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Does Salt Cause Migraine Headaches

Migraine Caused By Other Triggers Cannot Be Cured By Salt

The Migraine Guy – Salt and Migraine Prevention

Serotonin helps narrow blood vessels and reduce migraine pain. But salt may inhibit its availability.

But if your migraine is not related to dehydration, salt may not help reduce the headache. In fact, it is possible that salt can worsen the pain. Migraine pain is associated with dilation of blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. So migraine medicines focus on narrowing these blood vessels for instance, triptans relieve migraine pain by making the neurotransmitter serotonin more available as serotonin helps narrow blood vessels. Low levels of serotonin are, in fact, associated with migraine pain.1 Salt may, however, make serotonin less available and worsen the pain.

The Sodium Connection With Migraines

Ian Spohn, ND, is a staff naturopathic doctor for Energique who enjoys challenging the dogmas of both conventional and alternative medicine. He is a passionate supporter of the paleo diet and classical homeopathy.

To quote the study: In order to more fully evaluate the role of sugar in migraine onset and sodium in migraine cessation, we encouraged each recovering migraineur to enjoy a sugary candy or dessert after they were fully migraine free. This caused a migraine in every single participant without exception. The administration of a 1/8th teaspoon salt after consuming the sweets with only a sip of water stopped the migraine within 10 minutes. It has been theorized that increased neuronal activity may lead to an increased rate of sodium loss in the body, given how important sodium is to conducting action potentials, and that some people by their constitutional nature are more nervous than others. People who might be described as high-strung or a bit overly refined, with acute senses and tense, highly coordinated, highly active nervous systems, which are precisely the type of people who stereotypically suffer from migraines, might simply tend to lose sodium more rapidly than others.

Stanton, Angela. Migraine cause and treatment. Mental Health in Family Medicine. 2015 11:69-72. Accessed 3/31/20 at

When Should You Drink Gatorade

You can take Gatorade to rehydrate when

  • You are exercising under high temperature and sweating a lot more, especially if you notice salt on your skin.
  • You are carrying out or just finished an endurance exercise, like a marathon.
  • You need more energy during a long workout
  • After a workout or endurance exercise, and you quickly need simple carbs to keep from feeling dizzy.
  • You drink too much water, and you are experiencing water intoxication or water poisoning.

Drinking too much water to rehydrate during sports or intense training can easily result in water intoxication because you lose too many electrolytes from the body as you sweat during those activities. And, drinking only water can dilute the sodium in your blood reducing your blood sodium levels and cause too much fluid to enter your cells which will make the cells to swell. This can result in serious health consequences like

  • confusion,
  • having difficulty in breathing, and
  • double vision.

A drinking sports drink can help you to replenish the lost electrolyte resulting in body fluid balance.

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How Our Diets Affect Migraine

Many things can trigger a migraine attack, including what we eat and drink.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, foods that trigger migraine may only do so when combined with other triggers. But this combination and any trigger in general is highly individualized, making research difficult.

Theres no such thing as a universal migraine trigger. But there are some common triggers that can cause or contribute to migraine episodes in some people.

Too much caffeine and experiencing caffeine withdrawal can cause migraine or headaches.

But according to the American Migraine Foundation, caffeine can actually help stop oncoming migraine attacks. It can also offer headache relief with occasional use.

Foods and drinks with caffeine include:

one study , over 35% of the participants with migraine reported that alcohol was one of their common triggers.

Red wine in particular was reported as a trigger in over 77% of the participants who reported alcohol as a trigger.

Alcohol can cause dehydration, which is a significant contributor in developing headaches.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, chocolate is thought to be the second most common trigger for migraine attacks after alcohol. They say it affects an estimated 22 percent of people who experience migraine.

Chocolate contains both caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine, which may trigger headaches in some people.

How To Instantly Stop A Migraine With Himalayan Salt

Here is How To Instantly Stop A Migraine With Salt

Migraines are nothing to laugh about. Just one bad migraine is enough to cripple you for a whole day. Pain relievers are typically the first drugs recommended by doctors for migraine and headaches. But what do you when even these meds dont work? The answer is salt. So if you want to avoid using stronger painkillers, you should give salt a go.

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Migraines Linked To High Sodium Levels In Cerebrospinal Fluid

Radiological Society of North America
Migraine sufferers have significantly higher sodium concentrations in their cerebrospinal fluid than people without the condition, according to the first study to use a technique called sodium MRI to look at migraine patients.

Migraine sufferers have significantly higher sodium concentrations in their cerebrospinal fluid than people without the condition, according to the first study to use a technique called sodium MRI to look at migraine patients. The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America .

