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Anyone read "Fighting The Migraine Epidemic" by Angela A Stanton?

Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: A Complete Guide: How To Treat & Prevent Migraines Without Medicine (September 29, 2017) - by Angela A Stanton Ph.D.

Is this book/method any good? Has anyone read/tried this?

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“Fighting The Migraine Epidemic - Complete Guide”
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No, but I just read some of the Amazon reviews and it looks interesting. The electronic version is only $9.99 (US).

James (@turnitaround) will be interested in this excerpt from one of the Amazon reviews: “I also get a fraction of the number I used to (from 4-5 per week to @1 per month, and it is ALWAYS when I have completely fallen off the wagon on my potassium/sodium balance (the book will explain it).”


I bought the book on kindle. It is good, so far.

thanks; I’ll check it out.

I have read the book on the Stanton protocol. I do use the salt when a migraine starts. I found taking the salt with water then drinking glass of orange juice to reduce the intensity of some migraines.

This whole thing is so confusing. According to some of the migraine diets, orange juice (citrus) is a trigger for migraine. But in your case, it sounds like it helps prevent it (or at least reduce the intensity)!

Different folks for different strokes is what I’m starting to see. I think that’s why my migraine sheet says limit, reduce or avoid, cause it’s all still questionable, but in more cases than not it causes issues.

I’m about 3/4 thru the book now and am finding it very interesting. There is a lot to unpack in her theories and I think several folks here might find this an interesting topic for debate/discussion and/or trial. I was already headed in the general direction Dr. Stanton suggests, so I’ll try for an n=1 and report back.

The basic gist is that the migraine brain is a special, throwback (atavistic) brain that used to be highly advantageous when hypersensitive meant you weren’t something else’s dinner but now it’s a disadvantage in our hyper stimulated environment. She feels the problem is that hypersensitive responses in a brain hard wired to over react creates nutritional and electrolyte imbalances in the brain that leads to chronic migraine. Her treatment is based on removing stressors, rebalancing hormones and maintaining a careful homeostasis and electrolyte balance on what is essentially a salt heavy ketogenic diet. (Yes, MAVers, I said extra salt. There are many fine points on which to debate here including her basic hypothesis, the definition of migraine and whether MAV comes into it, whether her approach could be successful for MAV and not just primary migraine pain, etc, etc.)

On a different day when I’m smart enough to translate 400 pages of biochemistry into blog length layman’s terms, I’ll talk about it in more detail. Today, though, the letters are already dancing on the screen and I have a big meeting in a few hours. So, later. This one is worth the discussion, though.


I skimmed through the entire book. I was shocked when she said migraineurs needed more salt. I started finding other MAV doctors also advice their patients to take electrolyte diluted 1 parts to 4. Truth be told i have experimented heavily with salt both cutting back and going overboard. I don’t find it affects me for good or for bad.

The Keto diet cannot be started when you are trialing meds. Something everyone should understand. Also Angela stanton has an article on Migraine is a metabolic disease(below) which i think calls out some themes in her book. Overall i think my biggest takeaway from the Keto diet is to take less carbs. I have seen other folks for whom taking carbs like rice was a trigger so i can relate to this.

I always do better on keto.

Sounds like Keto can have same effect as topomax :slight_smile:
Anti-seizure medications originally intended for those with epilepsy are often prescribed to migraine sufferers. These medications typically block glutamate (a neurotransmitter), high concentrations of which are often found in both migraine and epilepsy patients. As ketones block high concentrations of glutamate, a ketogenic diet can have a beneficial effect for migraine sufferers. It is thought that the ketogenic diet can also benefit those with various other brain and neurological disorders, including cancer and Alzheimer’s as well as diabetes, epilepsy and migraine

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How do you guys think this book would be for someone who doesn’t get the typical “migraine” headache? Typically I just feel odd, have some visual symtoms, and feel some sense of motion all of the time.

Also, I got a book called “heal your brain” by Mark hymen. Once I read it I will let you know if I find anything useful!

Angela stanton is dead against meds and the book is all about the Keto diet. IMHO you cannot do Keto for a long time.

Ohh, I see. Thanks for letting me know.

Why can’t you do keto for a long time? It’s the traditional diet of big chunks of native populations throughout the world (Inuit, Native Americans, Masai). It’s the base metabolism of humans and probably was up until about 10,000 years ago. Almost everyone is in ketosis overnight. Fetuses are ketogenic and babies stay in that state until solid food is introduced. Your body creates the glucose it needs in the liver via stored glycogen and gluconeogenesis. As long as you’re balancing your electrolytes and eating a variety of foods to ensure proper vitamins, which isn’t that hard given you’re still eating vegetables, you should be fine. But that’s true for everyone eating any eating style, you need to have the proper amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Everyone needs hydration. Carbs as a macronutrient aren’t required because we can make them ourselves in the liver. Even proponents who suggest the occasional carb up for women to maintain thyroid only suggest you need to carb up once a week, and that’s not for everyone.

