A closer look at “the salt cure”
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Profile photo of Tammy Rome

There is a tip making the rounds on Facebook that you can stop a migraine by drinking salt water. Some even suggest adding lemon juice. There is also someone promoting a book that encourages the use of salt to treat migraines. I believe there is even a Facebook group for people who want to follow her work. I have some friends who have been taken in by this idea.

I understand the urge to stop using pharmaceutical medications in favor of more natural approaches. We are all tempted by the fantasy of a quick fix without harmful effects. Some of the drugs used to treat migraine have nasty side effects. I’m not exactly pleased with some of the side effects I have to deal with. If I really thought something natural would help, I’d beat you to the head of the line to get it.

Can salt really stop a migraine?

Let’s look at this realistically for a moment. We’ve all heard that dehydration is a potential trigger. If you’ve ever been to the ER, you know that the first thing they do is start an IV fluid drip. Have you ever looked at the label on those bags? Sure, it’s water. But there’s often sodium (salt) and dextrose (sugar) in the bag, too.

Why do they give you that to treat migraine?

By the time many of us end up in the ER we’ve been hurting for days. It’s likely that we haven’t eaten or drank much in at least 2-3 days. Plus, if we’ve vomited at all, our risk for dehydration goes way up. On rare occasions, IV fluids are all you need to stop an attack in progress.

Here are some examples.

Example #1
When my daughter was pregnant, she was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum. Additionally, her migraine attacks got worse, but she couldn’t take anything that would actually help. When the pain was unbearable, she would go to the ER where they would give her IV fluids and Reglan to rehydrate her and stop the vomiting. That alone stopped the attacks.  She quickly learned to drink water constantly and not restrict her salt intake.

Example #2
Before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I used to work with my husband at outdoor craft shows, festivals, and fairs. The weather was unpredictable, and often hot and humid. When I first started I would get very sick with a bad migraine, plus feel dizzy and exhausted. One time out of desperation, I grabbed a bottle of Gatorade (I hate the taste!). To my surprise, it actually helped me feel better. I became alert within minutes. The lethargy, vertigo, and pain subsided rather quickly.

Example #3
Before my health got in the way, I used to volunteer with the Boy Scouts. We were constantly reminding the boys to drink more water to reduce the risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion. If a boy started showing signs of dehydration, someone would sit him down in the shade, add a little salt and sugar to his water bottle, and encourage him to drink it all. Part of the adult training included First Aid, so we all knew what to watch out for and how to prevent it. My son had this trouble when he first started out and would get terrible migraines if he got dehydrated. So we gave him several Gatorade packets that he could pour into his water at the first sign of trouble. He went on to share that tip with others as he moved up the ranks and held positions of leadership.

So does salt stop a migraine?

Yes

If the migraine attack is due to an electrolyte imbalance caused by dehydration, then adding salt and/or sugar to water will probably help if you catch it in time. It’s roughly the same as the first intervention most of us receive at the ER.  Dehydration may be the trigger, but once the migraine attack is in process, it’s difficult to abort the attack with just a little salt water.

Maybe

If the attack was triggered by dehydration AND other triggers (over-heating, exposure to allergens, chemicals, fumes, eating a triggering food, etc.), then salt may help, but you will likely require additional treatments (abortive medicine) to stop the attack.

No

If the attack was triggered by something other than dehydration, then adding salt water will not stop the attack. Other treatments will likely be necessary.

Resist the urge to be taken in by claims of “all-natural” quick fixes for migraine attacks. Critical thinking is essential so that we don’t waste our time and money. Plus, we need to use caution so we don’t set ourselves up for injury or health complications. Always check with your doctor before trying any new treatment.

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88 comments on “A closer look at “the salt cure”

  1. PorschesMom says:

    I’ve been reading this salt protocol for a while and what still stands out is that is based on the false notion that IV fluids are given all the time because a patient in the ER is dehydrated. Starting IV fluids before assessment started decades ago. IV fluids are used as a vehicle for IV meds of all kinds and are not give strictly for hydration. I went to the ER a few times for nonmigraine reasons and each time, IV fluids were begun. I asked the nurse why and he said so we can treat with meds if needed. I had not been seen by a doctor nor even interviewed by a nurse.

    The protocol is complicated. I’m not sure one can tell if one needs potassium during barometric pressure rising or sodium during BP falling.

    Of course, dehydration can trigger migraine, as can poor nutrition. But how does this protocol fit the mold of migraines triggered by hormones? Triggers during steadier weeks in a cycle don’t trigger migraines.

    There are some good points about eating more nonstarchy vegetables, avoiding sugar and refined carbs, but I’m on the fence, leaning more towards meh for this “cure.”

  2. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    @PorschesMom not sure where you are located and what ER you go to but in the many years of my ER visit I have only received IV when I was dehydrated–I also have (used to have… it seems to have disappeared from the protocol!) asthma–and never have I ever received an IV for asthma, or a major back injury I had, or other goodies. Only for migraine care. I know that some ERs don’t offer IV for migraine but head straight for drugs–and as one Mayo Clinic once told me in an email response, there is not much money in providing an IV.

    Luckily, as the founder of the group and the scientist behind the book, I understand the reasons why things work and why the medicinal treatments migraineurs get don’t work.

    It is important to note that since the opening of the group over 3 years ago, over 4000 migraineurs have come and went. The success rate for complete migraine prevention “skills” for primary migraines that are not caused by some other condition, such as TBI or else, is 100%.

    Someone earlier mentioned Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Interestingly, in the general population the presence of EDS is between 3-5% but in the migraine group I ran a survey and over 60% of the migraineurs have EDS of one or more kinds (there are several types). I also have EDS.

    Another condition associated with migraine is Raynaud’s Phenomenon. I ran a survey on that and found over 80% or the migraineurs in the group have it (including me) yet in the general population only a few percent. There are major overlaps and they all are for an evolutionary reason.

    There are many genetic variations that are specific to migraine. Some of them are the inability of voltage gated sodium-potassium channels, calcium channels, and glucose transport working properly. There are many others, such as methylation issues in the MTHFR C667T gene (autosomal dominant) and many others.

    I am not here to educate the readers–that was Tammy’s job and that has clearly failed. I am simply here to help answer those questions that merit a helpful answer.

    Interestingly the group is full of migraineur doctors for treatment, and it is time to time also flooded with doctors and researchers from institutions like the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, Harvard University, and alike. Since the group opened and several academic articles were published, there was also a radio talk show on which I discussed the Stanton Migraine Protocol for about one hour; it also was discussed on a local television news in Texas.

    Given how many people become migraine free–including me now for over 6 years–we know the book and the protocol works. We are not here to convince anyone. After all. one can only take the horse to the water but cannot make it drink. I am not planning to. Only want to be sure the truth is told.

    Hope this helps. Details can be found in the group or in the book, which is on the top of the kindle selling list, as I write this note. The placement changes every day based on how many was sold.

    Current positioning:
    #2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diseases & Physical Ailments > Chronic Pain
    #13 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Medical eBooks > Reference
    #845 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference

    I think the book has many good things to say (it is also available in paperback all over the world).

