6-30.2. Every person is different. My headaches are worst on gorgeous, sunny, high-pressure days above 30.03, while my husband gets them below 29.6. It is critical to find your triggers. If you are female, I am also going to suggest that you track your periods. Many headaches are triggered by hormone shifts and the cravings that come with them.
The BEST information I have found for controlling migraines!
1) There isn't a "cure" but you CAN tackle the pain as though it has a number of causes, and eliminate the pain in layers.
2) About a year ago, I read a book called "The Stanton Migraine Protocol" by Angela Stanton.
Her journey through a lifetime of migraines was very similar to mine.
Headaches since childhood
worse the week before and after periods
Debilitating (on my back in bed) pain
TOO much medication: over-the-counter/multiple trypsins
Ablation(burning the nerves with a needle to make the pain stop for a couple of years at a time)
I TRIED EVERYTHING THAT I COULD AFFORD TO TRY!!!! And NOTHING worked.
Angela Stanton claims that the migraine brain is an evolutionary throwback, and does NOT work the same as other brains. She flatly states that we need significantly more water than normal, and to watch our electrolytes like our sanity depends on it. The 3 electrolytes that she discusses are salt, potassium, and magnesium.
I would never have believed that a $1 box of salt could nearly eliminate my migraines!!!
In her book, she has a "salt test"
*Grab a pinch of salt, and place it under your tongue. Do NOT talk or move your tongue, and do not drink. Pay attention to what you feel. As the salt enters your blood (very fast), it will make you feel...better/or worse/or nothing.
*Hearing cracking, popping, like an old engine is cranking up for the first time in 20 years?
Super! You are salt deficient!
*If your pain starts easing after the salt test and if you don't mind the taste of salt, take 1/8
teaspoon of salt and drink a sip of water with it (just enough to swallow the salt. If you dislike
salt, use a pickle or salt tablet.
*IF YOU ARE FEELING WORSE AFTER THE SALT TEST!!!!
*Spit out the salt, rinse your mouth, and grab some potassium-containing food (avocado,
salmon, steak, pistachio, nuts, milk, tomato juice or stewed tomatoes, orange juice, or
potatoes. DO NOT USE A SPORTS DRINK OR A POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENT!
*IF YOU ARE FEELING NEUTRAL (not better or worse)...think about how much water you have
been drinking over
the past 24 hours...if you are not drinking a minimum of 8 glasses/day, you are likely
dehydrated. Drink a glass of water and see if it eases. If it does, repeat with a glass every
other hour until the headache leaves. If it is not water when was the last time you ate
nutritional food? Get a glass of milk, a piece of cheese, a piece of steak or burger,
some tuna etc.
I was taught to cook with very little salt, and ate almost none. For as long as I can remember, my neck has made popping and cracking noises when I moved my head. The night I read this test, I drank a quart of water with a teaspoon of salt. The next morning is the first time in my life that I can remember waking without the neck noises. It has been 9 months, and I am still using that as a warning sign that I am dehydrated, and have been forgetting the salt. I watch the barometric pressure on my weather app...and if the barometer is either climbing or above 30.0, I add several cups of tomato juice to my day. Tomato juice has more potassium than almost anything on the market...it is cheap, low in sugar, and it works to add potassium. I have also added a magnesium complex supplement to my protocol. With the addition of electrolytes and 4 cups of water, I've gone from 12 Excedrine, 24 Sudafed, and 25 mg of Imitrex a day to less than 4 Excedrine, 4 Sudafed, and about 4mg of Imitrex a day. The ulcer I had been working toward is gone and liver enzymes are normal.
MORNINGS ARE STILL THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE!
I sleep HARD, and if the barometer shifts a lot overnight. A couple of times a week, I wake in the morning with pain in the C3 vertebrae of my neck. Recently, I ran out of Imitrex, and could NOT get it under control. In desperation, I grabbed a stick of pain rub, and used it on the back of my neck... left side...below and just above the hairline/down my neck/under my jaw....everywhere that was tender to touch. I tried to sleep, and in about 20 minutes, dropped off. When I woke almost 2 hours later, the pain was completely gone. I have repeated the process when I wake with a migraine and have learned several things.
1) Sorensen's Pain Rub will remove the pain of a migraine that is caused by a pinched nerve
in the neck.
2) I hate the feel of it on my neck, so mostly use it as a last resort, and keep it on for less than
2 hours before shampooing it back off.
3) If I can keep it on for at least an hour...the pain does not come back for several hours.
4) It can be an excellent tool in the tool chest of tricks to outsmart a migraine, but isn't as useful if you have to go about your day with it on your neck. I just can't...
If you would like to learn more about Angela Stanton's book " The Stanton Migraine Protocol", she has a Facebook page and donates tons of time to help people interpret their bloodwork results. I have NOT done that, as the electrolytes have my migraines under control. The book is available on Kindle (at the time I downloaded it, it was free on Kindle Unlimited). It is also available as a physical book through Amazon.
And...because no email or blog post would be normal without Michigan scenery...