Migraine, a type of headache characterized by severe head pain, and sometimes nausea and vomiting, is one of the most common headache disorders, affecting about 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men. Some migraines are accompanied by vision changes or odd sensations in the body known as auras. Diagnosis is challenging, as the characteristics of migraines and the types of attacks vary widely among patients. Consequently, many migraine patients are undiagnosed and untreated. Other patients, in contrast, are treated with medications for migraines even though they suffer from a different type of headache, such as the more common tension variety.

Overall, sodium concentrations were significantly higher in the brain’s cerebrospinal fluid in migraine patients than in the healthy control group.

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Tree Nuts And Peanuts

It’s no surprise that tree nuts and peanuts are on this list because they are some of the most commonly eaten foods and the most commonly allergic as well. They are also high in biogenic amines, which can aggravate the brain and gut. Peanuts can contain mold that can compromise the immune system. They are also difficult to digest because of their high fat content. Almonds and hazelnuts may be better options but it depends on your specific sensitivity.

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Coffee Is A Headache Trigger And A Pain Reliever

“If you sleep later on the weekend and you wake up with a headache, you probably have a caffeine withdrawal headache,”says Dr. Daroff. A little caffeine can actually help get rid of a migraine headache, and caffeine may be included in some migraine medicines, but too much caffeine can be a headache trigger when you come down from your caffeine “high.” Research shows that you need to be drinking about 200 mg of caffeine to get a withdrawal headache when you miss your “dose.”

How Are Food Cravings Treated

Use More Salt to Fix Migraines

A migraine food craving usually surfaces during the prodrome phrase of migraines, which is the first stage of migraine that occurs before the head pain. When a craving happens before the head pain phase, the craving for chocolate for example may be mistaken for a migraine trigger. Symptoms considered premonitory or warning of an impending migraine typically occur a few minutes to 3 days before the migraine attack.

During the head pain phase of the migraine, many people no longer have food cravings, but experience nausea with or without vomiting. After the migraine has passed, many people do not want to eat.

There is no specific treatment for food cravings, but if you are aware of how food cravings may predict an oncoming migraine attack, you can take preventative measures for the migraine.

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Foods That Trigger Headaches

Headaches and migraines are often triggered by certain foods. But not all headache triggers deserve their bad rap.

Theres nothing like a pounding headache to make you seek refuge in a dark, quiet room and hide from the world. If you suffer with chronic headache pain, you have great company. More than 45 million Americans have chronic headache pain from migraine, tension, or cluster headaches.

Women suffer headaches more frequently than men, perhaps because of variations in the brain chemical called serotonin, which plays a role in pain and depression. When levels of the hormone estrogen plummet, levels of serotonin change as well.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common headaches include:

  • Cluster headache
  • Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia , cluster headache and paroxysmal hemicranias

Whether you suffer with migraines, tension or sinus headaches, or headaches from arthritis or jaw pain, all headaches have one central thread that weaves them together: inner or outer triggers cause the body to react with pain thats felt in the head. These triggers may stem from foods, tobacco, chemicals, stress, environment, or your hormones, among other things, and may vary from one person to the next.

Negative Ions Produced By Salt Lamps Can Help Neutralize Positive Ions

The use of salt lamps as a good alternative for air conditioning is one that is gaining in popularity. We all know how bad our air quality can be in the summer months, and it can easily become unbearable during the colder months when we are trying to sleep.

While air conditioning units are a good thing to have if you work at a job where you need to be outdoors, they are not the best option for people who live in apartments or condos.

Most of the time it will be hard to get out and do the things we need to do on a daily basis when there is an excess of heat in the air.

Using salt to make it possible to produce negative ions.

The negative ions produced by salt lamps can help neutralize positive ions.

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Other Remedies For Migraine Headaches

1. Diet changes

Common foods that trigger migraines are:

  • foods that contain nitrates like hot dogs, bacon, deli meats, and sausage
  • pickled foods
  • alcoholic drinks
  • caffeinated beverages

Best to find out if eating any particular food triggers your migraine so that you can avoid the food by keeping a food journal.

Tip: Did you know that the Migraine Buddy Appworks as a food journal?

2. Use essential oils

Inhale lavender essential oil or dilute it and apply it to the temples.

You can also apply peppermint oil on the forehead and temples to help prevent migraine and to relieve pain, nausea and light sensitivity associated with migraine.

3. Try acupressure

4. Try herbs such as Feverfew and Butterbur

5. Eat ginger

This is to help reduce the severity and duration of migraine and nausea.

6. Attend yoga classes.

It improves blood circulation, which reduces muscle tension, which is one of the triggers of migraine.

7. Taking vitamins B-complex

It helps to regulate the neurotransmitters in the brain.

8. Try biofeedback.

Biofeedback can help to relieve migraine caused by muscle tension by releasing and relaxing the tight muscles.

9. Add magnesium to your diet.

Deficiency of Magnesium can commonly trigger headaches and migraines.