    Best wishes to all with migraines! <3

  3. Profile photo of 17jla4o 17jla4o says:

    A daily cleaning of the nostril with salt, known as ‘Neti’, an ancient yogic technique is a wonderful preventive and even better when combined with yogic breathing exercises (pranayama). These are fairly easy to perform and will greatly enhance your general well being too, but it’s not to be done once a migraine has set in. When it really gets so bad that I don’t care anymore, my last recourse is to insert a 100mg voltaren suppository which tends to give much needed relief and then ride it out for another day or so of recovery.

    The techniques are available online, try them out. Best wishes to you all from Sri Lanka.

  4. HeadoftheJob says:

    I don’t get them any more, thank goodness, but at the risk of preaching to the converted (if so, I apologise), I found that ginger and lots of it at the first sign (I used to get the vision disturbances and stuff),quite often stopped a migraine dead in its tracks.

  5. Profile photo of Rebecca M. Rebecca M. says:

    Hi Tammy,

    I’m in medical school (but still very open-minded to natural/holistic medicine) and I’ve suffered from migraines for years. I’m writing because I’d like to clear up a basic science misconception from your post.

    You mention that the water they put in your IV contains salt. This salt solution is called “saline”, and it has nothing to do with migraines. Pretty much all patients are given saline.

    The concentration of salt in saline is special: it matches the saltiness level of our own bodies. If you put fluid straight into someone’s veins that is more salty or less salty than the normal fluid in our bodies, you can cause horrible effects. In the worst case scenario, adding extra salty water directly into the blood stream can cause the neurons in your brainstem to shrivel up and die, leading to permanent paralysis!

  6. Tammy Rome author says:

    Thank you for sharing your expertise! You are correct in that the saline solution isn’t directly connected to migraine. However, by the time many of us get desperate enough to visit the ER, we are pretty dehydrated. The IV saline solution help a lot with this problem. In my experience, it’s never been enough to stop an attack all by itself though. If I’m bad enough to be in the ER, then I need serious medical intervention to stop an attack that’s likely been raging for days.

  7. Profile photo of Jenny Ash Jenny Ash says:

    I haven’t visited this sight for months now because I no longer get migraines, the signs that one is starting, yes, but it doesn’t come to anything because of what Dr Angela Stanton PhD, has taught me and many others. I was on sick leave from work, taking antidepressants as a preventative, and spending five days a month in bed. I came across the migraine group – Migraine sufferers who want to be cured, and joined. I had to give up sugar and a few things I loved, but after two months, I was migraine free. I no longer take any medicine and am free of all those awful side effects. I can even eat cheese again! I want people to feel as good as I do now; there is hope.

  8. I have suffered with chronic migraines for many years. I take several medications as preventatives including Botox injections. My sons have often told me to drink more water. Finally, I took their advice. This has cut the migraines down to only three in the last three weeks. I just try to sip water very often during the day. While teaching, I keep several bottles located around my classroom so I do not have the excuse of not being able to get to my water. I prefer to not buy bottled water, but I’ve found the convince of bottled water has helped. I know too much water can wash away the sodium which can be very harmful. I have also drank Gatorade when I felt a migraine coming on during the past several weeks. It stopped it. I also tried the salt and lemon juice, but I think the migraine had gotten to bad for it to help. I am praying I will continue to be much better. Some migraines have been so severe that I’d walk the floor stopping only to throw up. I was not even able to make it to the ER. Eventually, one of the Phenergan doses and/or Triptans would help me to get to sleep. Life will be wonderful with fewer migraines, and all this time it may have just been a result of dehydration.

  9. Profile photo of Elinor Elinor says:

    I suffer from migraines. I was told to stay hydrated so I drank lots of water everyday to stay hydrated. I was drinking 8-10 24 Oz bottles of water everyday. Migraines were so frequent and debilitating that I stayed home and in bed most days. What I didn’t realize was that I was washing sodium out of my blood. My sodium Na+ level was recorded as 130 and my internist was shocked that it had become this low. I found out by reading the Stanton Migraine Protocol that I was drinking far too much water. During a live chat with Dr. Stanton (PhD) while I was in the middle of a never ending migraine, she asked me to dissolve just a “pinch” of table salt into 6 ounces of water and drink it. In less than 20 minutes my migraine was gone! I was washing away a very important element from my blood by trying to stay hydrated. Yes, you can drink too much water. My potassium levels were also low. Since that time I have learned to balance my “electrlytes” by following a normal diet. It just took that pinch of salt and cutting back on all the water I was drinking. I now drink about 80 ounces of water a day instead of between 180 to 240 ounces a day. My sodium and potassium levels are now normal and I rarely experience the migraines.

  10. Well, we might as well all give it a try, it won’t hurt anything. I have had chronic migraines for three years and I am only sixteen, so anything is worth a shot to me. I have tried Gatorade before and personally can say that helps some.

  11. Profile photo of Shanti Shanti says:

    Been following this conversation…are we still in America???? Why do the members of Angela’s facebook group have such a huge problem with someone having their own opinion??? If a person feels that they don’t agree with the salt protocal they should have the right to say so without a bunch of back lash!!! There is something terribly wrong with this behavior. Why are they so threatened by someone’s own opinion???

  12. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    It was meant as a reply.. not sure why it posted as a free comment.

    The problem Shanti is that what Tammy wrote a misleading article for 45,000 subscribers about something she has never ever experienced, writing in a tone that appears to reassure the subscribers that she is right–but she is wrong. Since Tammy is not about to correct it and leaves it as wrong as it is–this is not an opinion page but helping migraineurs feel better–it is important that members of the group she is writing about, and a book she is writing so totally wrong about, get corrective action. Misleading posts do damage to those who can seek refuge in a group in which help is free and the rate at which people recover from migraine and can prevent it (free) or abort it (free) is extremely high. So rather than bashing a group that actually helps people, this migraine website should be pushing people toward a group that actually helps successfully teach people how to become migraine free.

    Whenever I read a negative review of something that actually works and is free, I have the immediate suspicion of ulterior motives. I am sorry to say that Tammy probably had one. An immediate thought is “big pharma” since this site lives off of adds–like the one I am just now looking at on zecuity. It is interesting to know that some are willing to bash someone or something for money… That is why you see all these answers back! And they will keep on coming until Tammy is not changing the article to reflect the truth. Fake stuff always gets stuck and truth always survives!

  13. Danee Kaplan says:

    @migraineur WELL said. I came to the comments to leave a comment about how faulty the logic Tammy used in their article. But you said it very well. This type of misinformation is dangerous because 45,000 people follow it and believe it and it is based entirely on severe misunderstanding about what is given in IV fluid rehydration. Frankly, it isn’t very well articulated and logical and even if it was based on accurate information, I am not sure the it would stand up to scrutiny.

  14. Profile photo of Luna Luna says:

    I’ve never seen anything about blood pressure when reading about migraine, low or high. So am surprised to see people say that “There is a high incidence of low blood pressure”. Where is this information coming from? Why hasn’t it been talked about? I’ve googled blood pressure and migraine and only found that high blood pressure could be a trigger. This is an area that I have interest in. Thanks.

