Researchers have been investigating the magnesium migraines connection because of magnesium's role in stabilizing blood vessels walls. Magnesium is also an important mineral when it comes to helping you get to sleep. Regular sleeping patterns are also very important to migraine sufferers. Magnesium also helps in protein synthesis, and keeps your bones strong and helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function.
It was first suggested that a deficiency in magnesium could cause
headaches over 70 years ago. It makes sense, because a lot of the things that cause the body to run short of magnesium also either trigger migraines or lower your resistance. For example alcohol, stress, and menstruation. Today we know that about half of the people who get migraines are also short of a certain type of magnesium (serum ionized).
When faced with a migraine that won't respond to treatment, many headache specialists will give an injection of magnesium. You should be able to get benefits from long term (2-3 months or more) regular magnesium supplements. The magnesium migraines link may make a big difference to many people.
Chances are good that you do not have a serious magnesium deficiency. However, there are situations where magnesium can get low. Certain drugs especially can lower your amounts of magnesium, such as diuretics and certain antibiotics. Alcohol may also lower your magnesium levels.
Most migraine specialists today believe that magnesium may play some role in migraine, but some believe that increasing your body's magnesium is THE key in eliminating migraine, even if you don't have a "serious deficiency".
Dr. Sarah DeRossett, American neurologist and headache specialist was quoted even back in July 2003 in support of magnesium and riboflavin/vitamin B2 for migraine sufferers. "About 15 to 20 percent of the American population is deficient in magnesium, and patients who have migraines have lower blood levels of magnesium than patients who don't have migraines." (From an article at WSB-TV, no longer online)
Today, magnesium is often put at the top of the list by experts for migraine treatment.
You would be wise to make sure you're eating plenty of magnesium-rich foods. If your magnesium is very low, your doctor may suggest a supplement or injections, or even intravenous treatment. Magnesium migraines treatment is becoming more and more popular with migraine sufferers.
Normal adults require about 310-420mg of magnesium daily. Be aware that too much magnesium can cause side effects, and that there are different types of magnesium, which is why it is wise to be monitored by a doctor before you drastically raise your magnesium levels through supplements. Many migraine patients take around 1000mg daily.
Magnesium is important to the body, and so low magnesium can cause a host of problems, such as:
irregular heartbeats, loss of appetite, insomnia (a killer for migraineurs!), weakness, shortness of breath, PMS, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, and poor coordination.
First, try to cut down on the processed food you eat. Processed food is prepared in such a way that it cuts down the magnesium.
Magnesium is found in many foods, but some of the best include wheat germ, beans, soy products, whole grains, seafood, dark green leafy vegetables, bananas (warning: bananas are a major migraine trigger for some people) and milk.
So many migraine treatments have to be seen as part of the big picture. One thing effects the other. Researchers are more and more realizing that the interaction of various things in your body need to be taken into consideration when it comes to migraine – the way chemicals react together, the way various organs work with the nervous system. That's why migraineurs need to try combinations of treatments. There may be a magnesium migraines treatment that involves more than just taking magnesium itself.
One of the more popular proponents of magnesium supplements, Dr. Alexander Mauskop, is the director of the New York Headache Center. He writes in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraines that he has found a treatment that is remarkably effective using magnesium, vitamin B2 and feverfew. He makes a good case for the magnesium migraines link and has backed up his opinion with good research.
Dr Barton M Alturn, professor of physiology and medicine at the State University of New York Health Science Center also writes about the magnesium migraines connection (quoted in Nature's Medicines):
We believe that everyone should be taking 500-600 milligrams of magnesium a day in a combination of diet and supplements.
A study in June 2008 also confirmed the benefits of magnesium for migraineurs. Read more about this study, titled The effects of magnesium prophylaxis in migraine without aura.
So you've decided that you'd like to try a magnesium supplement, you know there's a magnesium migraines link, but there are dozens out there - which should you try?
Certain types of magnesium are not well absorbed by the body. Too much magnesium, particularly the wrong kinds of magnesium, can cause diarrhea and simply make your mineral deficiency worse. Also, remember to take magnesium for at least 60-90 days to see if it makes a difference.
If your body isn't absorbing magnesium well, try avoid these types of magnesium: Oxide, hydroxide, and chloride. Instead, look for magnesium types that end in "ate", particularly glycinate, but also gluconate, lactate and orotate.
Note: Very often two or more types of magnesium are combined, such as oxide and citrate. The best thing is to simply talk to your doctor and then try one kind and see how your body handles it.
Source Naturals has an excellent supplement which contains 400mg of magnesium, which many doctors suggest as a good amount for migraineurs to take. It's called
Ultra-Mag Magnesium complex.
A very good supplement for migraine containing magnesium and other migraine-fighting componants is MigreLief. There is now an article online about MigreLief that you can read. You can also purchase MigreLief with magnesium here.
A note about calcium: Magnesium and calcium
balance each other out in the body. If you have too much of one and not enough of another, it can cause problems. That's one reason why it's important not to take too much of one or the other.
However, when taking magnesium for migraine don't buy a calcium/magnesium blend. If you're taking a calcium supplement, take it at another time of day. It can interfere with the benefits of the magnesium for migraine.
For tips from our community on what to buy, check out Which Magnesium Supplements Work?