True, keto isn’t easy in modern society. Nobody celebrates their birthday with celery. But metabolically there is no reason you can’t do keto long term as long as you’re mindful of your essential nutrition.

The last time I truly committed to keto (last year), I made a list of all the things that were missing from my life that used to be a daily occurance. It included a bunch of things MAV folks will recognize:

  • ear congestion
  • dizziness
  • malaise
  • nausea
  • migraines
  • tension headaches
  • brain fog
  • diarrhea
  • cycling glucose/insulin
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • depression
  • poor sleep
  • heart palpitations
  • and a bunch of other stuff

I was great. Absolutely great for about 6 months with no headaches, no dizziness, no MAV at all. But, I wasn’t paying attention to that because I went keto to treat other metabolic and inflammation issues. I had started slipping. Then fire season came and it was intense and lasted forever with some of the worst air quality in the world for weeks. I got sick, stopped paying attention to my diet and ended up on Topomax. I’d rather do keto anytime.


So here’s the theory:

What the ketogenic diet doesn’t do is inhibit high voltage calcium channels and sodium/potassium gates in neurons which is a major feature of the anti-convulsent meds. Ketosis leaves those alone and allows the neurons to fire appropriately. Ketosis does reduce the overabundance of glucose, which is a good thing because glucose binds with sodium and draws water out of the cells. This prevents the neurons from firing because the proper ratio of sodium to potassium is disrupted in the presence of too much glucose taking the sodium out of the equation and disrupting homeostasis. When the neuron can’t fire, you get cortical depression = migraine. Ketosis also doesn’t have side effects like the anti-convulsent meds because it isn’t shutting down the neurons globally, whereas that class of meds does. However, a migraineur in ketosis has to be mindful of their electrolyte balance at all times because that hypersensitive brain uses a lot of charge which means a lot of fuel, which in the brain’s case means electrolyte balance.

I can tell you, following Dr. Stanton’s suggestions for electrolyte balancing for a week has made a measurable difference for me. Below you’ll see why I favor ketosis. Though, it’s hard to be in ketosis on topomax given the drug itself is a fructose derivative. It kinds of shoots yourself in the foot to reduce sugars from all sources and then take a potent sugar pill.

Wow Emily…lots of good info on Keto.

Keto makes you loose weight and also affects your performance in Gym. Hence I made the comment.

Also staying in Ketosis seems incredibly hard. If I give into carb cravings I will get kicked out of ketosis often and think the diet will be a failure for me.

It is tons better than Topomax.

It’s super hard. And I could gain weight in a famine. I lose a bit overall, but that’s not really the point. The point is treating myself as kindly as possible and giving myself something I can control. Fire seasons or perfume or loud noises I can’t control. What I stick in my mouth, though, that I can choose to use to heal myself and build resilience for the things I can’t.

And a note on salt. I followed Stanton’s recommendations. After a week of what seemed like an insane amount of salt, my blood pressure went down from high to normal, my insomnia went away, edema went away and I can consistently stop a mild headache before it grows. And, not dizzy. So, there’s something.

Wow…I am also between med trials…and I feel super hungry (not sure it’s a side effect)…gained 15 pounds over 8 months…i think my brain might freak out if I start pushing it into ketosis…

Btw there is a keto group in facebook by Angela stanton…they would not let me in unless I took a blood oath to check my blood glucose every 5 hours…I still don’t know how to check my glucose🤔 you should consider joining it

Well, here’s the thing. I don’t do Facebook. My mom stalks her kids on Facebook. Her retirement is driving us crazy. Also, I think Dr. Stanton has a great theory that’s completely worth trying out, but I also think she’s rather convinced of her own specialness and spends way too much time in her Facebook echo chamber.

She doesn’t even bother to pay lip service to MAV and outright ignores or dismisses anything she either disagrees with or doesn’t understand. I would love to see her theories get a real scientific trial. There are a great many debatable points in her book, not the least which who she lets in her club of superhuman migraineurs. I certainly don’t fit her narrow, totally unscientific stereotypes.

That doesn’t mean her theories and methods are wrong, just take it as something worth trying because it sure can’t hurt you any worse than taking drugs that may permanently alter your brain chemistry and all the downstream functions.

I can lay out her full method, if you’d like me to take the time.