  15. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Luna, there are 1700+ migraine members in the migraine group Tammy referred to and of the 1700+ members only about 4 members have high BP and that is either because of the medications they take or because they are not drinking enough water. After they are on the Stanton Migraine Protocol (TM) of the 4 people 4 have their BP actually dropped already and one person of the two–as per her doctor’s recommendation since no one was actually aware that she took 4 medications for high BP–was removed from 4 to 2 BP medications by her doctor and as she improves, I am sure her doctor will recommend further reductions because now her BP is actually on the low side of normal. Numbers speak volumes!!! from over 1700 people onlhy 4 with high BO and 1696+ with low BP tells something about where the information is coming from.

  16. There might be something to this salt cure. There is a high incidence of low blood pressure, or rather orthostatic hypotension (drop of blood pressure on standing up) in patients with migraines. High-salt diet can help increase the blood pressure and possibly improve migraines.

  17. Profile photo of MahtaMouse MahtaMouse says:

    I have always had low BP… 92-90/60-62 as have my daughters and sister. We also occasionally get bad dizzy spells even while sitting and I’m the only one who gets migraines. My all time worse dizzy spell while sitting dropped my BP MUCH lower… I was like a shaky rag doll in a cold sweat. That said, salt CAUSES me to have migraines, massive migraines if I have a salty meal; so I try and avoid excess salt and cook without out it. The 3 years I went completely salt-free (cooked everything from scratch… nothing bottled, boxed, canned, bagged (including bread with salt)) I was completely migraine free. Unfortunately, it was also difficult and time consuming and too hard to maintain when I went back to work. While I still avoid those items as much as possible, I am unfortunately no longer completely salt free, but low salt… and have migraines. Unless someone is vomiting allot, I find this “salt & sugar” recommendation scary.

  18. Profile photo of MahtaMouse MahtaMouse says:

    Let me clarify that the reason I find this salt & sugar thing scary is because we already get an overload of salt (and sugar!) in our American diet. If someone does try it however and they think it works for them, then more power to them; but *personally* I find it to be an alarming trend. But that’s just my personal experience and opinion.

  19. Profile photo of Luna Luna says:

    Dr. Mauskop – This was taken from your February 2015 newsletter. Eating more salt leads to more headaches, according to a study published in BMJ Open last December. In a multicentre feeding study with three 30-day periods,…

  20. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    MahtaMouse, where do you get the salt & sugar thing? I honestly don’t understand how people can create an opinion over something they are not familiar with–but at least I would hope you understand that we actually cut sugar out of diet and not adding it. Not sure where your thought of us adding sugar came from. The whole point is that sugar increases BP and not salt. I think you misunderstood that part. Again, let me repeat: the group is not “salt” group at all! Tammy took the group’s function and purpose to a new level that is not based on facts so when you form your own opinion, you should do so based on your own experience or at least on the expert opinion of those who are part of the group and know that what Tammy wrote is incorrect–and there are many here who responded.

  21. Profile photo of David David says:

    Hi Migraineur,

    Actually, the PubMed articles (sans Google) do indicate salt constricts vessels. Most of my research is from medical journals. I Google for sports.

  22. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Hi David. Given that each cell in our body uses salt to retain water, it would be a very hard thing to retain and spit at the same time… sorry. Many articles (some I reviewed and did not pass for publish) get to be published since of 3 reviewers 2 must agree and usually the other two have no clue. Open up a bio 101 book and read… salt retain water INSIDE the cells and “volumizes” whereas glucose pulls water from the cells and holds onto water OUTSIDE the cells, causing edema and dehydration. You can test it yourself. Grab 2 glasses of water, put 1 teaspoon of salt in one and let it melt. Then put a finger into that glass of water and another finger into the other glass. See which finger will come out in 20 minutes as a prune…

  23. Profile photo of Cheryl Cheryl says:

    In all the years that I’ve had migraine nothing has ever helped me until I tried salt & read the book on it
    I have way fewer migraines that only last one day & are not severe like they use to be
    I wish everyone would buy the book & try it. Getting off meds has been wonderful, I have so much more energy!!
    Please give it a try!!

  24. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    Hi Cheryl,
    I’m so glad I read this article. I always forget, I mean really forget, that I was diagnosed with vasuvascular syncope. (I’ve probably spelled it wrong, I’ll come back to correct it.) The heart, or really the brain does not regulate the blood pressure when you suddenly stand up after sitting for awhile. I used to occasionally get dizzy spells. Once as soon as I went in a pub I passed out. lol. I hadn’t had a drink yet. I learned that the only thing that really helps is to drink a LOT of water and add LOTS of salt – via your food or electrolytes, it doesn’t really matter as long as it gets in your body. We NEED salt. I had been super “healthy” and wasn’t eating any, not a drop. The doc said the salt water is what gives our blood volume that we need and that keeps our blood pressure regulated. I amazingly worked with a girl who laughed and said she also had this condition. She said she chugs water and puts salt on everything and then is much better. I started doing this religiously and omg I felt so much better. No more dizziness, I believe it brought the headache intensity down (though i still got headache especially with weird weather just before a storm). I had energy, slept better, felt more peaceful.
    My problem is I’ve had a really unfortunate amount of destructive people get into my life and I would get sidetracked by their nonsense, get stressed and sad, and just forget about the water+salt thing. I just read your comment and felt this kind of excitement like “oh yeah! wait, am I drinking water and adding salt?” I may be but it is really sporadic. I’m starting today to keep track of this. And I really have to stop drinking coffee for now ~ sometimes it really helps but I have a feeling for me it dehydrates me ~ so not so good for increasing blood volume. btw, I’ve had very low blood pressure all my life. They ooh and ahh at the nurses stations, and only when I’ve been very ill with a virus or once hit my head (and passed out) did it get dangerously low. They gave me intravenous water and I felt so much better. They head injury paramedics pointed out too that it had been very warm and I could be dehydrated. hmmm. This just cheered me up. So sorry for the novel. 😀

  25. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    Ps, Obviously each individual needs to determine how much salt, etc. I’m just telling you what my doc expressed to me. He knew i never touched salt or processed food. For me at that time it worked to just sprinkle salt on most of my meals. I also exercised a lot and sweated a lot so adding salt that way and drinking lots of water helped tremendously. I did calculate how much water to drink for my weight and height and always tried to drink at LEAST that much. I also added more fruit and veg to get water that way. Just wanted to clarify.

  26. Profile photo of Dreamspinner Dreamspinner says:

    Your statement about not wasting time or money on things that cause injury or health complications is a joke. Almost every migraineur I know has awful side effects from the migraine meds. That’s the real waste of money. I doubt you have read the entire book since it’s not just about “salt”. It’s about managing the sodium/potassium ratio which is a lifestyle commitment. And it requires careful reading of the book, “Fighting the Migraine Epidemic”. It’s a commitment that is worth the effort to be pain free. You won’t get good results by eating salt haphazardly.