Taking magnesium oxide supplements can help to prevent migraines. You can also eat food rich in magnesium such as almonds, sesame seeds, eggs, cashews, milk, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, oatmeal, and Brazil nuts.

10. Manage your stress

11. Get enough sleep.

Limitations Of The Study

Headache From Sodium

There were some problems with the study. For one, the study included only people with borderline or high blood pressure. In addition, the participants only filled out questionnaires at the end of each 30 day period. Finally, the study did not specify the types of headache the participants suffered from.

Overall, this study supports a relationship between sodium intake and headaches. More studies are needed to tease apart this association. Remember, a relationship or association does not imply causation.

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Tips For Healthy Salt Consumption

We actually need only a small amount of sodium for our bodies to function properly, estimated to be around 500 milligrams per day, which is naturally occurring in the whole foods we eat. We do not need added salt to be healthy. Primitive tribes probably got between 400 and 800 milligrams of sodium per day in their diets, without any salt available on a daily basis

Today, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams per day be consumed by everyone.

My recommendation is to live between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams per day, although if you have Menieres disease or any balance problems, experiment with maintaining a consistent average on the lower end of that range. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

1 – Be patient. Once you reduce your sodium intake, it takes two months, possibly three, for your palate to heal and get used to low-sodium foods. They do eventually taste greatI promise!

2 – Dont eliminate all salt. If you eliminate processed foods and salt from your cooking, you can enjoy adding sea salt to your food at the table where you really taste it.

3 – Choose your salt carefully. I recommend selecting natural sea salt with a tint to it, which contains many important trace minerals. For example, Himalayan pink sea salt contains more than 80 trace minerals, including iron, iodine, copper, zinc, selenium, and molybdenum, which are all important for people with autoimmune conditions

  • Diabetes symptoms

Why Do Food Cravings Occur With Migraine

Doctors believe food cravings may be caused by the part of the brain that is involved in pleasure and reward.1 In some people, there may also be an association between the specific food cravings and nutritional deficiencies.1Hormone imbalances may also play a role.1

In migraine, food cravings are often part of the prodrome phase, or the phase before the head pain tends to start.2 The cravings may accompany other symptoms like fatigue, irritability, yawning, and sensitivity to sound.2

Imaging studies show that many of these symptoms are related to the activity of the hypothalamus, a small part of the brain. The hypothalamus regulates body temperature, hormones, memory, and emotion.2

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How Does Salt Cause Migraine Headaches


  • Theres still a lot left to be learned about migraine headaches, so a great many of the reasons given why someone experiences this painful condition are simply conjecture. One theory is that this salt could simply a trigger for the migraine headache. This means some peoples bodies will basically react to salt by creating a change in the blood vessels of the brain. When someone has too much salt, these blood vessels will go through a process of dilation and inflammation, prompting a migraine headache.


  • Another theory behind salt causing a migraine headache involves a certain amount of dehydration. While salt is an important part of a persons diet, too much of it can cause the cells of the body to dehydrate, or experience a loss in fluids. When the salt level in a persons blood increases, it can actually begin to rob the cells of their fluid, essentially causing them to go through a process of dehydration. The cells of the brain are not immune to this, and when this dehydration takes place, they can dilate and cause a migraine headache.


Does Gatorade Cure Migraine

Migraine Headache : Causes & Triggers | Why do we get Migraine? – Dr.Anil R

Gatorade helps to prevent migraine or make the migraine to gradually go away. If you want to know how all this is possible?

This is how

  • Glucose

Gatorade contains a lot of sugar. You may be wondering if sugar can help with headache, but the answer is yes and no.

Yes, if low blood sugar is what triggered the migraines. But since too much of sugar can result in sugar problems, use this as a temporary fix.

  • ElectrolytesSodium & Potassium

The main purpose why Gatorade was produced is for hydration and to replenish lost water and electricity with sodium and potassium. That is to prevent one of the most common causes of migraine, which is dehydration.

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Do Nitrates Have Anything To Do With Migraines

A recent article published found that higher levels of nitrates correlate with migraine. This research intrigued me. Many migraineurs I work with in my migraine group on Facebook announce shortly after joining the group that nitrates in their food causes migraines for them. This is very odd because human saliva contains an abundant amount of nitrates . I wondered why so many migraineurs would be concerned about nitrates when nitrates occur naturally in their saliva.

Since nitrates are naturally occurring and we eat them in fresh produce every day, one must wonder if there is anything behind the theory that nitrates cause migraines. On the surface it certainly doesnt appear so. Could there be something behind this association, beyond a chance correlation?

When this topic was presented to me for research, at first I thought urgh nah there is not much here. Lots of researchers have worked on this and the results are conflicting at best. And given the nitrate content in foods, I thought the correlations observed were incidental. Then, a light bulb when off. Maybe there is something to this correlation, but I would dare say it is not what I thought it would be. Let me take you through the series of connections I made while researching this topic.


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