Magnesium Could Help Manage Horrible Headaches, Like Migraines

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Anyone who has ever experienced a migraine knows it’s not just a headache. Worldwide, 12 to 15 percent of the population is impacted by this often debilitating condition. Most migraine sufferers have two to four each month, but people who experience chronic migraines have symptoms for at least 15 days a month.

There are a variety of medications that are used to treat migraines. Although many patients find them effective, they can cause unpleasant side effects. A natural option is magnesium, which some people find helpful.

What Is Magnesium? 

Magnesium is a nutrient that impacts the creation and strength of bones, helps regulate nerve and muscle function, and regulates blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also plays a role in metabolism and DNA processing. 

Read More: What You Should Know About Magnesium Supplements

What Is a Migraine?

A migraine is a type of headache that causes severe pain. It has four stages, including:

Prodrome: This can begin up to 24 hours before the headache starts. These symptoms can include neck stiffness, mood changes, and constipation. 

Aura: This phase starts anywhere from five minutes to one hour before the headache. Symptoms include numbness and/or tingling in the face or hands, ringing in the ears, experiencing wavy or jagged lines of light, or having temporary blind spots. 

Headache: The actual headache phase can last between four hours to 72 hours — and involves throbbing pain that typically begins on one side of the head. Other symptoms include congestion, dizziness, sensitivity to light/sound/smell, changes in speech, sweating and/or the chills, and nausea/vomiting, 

Postdrome: Also called a migraine hangover, this stage can last from several hours to two days. Symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, and body aches. 

Read More: The Science of Migraines

What Causes a Migraine?

Migraines involve abnormal brain activity with blood vessels and nerves, although the exact cause is not known. Genetics seem to play a role. Known triggers of migraines include stress, sleep changes, changes in barometric pressure (weather), bright lights, chocolate, aged cheese, caffeine, red wine, and hormonal changes involving estrogen levels. 

Read More: What’s the Difference Between a Headache and a Migraine?

Does Magnesium Help Migraines?

Researchers believe that magnesium supplements can help prevent migraines. Since people with low magnesium levels are more prone to migraines, magnesium supplements or magnesium-rich foods can help reduce their frequency. A study found that during migraines, about half the patients had lowered amounts of magnesium at the time. An intravenous infusion of magnesium helped to relieve symptoms.

One possible way that magnesium helps is by blocking pain-causing chemicals in the brain. According to the American Migraine Foundation, magnesium decreases substance P and glutamate. Magnesium can also prevent the narrowing of blood vessels in the brain caused by the release of serotonin in response to pain. This is relevant because when serotonin levels change, it can cause a migraine in certain people. 

Read More: 5 Different Types of Magnesium and How They Affect the Body

What Form of Magnesium Is Best for Migraines?

Magnesium oxide is the most commonly used form for migraine treatment, with a recommended daily dosage of 400 to 500 milligrams. The effects can often be boosted with the addition of riboflavin, also known as B2. We can’t produce riboflavin naturally, so it’s taken in supplement form when addressing migraines. The recommended regimen is 400 mg daily of riboflavin orally for at least 3 months.

Read More: Here’s Why You May Want To Take Vitamin D and Magnesium Together

This article is not offering medical advice and should be used for informational purposes only.

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