  27. Profile photo of David David says:

    My dad had aura migraines (as do I). He used to take two teaspoons of salt and wash it down with coffee. I would think both would constrict the blood vessels and might, indeed reduce the headache.
    Dave Skaer

  28. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    salt does not constrict blood vessels David. Coffee does. Your dad actually could have caused harm with that much salt in coffee. Salt is not taken as a hydrator for migraineurs in the book’s protocol but as energy provider like for a heart attack patient we use the electric shock to come out of cardiac arrest. Look up on new research (real research, not google finding but scholarly articles) on how migraine brain is a physiologically different brain having more sensory neuron connections. Yep, I suppose on another planet reducing nutrition to the brain that needs actually more may work. On planet earth a brain with more connections needs more energy. It would really be good if people commenting on a book would … hmm.. actually reed it?! .. gasp…

  29. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    That’s interesting David. Do you know why he started to do that? I just wondered if it was something people did in the past. Maybe the salt along with the water in the coffee helped to hydrate him also. I don’t know but I find examples like this interesting, because I think sometimes we instinctively know what may help us.

  30. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Livvy, salt actually removes the bitterness in coffee. It tastes better and you need not add sugar to enjoy even the most bitter of espressos. I make espresso every morning and now add salt (not as much as David’s father… only a tad). It does not taste salty, only sort of brings out the flavor of coffee. That’s all. Try it. It actually tastes great. Nothing to do with salt constricting–in fact I think the reason why Dave’s father may have added salt to coffee is to be able to prevent the dehydrating effect of coffee by keeping the sodium in the cells and holding onto as much water as possible. Coffee is a diuretic. So it makes sense.

  31. Profile photo of Luna Luna says:

    The “Salt Cure” is being promoted all over the web by many people who are promoting just drinking lemon or lime juice, water and 2 tsp salt (Himalayan Crystal Salt which they sell). This “salt cure” is not offered with any self management protocol and does not refer to the book “Fighting The Migraine Epidemic:”. Actually there are several different books being promoted.

  32. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    There is only one book Tammy is referring to and Tammy and I know why. And I might add that prior to my book salt was not mentioned as a protocol-part for prevention or treatment of migraines. So sorry to say that the Fighting the Migraine Epidemic is, in fact, the first one putting the connection of migraine cause into focus the proper way from a biochemical perspective.

  33. Profile photo of Luna Luna says:

    Migraineur – Is there a way to know more detail about your protocol to help decide whether to buy the book? I’m already very particular about whole foods plant based not processed. What would your book offer some one like me?

  34. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Luna, sure, please feel free to join the migraine group that really has nothing to do with salt but in fact is based on the Stanton Migraine Protocol (TM). The group is called “Migraine Sufferers who Want to be Cured” and the term “cured” was used since all other words were taken.

  35. Profile photo of Luna Luna says:

    Migraineur – I have previewed your book on Amazon and read other articles by you on the web. Sorry but I refuse to buy the book and I won’t join facebook. I googled “Migraine Sufferers who Want to be Cured” but didn’t find that. The web suggestions for that were quite interesting to say the least. Have visited Stanton Migraine Protocol.com but it’s not really there yet. I’ll wait.

  36. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Luna, the protocol is not ever going to be written out. The webpage for the protocol is going the be there to let people know where to find the book and just give some ideas. You need not get the book or join. That’s fine. The members are getting migraine free and they are the only ones that matter. 🙂 Thanks for trying.

  37. Profile photo of Diadria Diadria says:

    The name of the book is Fighting the Migraine Epidemic: How to treat and prevent migraines without Medicine by Dr. Angela Staton

  38. Profile photo of Diadria Diadria says:

    I appreciate Tammy Rome looking at the subject, and giving her viewpoint….however, I was a member of the group, and I bought the book which was only $5 after tax on my Amazon Kindle. I have also read some of the comments on the article and I am glad that there are people defending the protocol. I DO believe in the “salt cure” , nooooo it didn’t cure my migraines, but I have been able to find a balance with the conventional physician prescribed medicine, and the things Dr. Angela Stanton outlined. My only issue is the group on Facebook…I find her moderators and her overbearing so I am no longer a member of the group, but I believe that everyone should at least check it out. It helped and continues to help me, so it might help you.

  39. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    “overbearing”
    Diadria, that’s a really good descriptive word that I am adding to my vocabulary today. It is polite but to the point.

  40. Profile photo of Kaz Kaz says:

    ” the salt cure” over simplifies a protocol that involves way more than drinking salt water. It taking responsibility for BALANCING your intake of more than just salt. It is not in my mind a miracle cure. It demands discipline and commitment. People are not encouraged to just take salt, and each person needs to take responsibility for managing their own personalised protocol.

    All of this with one to one support if required. Although it says cure…it is much more about management….on going self awareness, discipline and management required.

    AND honest evaluation about your head pain…is it migraine…chronic headache ..or secondary to another ailment. I.e F.M. C.F . Conditions which can also me aided by very careful self management, but conditions that will not respond to the protocol.

  41. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    thisisendless I cannot seem to reply to your question. It is titled “Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines – An Insider’s View” and is available at all online or offline retailers worldwide both in paperback and in e-book that works on all platform (even if it says “kindle” on amazon). I hope you enjoy it.

  42. Thank you very much!

  43. Profile photo of HIS HIS says:

    As a migraine sufferer for over 30 years, and having seen 5 neurologists, even having a stimulator, taken all the preventative meds AND abortives ,Dr. Stanton,s protocol has gotten rid of my migraines. So don’t be so quick to judge unless you’ve tried it. The Dr. that wrote” the book” is a kind,,selfless woman that spends all her time helping those of us that are sick of being sick. She personalizes it to each one of us according to our health. It obviously has ticked off big pharmaceutical companies that we are being helped w/o drugs. The drugs were killing me. I am having surgery soon to remove the stimulator too. It’s not working. I want it out of my body. It hasn’t been turned on in 3 months. I have my life back. And BTW, it’s not just about eating salt, it’s nutrition and learning how to get sugar and drugs out of your body, the things that dehydrate. I 100% have. No. Migraine anymore!

  44. Profile photo of HIS HIS says:

    Very disappointed in this article. Karla M Botts

  45. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    HIS,
    That’s the thing, you can also get a lot of minerals including sodium from greens, and fruit and other veg. When I am feeling best is when i am hydrating myself with plants, berries, vegetables, and some extra water of course. Also, I’ve personally come to the conclusion that anytime I eat dry foods (are all dry foods processed?) I feel less well to awful. Even my cat was getting sick from dry food and he only eats wet foods now. When in nature would we eat any food without water in it? When we do what does that do to the delicate system of our body? As far as sugar I don’t even eat a very lot of fruit and mostly eat veg, and of veg lots of leafy greens.

  46. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    Sorry, I should add that i do add Himalayan salt, but if I’m working on it I can also get minerals from my food as well.

  47. I have been reading articles on Migraine.com for many years and always appreciated the thoughtfulness and professionalism of its writers, including Tammy. This is why I was so disappointed when I read this article.

    While I agree with most of the points Tammy makes, I take exception to the following statements:

    “There is also someone promoting a book that encourages the use of salt to treat migraines. I believe there is even a Facebook group for people who want to follow her work. I have some friends who have been taken in by this idea.”

    The reason I take exception to those statements are:

    1- Saying that the book “encourages the use of salt to treat migraines” is a gross oversimplification of a book that is about the relationship between the biochemical imbalance in the neural environment and migraine symptoms.

