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Deborah Richards
Nutrition Educator
LCHF/KETO Advocate 
Vancouver, B.C.
ELECTROLYTES to the RESCUE

There is NO skipping this vital aspect of migraine prevention! The 3 electrolytes I'm talking about are:

sodium

magnesium 

potassium 

Migraine brains use more energy than regular brains, therefore it is more difficult to keep electrolytes in homeostasis. If your brain is not getting the minerals it needs for keeping your electrolytes in homeostasis, this can trigger a migraine. Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, and water are key to keeping your brain’s electrolytes at a healthy homeostasis. 

More specifically, research has shown that migraines are caused by ‘malfunctioning’ neurons as a result of ion imbalances in the brain, so maintaining the correct mineral balance is very important. Even the slightest imbalance in these three important minerals can cause a migraine. In fact, studies show that adding salt to your diet reduces migraines

Good luck curing your migraines, surviving ketosis or staying healthy without getting your electrolytes in order. Most leg cramps, fatigue, poor hydration, and MIGRAINES are due to imbalanced electrolytes. 

The level of electrolytes changes based on what you do. If you exercise or spend time in the heat, you need more minerals and water since you expend much by perspiration and even by talking or just breathing—particularly salt and water. Stress or lack of sleep can mess with your balance too. Even drinking too much water will dilute your electrolytes, and put you out of balance, so I am now in the habit of looking at the colour of my urine. If it's too pale, then I know I'm diluting my electroyltes and I add a pinch of sea salt to my water. 

 

And although magnesium has long been a suggested supplement for the migraineur, many are unaware of salt’s important job in keeping the brain functioning smoothly. Worried that excess salt is dangerous? For most of us, salt does not increase blood pressure and there is no risk associated with consuming additional salt. High Blood Pressure? Salt is not the problem

The amount of water each individual needs varies by their weight and height. You might need 12 cups of water while your friend might only need 8 cups. There are many water calculators online to help you learn how much water you need. See Sodium/Potassium balancing for migraines

 

This is what I do, but again talk to your doctor.

1) I SALT my food liberally. At a conversion of 2000mg of sodium in 1 tsp (5 grams) of table salt, I consume 2-3 tsp a day (4000+mg/day) to keep migraines at bay, and this keeps water IN my cells for proper hydration. 

 

As suggested by Angela Stanton, when you're feeling migraine prodrome, try an "1/8th of a teaspoon with a large glass of water." 

2) 400-600 mg of Magnesium a day, usually via a high quality supplement like a bi-glycinate, malate or similar. Oxide is less absorbable and causes diarrhea in many people. See if you can find a slow release Magnesium like 'SLOW-MAG' or 'Mag 64'. If you want to get it from your food, it's more difficult than a supplement but try these: nuts, green leafy vegetables, avocado, mackerel and even dark chocolate. 

3) For potassium, I do not take a supplement but instead turn to these foods to get my daily dose: Avocado, Brazil nuts, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Almonds and Green Leafy lettuces like Spinach, Bok Choi and Chard. These are keto staples for me and it's easy to get my daily requirements. 

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