Back to Back Issues Page
HeadWay, Issue #159 -- All About Magnesium (it's about time)
November 21, 2017

*Please note: URLs may wrap onto the next line. To visit the website, cut and paste the entire URL into your address bar on your browser*

In this issue:

All About Magnesium

Say What?! Intravenous

Do you believe in the service that HeadWay provides to those with migraine, cluster, and other types of headache, as well as their doctors, family, and friends? Consider sponsoring HeadWay with a one or two line ad. For more information, visit this page.

All About Magnesium

If no one has talked to you about magnesium for migraine, it's about time. We talk about it a lot at Headache and Migraine News, but for some reason we've never dedicated an issue of Headway to this very important migraine treatment.

Magnesium is a well known treatment for migraine in the emergency room. In fact, when we discussed recommended treatments for emergency migraine treatment, intravenous hydration with at least 1 gram of magnesium came out on top. Intravenous magnesium may also help cluster headache patients.

So magnesium may be a good thing to ask for at the hospital, but is it helpful to have at home? Absolutely.

We've known about the link between magnesium and migraine for about 75 years, but for some reason there are still people that haven't heard.

Magnesium is an important mineral for your body, affecting sleep patterns, stabilizing blood vessels, and cleansing the body. There are actually a number of reasons why it's especially important to migraine sufferers. We're not going to get into all the scientific details this time - this will be a more practical guide.

If you have 2 or more "headache days" per week, you need to seriously consider preventative measures. And magnesium is probably one of the first things you should try. A daily dose of magnesium has made a huge difference for many, many migraine patients, which is why it's such a popular treatment.

Nuts and Bolts

Ok, here are the "nuts and bolts" - the basics you need to know.

If you have 2 or more headache days a week, have a talk with your doctor about preventatives. If your doctor agrees that you can safely try magnesium, you're going to want to start with a low dose, raising it slowly. Once you get to the full dose, try it for three months, keeping a headache diary so you can see your improvement.

So what's the dose? The usual recommendation is between 400 and 1200mg per day, if possible in 2-3 doses throughout the day.

Other than migraine relief, one of the factors determining the dose and the type of supplement is your gut. If you experience discomfort or diarrhea, either you need a lower dosage or a different supplement. If you can't get the dosage very high, and you're not seeing improvement, try a different supplement. Seriously, a different "version" of magnesium can make all the difference!

Ok, so which supplement? There are two options - a pure magnesium supplement, or a combo supplement.

First, do not use a magnesium supplement that contains calcium. If you take a calcium supplement, take it at a different time of day. Read the label carefully!

If you're having trouble with absorption (gut problems or simply not working), try the "ate" forms of magnesium, such as glycinate, gluconate, lactate and orotate. Some supplements have more than one type.

You can read about various brands recommended by our community here: Which Magnesium Supplements Work?. For information on combos, read Magnesium for Migraine 2 – Combos?

Again, for anyone with chronic migraine, this is seriously one of the first things you should try. Talk to your doctor about it today!

Say What?! Intravenous

Ok, so most people probably have some idea what intravenous (or IV) refers to. In our context, it's usually an adjective referring to putting a medicine directly into the veins. So you may be given a "fluid drip" in the emergency room, or you may be given an intravenous injection. Sometimes intravenous magnesium or a medication is given as a preventative for cluster headache or migraine, and sometimes as an abortive.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
Back to Back Issues Page