    2- This oversimplification is then used to ridicule the book, the author and members of the Facebook group by referring to friends “who have been taken in by this idea”.

    My wife and I have both read the book. We can guarantee you that it’s not simply about “using salt to treat migraines”. We are both members of the Facebook group and do not appreciate the implied ridicule in the opening paragraph.

    My wife has been battling chronic migraine for many years, tried many treatments prescribed by neurologists specializing in migraine treatment. Nothing helped. Most treatments made things worse.

    After reading the book, we decided it was worth trying it. We were pleasantly surprised with the results. Although my wife still has migraines, she is now able to have a more productive life. There is clearly still work to be done, but we credit the author of the book and her tireless participation in her Facebook group with my wife’s progress.

    I have been a member of that Facebook group since it was created. I have seen many people join the group and proceed to criticize the author. Most of them never read the book. They were either looking for an easy fix (which they could not get, this takes work), or came looking for a fight and try to discredit the author.

    The impression I get from Tammy’s statements about the book is that she neither read it and is trying to discredit the author. I could be wrong, of course. So…

    Tammy, if you did read the book, then it deserves a thoughtful review. Not an implied association with a Facebook tip about salt water.

    If you did not read the book, I would urge you to remove the references to the book and its corresponding Facebook group from this article. You might want to read the book too.

    Anything less would taint your credibility and that of migraine.com.

  48. If I may ask, what is the book? There isn’t a link to it anywhere in this article and I’m curious about it after your post.

  49. Profile photo of 15qm7eu 15qm7eu says:

    Again, Megrim, you don’t seem to understand this research either. We are calling Tammy out for referring to a book and support group and linking them to the misinformation in her article. She can reveal all she wants about the fact that drinking salt water won’t cure migraines. It won’t. But to link this book and protocol to this statement is unprofessional as the book outlines much more. And now you are trying to state that the issue is dehydration. It is not. Yes, it is called a hydration protoco; but the protocol teaches the idea of balancing key electrolytes in order to keep the brain balanced with enough energy to do what it needs. If it were just dehydration, the cure would be everywhere. So as much as all of you are offended but what you label as quick fixes, we are offended by put downs by people who do not understand the protocol or who have not tried it. You cannot say something does not work without actually researching both sides or trying it yourself. And come on, it’s salt!

  50. Profile photo of Writermom Writermom says:

    Excellent article, Tammy. Thanks for sharing.

  51. Danee Kaplan says:

    It is really not excellent. It doesn’t even make sense and I had no idea that there is a book and FB group that is at the center of the controversy. Just her plain old argument, take out the book and fb group- is not based on actual medical knowledge and doesn’t flow. Getting IV fluids does not increase your sodium level because the normal amount of sodium given in iv fluids is 0.9 Saline which is basically physiological amount of salt we have in our bodies. So you get fluids and you get salt to balance it out so that the amount of sodium in your body doesn’t actually change up or down (yes you will see a drop in the lab value of sodium after hydration because dehydration causes a falsely elevated sodium level). Also sodium is what keeps fluids in your vascular system and not in your lungs or tissues.

  52. Profile photo of Nadia Nadia says:

    I am disappointed in this article on migraine.com. Usually I find educational and helpful articles that are well researched and non judgmental. This one does not pass that criteria.

    I cannot comment on the salt water method as I don’t do it and none of the articles I read about explain why or how it works. I can, however, comment on the book about utilizes salt to help migraines and about the corresponding Facebook group that complements the book. I have read the book, read the Facebook posts, had discussions with the author and follow her method. I was able to get off of my preventative medication (which wasn’t working for me) and now don’t take any pain medication (which never worked well either). And, I am now in much less pain and more productive than I was before making these changes. Bonus too is that because I am eating more healthful, I have more energy.

    The book and Facebook group does not advocate not taking pharmaceutical medications. The migraineurs that are learning this method are attracted to it BECAUSE there medications are not working or the side effects are too damaging.

    Read the book (it appears the author of this article has not), and discover it is not just about taking more salt. It’s about achieving hydration the proper way through food, water and yes salt if needed. The book explains in great detail why the method works. The book teaches you how to listen to your body to understand what it is missing to achieve hydration. To follow this method is work, no doubt about it. Us migraineurs need to be diligent to maintain migraine free status. You need to understand what you are eating will affect your hydration and how to achieve proper balance. Follow the Facebook group and discover a caring, compassionate lady, you will help educate you and answer all your questions. She is doing this on her own time with no monetary gains at all. We are grateful for her. She is a migraineur herself and has been migraine free to many years following her method. Do your own research about increasing your salt intake. Bring the book to your doctors and discuss. Both my family doctor and neurologist support what I am doing (which is basically living a very healthy lifestyle). Doctors are interested in the book! You should be too.

  53. Profile photo of Megrim Megrim says:

    I’m glad that Tammy looked at this “solution.”

    I urge everyone to go back and read the article instead of just telling Tammy she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

    Many of us have been dealing with migraines in and out of the medical field for YEARS, but suddenly this “solution” (which is NOT new BTW), has anecdotally “helped”. Yet…no one is hearing about it, and those who do, are inspecting it for safety reasons, and for good cause. If you google “salt for migraines,” no real peer reviewed research pops up, and trust me, I’ve dug a lot into this.

    While I am happy for anyone who finds something that works, the very fact that some people are telling a migraineur who does research to “do some research” is super telling.

    Not everyone can make their migraines go away on this protocol, and I have been under strict hydration and nutrient protocols for almost 9 years now, medically. It is nothing “new” or “revolutionary.” Most of you should know better, that one person’s remedy is another person’s trigger event.

    I feel badly that you feel the need to call Tammy out on something that can be potentially harmful if you are not careful.

    Again I am happy for anyone that finds their remedy. But if it’s truly so great then I am pretty sure it would be breaking news, and it’s not. And it’s no secret that this is the et for many migraineurs. Experts have been treating on that angle for decades. Funnily enough, “stay hydrated” is on almost every list I read for “how to ease the burden of migraine” for people who maybe don’t consider that being dehydrated might be a major trigger.

  54. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    It is not about “hydration” Megrim. Hydration literally means “drinking water” which can kill you in no time with water toxicity if you do not know what you are doing. The book is NOT about hydration and the protocol is also NOT about hydration. Many use that as short word for simplicity but in fact hydration to us means this: “supporting a hyper sensitive sensory organ sensitivity with extra energy” type of “volume increasing hydration” which is NOT drinking water or eating salt. If what you are doing is “hydration,” you obviously are not doing the right thing.

  55. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    Migraineur,
    Now I’m really confused. So “hydrate” means to drink water. I just looked it up and it comes from a base word that means water. Yes, if you consume an excessive amount of water in a short time it dilutes the electrolytes in our bodies to the point of death. It is because we no longer have the amount of electrolytes – which shows that it is essential to our bodies to keep these electrolytes balanced. What confused me is “Many use that as short word for simplicity but in fact hydration to us means this: “supporting a hyper sensitive sensory organ sensitivity with extra energy” type of “volume increasing hydration” which is NOT drinking water or eating salt.” First – who is “us”? Are you saying hydration has a different meaning than the standard one to … I’m not sure who? And drinking water + eating salt does increase blood volume. Are you saying that it doesn’t? I’m not being facetious, I’m trying to understand what you meant.

