FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

When was the Simplywell Protocol developed?

The Simplywell Protocol was discovered in January 2016 by Marya Gendron and refined since that time.

How long does it take to see improvement on the Simplywell Protocol?

This varies from person to person depending on how many meds they are taking and how they eat.  People who are eating a whole foods diet and on very few to no meds respond quickly, with improvement in symptoms usually seen within one week of starting the protocol, and stabilization starting around 3-4 weeks into the protocol.

People on daily medications often see an improvement in sleep and energy levels but currently we haven’t seen anyone taking daily migraine meds (such as triptans) while on the protocol get relief from their migraines. The SimplyWell Protocol does not offer a strategy for getting off of meds, nor can it act as a seamless bridge for getting off of them.  Strategies for getting off meds in concert with your doctor will be discussed in our upcoming online course.

How can the SimplyWell Protocol and drug-free migraine relief coaching benefit those who are on daily medications for migraine headache?

“Drug-free migraine relief now” means exactly that – that this protocol is an approach to migraines geared towards their alleviation without the use of pharmaceuticals.  The protocol is not designed as a transition strategy to get off of pharmaceuticals.  That said, there are many people on meds who want to try the Protocol.

Most people who are on daily medications for migraine are unaware of safe, plants-based alternatives to alleviating pain from migraine headaches – and so are their physicians.  Those who are on medications who wish to get off of them in order to receive the benefits of the protocol can 1) start the protocol to lay the groundwork prior to and during the gradual elimination of pharmaceutical medication in collaboration with their primary care physician, and 2) get consultation and education to better understand how their medications may be exacerbating and/or contributing to their migraines, so that they are more empowered to advocate for themselves in an informed way as they interface with their primary care physicians.

Many clients who come for help who are on daily and/or multiple medications to manage their migraines have not been told by their physicians how their particular medications negatively affect gut flora or deplete essential nutrients.  Most of them have not been given a clear explanation by their physicians for what the root causes of migraine are, or informed that their medications will only alleviate symptoms but will not actually heal the underlying causes of their migraine (and may even be causative of migraine).

It appears that most pharmaceutical medications affect the gut flora, steal vitamins necessary for the creation of the DAO enzyme (which breaks down histamine), or directly reduce DAO or the cellular receptor sites for DAO. Additionally, triptans are known to deplete glutathione, the most important antioxidant in the body.  Essentially, it is my view that most meds ultimately undermine health and therefore undermine the effectiveness of the SimplyWell protocol.

Currently the meds taken that have been observed to negatively affect the success of the protocol are triptans and opiates.  NSAIDs are also known to deplete DAO.  Improvement has been seen once people get off their meds.

The SimplyWell Protocol relies initially on elimination of tyramine and histamine rich foods.  How long does a person have to eliminate these foods from the diet with this protocol?

Luckily, the elimination phase of these foods is only temporary on this protocol.  That’s the beauty of this protocol – the prebiotic supplementation sufficiently lowers the histamine load in the colon to the point where a gradual reintroduction of histamine and tyramine rich foods is possible, and usually within 3-5 months people can eat all fermented and histamine rich foods again without migraine being triggered.  Everyone is different but generally, the histamine “bucket” just doesn’t get as full once the gut flora imbalances (ie, excessive histamine-producing gut flora) are addressed.

Which kinds of migraines is this protocol effective at addressing?

Currently the protocol has been successful at relieving chronic migraines, hemiplagic migraines, and migraine with aura – as well as chronic headaches and brainfog. We’re excited to have people with other types of migraines try the protocol out to see if it helps them.

Can the protocol address symptoms other than migraine?

Yes, the protocol is effective at addressing many different Histamine Intolerance symptoms and symptoms of inflammation and indigestion in general.  Anyone who has compromised kidney function, low energy, insulin sensitivity, leaky gut, electrolyte imbalances or imbalanced gut flora caused by antibiotics and a history of other pharmaceuticals may benefit from the protocol.

Is the SimplyWell Protocol contraindicated in any conditions?

Yes, the protocol could possibly temporarily exacerbate symptoms of SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). That said, people with SIBO need prebiotics just as much as anyone, they just need to introduce them much more gradually than most.  Improving hydrochloric acid production or supplementing with HCL can help people with SIBO while on the protocol.

The radish portion of the protocol is contraindicated for those with duodenal ulcers, but consumption of radishes is an optional step of the protocol.  Some people who have compromised sulfation pathways cannot tolerate the taste of radish or get itchy when consuming them.  This is useful information especially for those doing private coaching as it allows us to then help support sulfation.

I have special dietary considerations and can’t consume carbs/nightshades/fruit, etc.  Are there ways to adapt the protocol for individual needs?

This topic is covered in the e-book.  The Protocol relies heavily on prebiotics and resistant starch sourced from carbohydrate rich foods, therefore people who are unwilling or unable to eat this special kind of carb will not be able to folllow the Protocol.

Are there any other people for whom the Protocol will not work?

  • Those who are chronic users of alcohol
  • Those who prefer a silver-bullet approach to migraines
  • Those who are not motivated to change eating or lifestyle habits
  • Those who do not really want to get off migraine meds
  • Those who are unwilling to juice for the initial period
  • Those with SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)

Can the Protocol be used for kids?

Currently the Protocol has not been used with kids.  It is recommended that one-on-one coaching is done with Marya to help alleviate migraine in kids so that the Protocol can be personalized and adapted to the child’s size and special needs.