If you’re having chronic migraines, this vitamin deficiency could be the cause…
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A migraine is an intense pain in the head that can lead to throbbing, pulsing, increased sensitivity to light and sound – and even be accompanied by nausea according to the Mayo Clinic. Migraines seriously affect quality of life – if you’ve ever had one you’ll know how debilitating they can be.
A migraine can be treated with certain medications – but they don’t always work. Sometimes it’s about finding out what causes the problem rather than treating them when they happen. For example, a migraine can actually be caused by your diet – like eating chocolate, or by a vitamin defeciency like magnesium.
What causes a migraine?
There’s still a lot to learn about migraines – but doctors do know they’re brought about both by genetics and environmental factors. According to WebMD, migraines might be caused by changes in the brainstem, and imbalances in brain chemicals. What they do know is there are common triggers:
– Foods. Aged cheeses, salty foods and processed foods may trigger migraines, fasting, or not eating enough may all cause migraines.
– Food additives. The sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate, which are both found in many foods may trigger migraines.
– Certain drinks. Alcohol, but specially wine, and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines.
– Sensory stimuli. Bright lights, glare, loud sounds, unusual smells (paint, strong perfume).
– Changes in your sleeping pattern.
– Physical factors. Serious physical exertion, including sexual activity can onset migraines.
– Environmental changes. Like a change in the barometric pressure.
– Medications. Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines.
Could low magnesium be causing my migraines?
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, people with migraines often had lower levels of magnesium than the people who didn’t get migraines. In one experiment cited by UMM, people who took magnesium reduce the frequency of migraines by 41.6%, compared to 15.8% in those who took placebo.
To figure out if magnesium could be part of your migraine problem, it’s important to speak with your doctor. You shouldn’t just start taking magnesium supplements because it can interact with other medications, like those for the heart, diuretics, water pills, some antibiotics and muscle relaxers. So it’s important to talk to your doctor about what some of your triggers may be, and see if they can test your magnesium levels and determine the next phase of your migraine treatment.
Treatment for migraines
As stated above, sometimes treating migraines is about figuring out what your triggers are. It could be certain foods, or even sensitivities. Your doctor might also prescribe something for the pain, but it depends on what other medications you are on, and how your doctor thinks it would be best to treat your symptoms.
There are also some new studies on vitamins that may reduce migraines – and while we will list them here, it’s important you speak with your doctor about your migraines before you start taking a regimen because none of these studies are conclusive:
– Vitamin B2 . A few studies have shown that B2, or riboflavin, may shorten migraines and reduce their frequency. B2 can interact with medications though, including: tricyclic antidepressants, medications called anticholinergic drugs that are used to treat a variety of conditions, the antiseizure drug phenobarbital, and probenecid which is used to treat gout.
–Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). It can interact with several medications including blood thinners, some cancer medications, and medications for high blood pressure.
– Melatonin. This can also interact with a number of medications.
all information provided by UMM