  56. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    There is more to it Livvy. Hydration really only means water but water cannot stay in the cell without sodium–salt is used to create voltage to open the voltage gated pumps and channels–details are in the book–which allows sodium in that can hold onto water.

    The group, the book, and the protocol here are referred to completely incorrectly as “hydration protocol.” The protocol is actually a “volumizing” protocol. Volumizing means obviously to increase volume… but increase volume of what? You stated earlier as I read up further that you eat veggies to “hydrate” and that they contain “minerals”. They do, most of which is potassium. If you ever find a person with hypertension, ask what pills they take as a diuretic: it will be potassium. The job of potassium is to move water out of the cell whereas the job of sodium is to keep it in your cells. But none of this can happen without voltage.

    The entire “migraine problem” is not a problem actually. We know that a migraine brain is a different brain (more sensory organ neuronal connections) so it is not sick… it is energy deprived. The protocol is not salt but ensures that each person (everyone is different) maximizes this volume to his/her benefit. The above written article is completely misleading since the author is neither member in the group or has read the book nor has she ever had the chance to actually learn what the protocol really is about.

  57. Danee Kaplan says:

    Of course nothing is the magic solution for everyone. One thing that surprises me is that nobody is talking about C1 subluxation headaches or Chiari Malformation migraines or Ehlers Danlos syndrome. These are structural causes of migraines that will not be helped all that much by salt. But Tammy’s argument is so poorly made it is bordering on nonsensical. While the topic may be relevant -I have no clue as this is the first time I have heard of this book and author-Tammy’s argument is ridiculous. Giving us 3 examples of when she or her family went to the ER to get fluids, misunderstanding what those fluids were about and then pretending this somehow proves her point is everything that is wrong with sharing medical information on the internet. The amount of sodium in an IV fluid hydration is literally called “normal saline” because it is considered to be physiologic (It isn’t exactly but it is close) therefore it doesn’t increase or decrease your sodium level. Just because the three cases she mentioned left the ER with improvement in their migraine doesn’t prove that hydration or increased sodium or glucose levels helped the migraine. It only proves they felt their migraine was better. Let’s assume all 3 people were seen by nurses wearing scrubs- using Tammy’s logic I could make the argument that it was the scrubs that helped the migraine. That is of course ridiculous but it is no more nonsensical than Tammy’s argument. The other issue is as I like to say “an N of 1 (or in this case 3) does not prove anything” where “N” is the number of people in the medical study. Tammy needs to go back and rewrite this piece and use actual medical facts- maybe she needs to have someone else write it, someone with more understanding about what is happening during rehydration; someone with the ability to draw conclusions based on facts rather than equating red apples to red balls and calling them the same thing.

  58. Profile photo of eli eli says:

    The protocol in this book works and people with migraines need to know it. The protocol is not just salt, there is more to it – it is about a proper balance of sodium/potassium with the right hydration. Please don’t lump a woman and group seeing amazing results into such a narrow category. I have been a migraine sufferer for decades. This book helped me more in five minutes than the last 20 years of doctors have ever. Not only that, but the woman who wrote the book has a genuine care and concern for those who have been suffering. She does it out of the kindness of her heart, and there is nothing in it for her. That is in comparison to many doctors who make a lot of money prescribing medications that can slowly kill. I have not encountered one group member that hasn’t had their life positively changed from doing the protocol correctly. I have tried multiple diets, medications, exercises, doctors, you name it. It was not until I found this group and protocol I found REAL help from people who really care. The other thing to note is – I am a new member! I have only been doing this for a little over a month and I’ve been able to improve my quality of life dramatically. I haven’t felt this good since I was a pre-teen (pre-migraines). I am no scientist, but the greatest proof is that it WORKS. No migraineur should be robbed of knowing how amazing this protocol so they can begin to change their life, too!

  59. Profile photo of lakewash lakewash says:

    My daughter has been able to be a normal 8 year old girl because of the “salt” protocol..as you refer to it.. seemingly out of the blue.. we seemed to make weekly visits to the er because she would be in so much pain and i didnt understand why. I made a slew of doctors visits.. each of whom couldnt pin point a problem.. but ended up with handfuls of medications that didnt help at all.. just made her appetite that of a grown man with 3 jobs! I came across the facebook group.. and made now minor changes on what we eat and drink.. upped the salt intake a bit.. drastically slashed the sugar and now see miraculous results.. my daughters blood pressure has been checked several times and is at the low level of normal.. im glad to have my baby back

  60. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Very glad for you lakewash! Congratulations! many children from age as young as 2 to adults age as old as 80+ are helped with the protocol. Glad to know your daughter is one of them!

  61. Danee Kaplan says:

    I suggest you goole something called Dysautonomia or POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) anything written by Blair Grubb, MD (who I see) or Peter Rowe MD is written by the two docs that basically are the national experts. Or Dynakids.org is great. It is often associated with a genetic condition called Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which is a associated with structural pain from hypermobile (double jointed) joints and connective tissue and headaches are common. EDNF.org would be a good place to start. Commonly seen symptoms are stomach issues, velvety skin, pain, headaches, dislocations or subluxations, TMJ pain, neck and back pain.

  62. I am not following the drink salt water cure but a hydration protocol that includes drinking water and adding salt to food and supplementing with salt capsules. I have been following this protocol for over 11 months and have diverted several migraines away…some in less than a 30 minutes. I have tried drugs and acupunture and the hydration protocol has been the most effective and economical for me.
    I started getting migraines in my late teens during the time of caring for my terminal father. he was my last surviving parent and I am sure one can imagine the stress. At first I could get rid of the migraine simply by making myself vomit. Forty years later, I have new triggers, the headache got progressively worst and lasted longer. I couldn’t take the pain any longer.
    The hydration protocol is not a simple fix of just adding salt and water to your diet when you having a headache. It is a lifestyle of monitoring your food choices and intake, checking your urine and blood pressure, hydration levels throughout the day…each and everyday. It is a preventive and there is lots to learn as each individual is different. you have to be so aware of what your body is “saying” to you. sometimes I get it wrong and I’ll get a headache, but the administrators are always there to guide you back to headache free. since starting the protocol I have had 4 major episodes.in 11 months…all of my
    ignorance. When I started the protocol …I had a headache each and every morning. It is a learning process and I am learning it. Anyway you can abort a migraine…is a very good day indeed.

  63. I have a hard time believing that migraine.com allowed you to post an article like this without doing proper research, like reading the book you are referring to. I come to this website because I thought I was getting educated opinions about the latest in the migraine world. I guess I need to rethink how seriously I take the articles on this website.

    You need to read the book and form an educated opinion. Then post a revised article. Everyone else that reads this article, please do your research and don’t believe everything you read on here.

  64. Profile photo of HabaneroGirl HabaneroGirl says:

    I totally get the caution to beware of instant solutions for migraines, having tried so very many over a lifetime of pain. But Tammy this solution works, and my life has been transformed! And, there is real science behind this approach, which is not just about salt, but is about addressing an imbalance in some very basic and critically important electrolytes. We also attend to changes in diet which influence the action and availability of these electrolytes. The researcher and author of this work makes herself available each and every day to work with those who wish to apply her method. When I began using this method, I was on the chronic category like yourself. That was November 2014. As of today I haven’t touched a Triptan in nearly 4 months … this absolutely works!!!

  65. I’ve suffered from migraines for over 30 years and have tried everything under the sun. This “protocol” you are referring to is much more than drinking salt water. Evidently you have been misinformed with second hand information. Perhaps you should read the book. You’ll find it very educational, helpful and interesting. After implementing suggestions in the book, along with the “protocol”, I feel better than I have in YEARS!

  66. Thank you for the post…I am glad this issue is being discussed here. I am one of the many people that have been helped tremendously by the protocol you are discussing. Although I know each persons clinical picture is different there are many for which the protocol of balancing sodium and potassium with the proper hydration truly has been life changing.

    I have had migraines since early childhood….daily with some lasting months. I have been hospitalized and as well as (like many of you) made those awful trips to the ER or doctors for injections. I have been on preventives and abortants.

    I am one of those that always seems to have dangerous side effects to these medications. I work as a psychotherapist (went back to school at age 40 during a brief period of relief from the meds). I have tried all the cognitive behavioral approaches out there to manage the pain….with no success.

    When I stumbled across the book that teaches the rationale behind the protocol, I had to give it a shot. I could no longer take nortrypteline as it was damaging my heart…..so I needed something right away as I had two more days left on the medication after weaning off.

    I began speaking with some folks, made some dietary changes with regards to the protocol and began having results quickly. I began the protocol when I was on vacation to Las Vegas….I took no Maxalt or other meds with me……I successfully aborted two migraines and prevented a whole lot more.

    It is not just about using salt. There is much more to it….as one of the previous comments mentioned. Our brains are extremely sensitive, firing at a much higher rate than non migraineures. Our requirement for keeping a proper balance with potassium and sodium is crucial. Our brains are also much more sensitive to simple carbs and thus…when we eat these things we pull sodium out of our system much faster, dehydrating ourselves…thus pulling out sodium. Many of us today eat “clean”, lots of veggies and fruits (Rich in potassium) and we eat low sodium…… Triggering migraines.

    So….agreed, no magic bullet…this takes work on my part. Not everyone will have success…depending on medications and co morbid conditions.

    For me…..my life has changed drastically. My family is floored by the changes they see. I have not needed Maxalt or any triptans in 35 days….I had been using them several times a week for years. Nothing has ever worked for me like this.

    I rarely comment on blogs but felt compelled to encourage people not to shoot down something that is grounded in science and is definitely working for people. Migraines are brutal so anything that may help should be examined closely…..especially when there is no money to be made by the person promoting the protocol…..I know for a fact that the author is not making her fortune on the sales of book or supplements.

    Here is to a pain free day!

  67. Profile photo of JANZ JANZ says:

    Tammy, you really should have done your research before writing this little article. If you had read the book, you would know that it’s not the same as the ‘weird trick to get rid of migraines’ that involves a teaspoon or two of salt in a glass of water and lemon juice. That would just make you vomit.
    The book explains the importance of hydration and adequate sodium availability for the brains of migraine sufferers.
    I would think that someone such as yourself, who cannot do what you love due to migraines, would be willing to read and understand anything that might actually help you get your life back. I know I was. I have followed the protocol for a while, now, and I’ve seen really positive improvements. Migraines are complex and this is not a stand-alone answer for those of us with complex causes. In my case, it’s the last piece of the puzzle and I’m grateful to have stumbled upon it.
    PS: I am not easily ‘taken in’ by anything. I was born cynical and I’m a highly educated individual. I could see the sense in the science, so I decided to try the protocol. I was not surprised that it worked, because: science.

  68. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Luna, Himalayan salt is actually radioactive and has lead and mercury in it.. it is not advisable to eat it. Looks lovely as a lamp…

  69. Profile photo of Nicole B Nicole B says:

    Migraineur – actually there are minute amounts of radium in virtually everything, including the food you eat and the water you drink. You’re exposed to it daily becasue it’s a naturally occuring element in the environment. So just an FYI – you get more radiation exposure from an airplane ride or a day at the beach.

    Here’s a good source to look at:
    http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/radium.html

    PS I am educated & work daily with radiation. Please educate yourself before making comments that scare people.

  70. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Nicole B. I happen to have a PhD in the field so I kind of know what I am talking about. Himalayan salt does not have 1 radioactive material in it but all elements that end in “ium” in the table at the link I try to post here is radioactive, like plutonium. Some of the other elements in this salt are lead and mercury! We went through a lot of fight getting mercury out of our dental filling and now we are eating it? And we fought mercury in thermometers and now we are eating it? It also lack enough iodine for a healthy thyroid to be maintained (only valid for those who have no Hashimoto’s disease). Please consider alternatives before you personally try to humiliate a person with statements like “Please educate yourself before making comments that scare people”… perhaps you should re-evaluate what education means. As far as I know, PhD is pretty high up there! Here is an article for you on Himalaya salt, which by the way is fossilized salt from ions ago when the mountain was under the sea and the colors come from the metals as they were pressed through under the heat the weight of the mounted added as it was lifted from the sea. This article also explains that all salt is sea salt an un-purified sea salt is exactly that: unpure and is full of dead organic materials and fish poop. Some even have mud in them (Celtic). The table in the middle is liked to the salt seller that dared to put the mineral lists up–note that they usually do not, and I have contacted an importer and THEY do not eat the stuff. He told me “we only sell it to Americans because we can make money”… They do look pretty as lamps though… http://cluelessdoctors.com/2014/08/18/what-salt-are-you-eating/

  71. Profile photo of Luna Luna says:

    Oh, you mean it won’t cure my gout? lol

  72. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    Himalayan salt has radiation? And lead and mercury? I thought that because it was harvested in caves from ancient seas it didn’t have mercury, at least not like the oceans now. So, not I have to go look this up because I eat it every day. (sigh)

  73. Profile photo of Livvy Livvy says:

    So then how do you get sodium in your body? If all salt is contaminated and dangerous? There can’t be an alternative. ? Can you live from the salt in food?

  74. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Livvy, all salt on the planet is sea salt. The latest fad is “sea salt” s in designer salt since the cheapest salt you can buy that we use as table salt is sea salt. Himalayan salt is also sea salt only it was lifted out of the sea ions ago and the weight of the mountain and the heat that generated fossilized it. They can carbon date Himalaya salt! In the website I notes at cluelessdoctors it takes you to a table that links to the seller. You can see the exact ingredients.

    Sea salt of the designer kind is unpure–meaning they did not remove the dirt that organic matters dropping to the sea floor created.

    The only pure salt is table salt. Yes, it has anti caking material in it, but it does not have dead fish droppings in it and is not radio active. Plus you need iodine–in unpurified salts there is only trace amount. So if you have no Hashimoto’s disease (iodine sensitivity) or you are not on thyroid hormone substitute, you really need a particular amount of iodine–also on that website at the bottom of that article–that helps you prevent goiter and helps your thyroid create hormones to clean your body.

    Remember Japan with the tsunami after the earthquake? When the nuclear plans melted down and radiation spread, the first item that sold out of store shelves in Tokyo were iodine. There is a reason for that.

  75. Profile photo of Luna Luna says:

    I googled “salt to treat migraine”. If somebody reads some of the directions but doesn’t use the type of salt recommended they would get a huge sodium rush which could be very detrimental to their health. Reading all the unsubstantiated health claims for the Himalayan crystal salt is quite fascinating. It will fix everything even your gout.

  76. Profile photo of 15qm7eu 15qm7eu says:

    Luna, Have you actually read the book though? Don’t put down something you have not educated yourself on.

  77. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Luna, is migraine the same as gout??? If you have gout you need to stop protein… thanks for the laugh! The only laughable comment on this thread. You just made my day! Thank you! Hahahhhahaa

  78. PorschesMom says:

    I understood you were being facetious, Luna.

  79. Profile photo of 15qm7eu 15qm7eu says:

    Tammy, I also have a migraine disorder and fibromyalgia like yourself. I also have an autoimmune condition called Sjogren’s Syndrome. It is a painful condition in which the body attacks it’s own moisture producing centers. In other words, it’s a disease of constant dehydration or living on the edge of dehydration. If there’s one thin I know, it’s dehydration! I will point out one thing…you stated that if a migraine is due to dehydration, adding salt and/OR sugar would likely help… Never have I been told to take sugar for dehydration. That is for hypoglycemia and also helps curb nausea. Being that I have been living with this condition for 19 years, and being that my objectives have always been to live my best life on as little medication as possible, and being that I spent my career advocating for those with disabilities and am educated in medications, therapies, community supports that are offered, I am not likely to be taken in by quick fixes. This is no quick fix. This takes understanding and dedication. It becomes a lifestyle. BUT IT WORKS! I have not needed to take a triptan in 3 months and I have successfully aborted all but 1 attack in that time. My norm is several migraines per month usually all within a 2 week period leading me to use all my Rx up at one time. I will also ask you this…as a practitioner of a highly speculative alternative therapy method, why so judgmental on this alternative therapy without at least reading the book or asking those of us in the group about our experiences? I don’t believe in Reiki but I am not about to go public and attack a practitioner of such and try to warn her group members against what she’s doing. Very thinly veiled by just not mentioning names.

  80. Profile photo of Luna Luna says:

    I was not even talking about the book. Just commenting on all the lemon/lime juice with salt advice when googling. Please understand what someone is saying before getting defensive.

  81. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Nice write up Tammy. I happen to be one of the admins of the migraine group you refer to on FB and amazingly, over 1600 members are all able to stop and prevent migraines–I personally have been migraine free for 4 years with some prodrome showing every now and then that I can catch and prevent. Even seizures apparently stop, and depression is now also shown to be caused by a similar cortical depression zone in the brain as migraine and that explains why all members also respond as less depressed and head out to parties, get their scuba certifications, start traveling on airplanes that they have never imagines, and go to church or concerts.

    So the “protocol”, which by the way is not salt, actually works for all after a questionnaire filled out and customized to each individually.

    So why does it work for all migraineurs? Migraine is actually more sensory neuron connections for the sensory organs in the brain as latest research shows. So the problem is not that of dehydration but that of running out of electricity generating voltage.

    Salt breaks up to sodium (positive charged ion) and chloride (negative charged ion) in the brain creating voltage. This has been well documented in every biology 101 book for decades. There are no mysteries or tricks. Some people add lemon but that is not part of the protocol. Also important to note that salt is not THE protocol; it is only part of it.

    The book and the protocol is very far from what information you have been given. Glad to share information if you contact me, I do not wish to share links on your blog. I just want to make sure that readers of your blog are not mislead with information you may have heard second hand that is not correct.

  82. Profile photo of Kerrie Smyres Kerrie Smyres moderator says:

    Thank you, Tammy! I’m glad to see you’ve addressed this. I hate the proliferation of completely useless (and sometimes even harmful) migraine treatments online.

  83. Profile photo of Migraineur Migraineur says:

    Interesting to note the number of doctors who now actually prescribe the protocol (not salt) even by the Mayo Clinic neurologists. There are many salt spas opening up all over the US. I wonder why if it doesn’t work why all that activity? I also wonder why 1600+ people can totally control their migraines if the treatment doesn’t work? By the way several members started the protocol with high blood pressure with the approval of their doctors and are now actually without their BP meds and have normal BP. There is no harm… only misunderstanding. Also most members who were on migraine medications are now migraine free, many had brain stimulators built in and they turned them off–one is scheduling an appointment to remove it. Are you so sure it doesn’t work?

  84. yogina says:

    Have you read the book? It is a game changer for many of us! I hate to see negative comments on here by people who have obviously not read the book. It is an entire lifestyle, not just adding ” salt to water” . The author is a very knowledgeable, well respected scientist, herself a life long migraine sufferer. She addresses the need to keep all of our levels in careful balance, water, salt, hydration, potassium. She discusses ways to achieve good balance and many, many are finding wonderful relief for the first time in years! I have suffered from migraines for 40 years and have been on more medications than I care to count. No, there are no magic bullets! The book does not claim that! I have been on the protocol and am seeing a huge difference!! I have been able to get off of all preventatives and have reduced my abortive meds by more than half and expect to work my way off all of my meds soon. Dr. Angela Stanton, the author, spends huge amounts of time, every day, helping individuals tailor their programs according to their individual needs! For FREE! She is a saint! And an answer to prayer for so many of us. So please, people, read the book! It has been inaccurately portrayed by Tammy ( sorry, I know she means well, but can’t have actually read the book ) This book is giving us our lives back!!!

  85. Kerry, I have been following you here and on your personal site for a long time. Among the many things I like about your writing is you do your research and talk about first hand experience.

    I too hate the proliferation of useless and harmful information. But in this case I think Tammy was too quick to target this particular author / book. Her book is not trivial, well researched, she has a PHD in neuroscience and is improving thousands of migraineur’s lives (including my wife).

    I urge you to at least read her book. It is a short read. You may be already familiar with several aspects of what it covers.

    If you still think it is useless or harmful, I would like to know specifically why.

  86. Profile photo of Kerrie Smyres Kerrie Smyres moderator says:

    Thanks for your comments. I didn’t realize there was a book or a protocol. I’ve just seen articles saying lemonade with salt stops a migraine quickly, but none cite any sources. My issue is with treatments that are promoted without science. If there’s science behind this (beyond issues of dehydration), I was unaware as none of the articles refer to it. I’ll take a look into the book.

    Take care,
    Kerrie

  87. Profile photo of robertcan robertcan says:

    If I’ve learned one thing through my many years of suffering, it’s that there is no silver bullet. There is no single cure waiting to be discovered. Migraine is a complex neurological disease requiring a multi-tiered approach to treatment. We attack our disease, one bullet at a time.

    Wishing you all a pain-free day – robert

  88. Profile photo of uk11kq uk11kq says:

    I give the book a definite thumbs up!

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