What Is The Recommended Daily Allowance
When the Institute of Medicine came up with the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin D, it based the recommendation on how much they believed was safe and supportive of bone health. Their work did not include considerations for what the safe, or optimal, amount would be for supporting Vitamin Ds role for its many other important functions in the body. The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin D for an adult under 70 years old is 600 IU/day. They did not address the optimal amount.
For emphasis, I am mentioning again that the governments recommendations were based on bone health. Not on the many other critical roles that Vitamin D plays in our bodies. In a previous paragraph I identified how vitamin D, headache and migraine are connected through neurotransmitters, magnesium status, inflammation and nitric oxide. This makes me wonder what the recommendations would be if the Institute of Medicine looked beyond bone health and into those other four factors.
Vitamin D And Headaches
With respect to studies that specifically focused on vitamin D and any relationship to headaches or migraines, there is an extreme paucity of data on this topic. An older study from 1994, described two postmenopausal women with exacerbated migraines that were helped with treatment of vitamin D and calcium.17 A poster abstract in 2008 showed low vitamin D levels in migraineurs, but a high percentage of these patients also had chronic pain disorders.18 Eight patients with chronic tension-type headaches were described as having low vitamin D levels and osteomalacia. The headaches re-sponded to vitamin D and calcium replenishment and headaches were seen to improve earlier than the bony de-ficiency.19 Thus, there may be many unknown physiologic and pharmacologic features for this unusual vitamin sub-stance, although specific relationships have to be confirmed in many diseases and disorders.
Vitamin D And Migraine: Can The Sunshine Vitamin Help
Medical Review by AHS Headache Specialist Katherine Hamilton, MD
Migraine warriors, dont hide in the dark for too long. Getting more Vitamin D through sunshine, food or supplementation might be a smart next step for getting a better handle on your health. Research suggests there may be a link between Vitamin D and Migraine, as well as with Migraine comorbidities like depression and fatigue.
It’s a bit ironic that the same sunshine that can cause painful light sensitivity for many people with migraine may also contribute to better prevention of attacks.
Vitamin D plays an essential role in producing serotonin and minimizing oxidative stress. It has been proposed that low Vitamin D levels may contribute to Migraine attacks, which involve inflammation. Vitamin D has been studied in the treatment of chronic pain, and Vitamin D supplementation has been linked to less pain and greater overall health.
Insufficient levels of Vitamin D have also been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, musculoskeletal pain, depression, excessive fatigue, and certain types of cancers.
If a blood test reveals low levels of Vitamin D, diet, supplementation, and sun exposure can boost levels back to normal again. Normal levels of Vitamin D may reduce the frequency of your Migraine attacks and improve your overall health.
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Nerve Shock In The Side Of The Body
This can be felt coming on a few seconds before it hits, and then may hit almost like a mild but deep electric shock before it quickly subsides.
It adds: It can occur at the side of either hip or on either side of the upper body, along the ribs.
Worse yet, it can occur consecutively in at least two or three locations, one right after the other.
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Try Taking Vitamins For Migraines
It doesnt hurt to rule out if your vitamin deficiency causes your migraines. If you visit your regular physician and you learn that you have a vitamin deficiency, they will likely recommend you take a vitamin supplement. Whether you take vitamin B for migraines or vitamin B complex for migraines, it might make improvements. After taking the supplement for a few weeks, take notice if your migraine frequency has improved. If your migraines completely go away, its safe to say that was the cause. If they dont go away, there is likely a different cause of migraines. In that case, you should continue to search for the cause of your migraines.
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Comparison Of Demographics And Clinical Factors According To Presence Of Vitamin D Deficiency
The demographics, headache characteristics, and accompanying problems did not differ significantly between migraineurs with and without vitamin D deficiency, with the exception of the seasonal distribution. The number of monthly days with headache tended to be higher in patients with vitamin D deficiency than in those without deficiency . The temperature, relative humidity, and total sunshine hours of the months in which the vitamin D concentration was measured were lower in those with vitamin D deficiency than in those without deficiency . When dichotomizing seasons into summer/autumn and winter/spring, the serum vitamin D level was negatively correlated with the HIT-6 score in summer/autumn but not in winter/spring .
What We Know So Far
According to the National Headache Institute, one of the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is headache. Even so, the precise relationship between vitamin D and various subtypes of primary headachesincluding migraines and tension headachesis still unclear. There are a few theories that provide good leads.
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Can Vitamins Cause Headaches
Your unexplainable headaches may actually be due to taking too many vitamins. On top of supplementation, many foods are fortified with common vitamins.
Think about all the cereals, grains, breads, energy bars and pastas you may eat throughout the day that all contain added vitamins and minerals. Even if you do not take a multivitamin, you may still suffer from a vitamin headache from over-consuming fortified foods.
Some of the vitamins that have been linked to headaches as a side effect include:
- Vitamin A
It is really easy to go way over the tolerable upper limit of vitamins A and C in particular. If you consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you likely already meet these requirements from food alone.
According to the USDA, one cup of sweet potato contains 105 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements. Similarly, the USDA lists one large-sized orange as meeting 109 percent of your daily vitamin C requirements.
Supplementing these vitamins on top of vitamin-rich foods could potentially lead to some side effects. Per the National Institutes of Health, the tolerable upper limit of vitamin A for adults is 3,000 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents or about 10,000 International Units .
Any more than this may cause a vitamin headache. Mayo Clinic stipulates that megadoses of vitamin C more than 2,000 milligrams per day can also cause headaches and other vitamin overdose symptoms.
Previous Research Disputes Vitamin Ties
Most importantly, we need to remember that this is not the first time researchers have looked at vitamin levels as a possible cause or contributor to migraines. Theres been enough research done on vitamin D for people to conclude that there is no link between the nutrient and migraines. There is little support for other nutrients cited in this stud, as well.
Overall, this leads us to conclude that vitamin deficiency cant be a major contributor to migraines for many people.
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Factors Associated With Monthly Headache Frequency
In multivariate Poisson regression analysis, monthly headache was 1.203 times more frequent in patients with vitamin D deficiency than in those without deficiency after adjusting for age, sex, and variables with p< 0.1 in the univariate analysis . Chronic migraine was more strongly associated than episodic migraine with the number of monthly days with headache .
Optimal Vitamin D Level
There is dispute among experts regarding the optimal vitamin D level. That said, the Institute of Medicine, recommends maintaining a vitamin D level above 20 ng/mL. This level may need to be higher in older adults who are at greater risk for falls and bone breaks , or for people with other medical conditions.
When individuals are vitamin D deficient , parathyroid hormone levels in the body increase. This causes calcium to be released from the bones, eventually resulting in bone weakening, a condition called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
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What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Migraines
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in two forms:
- Cholecalciferol : It is made by the body after exposure to ultraviolet light and is present in certain foods such as tuna and salmon.
- Ergocalciferol : This form can be derived from the fungal sterol ergosterol and is found naturally in foods such as sun-dried shiitake mushrooms.
Both forms of vitamin D are used in the fortification of foods and in vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin Deficiencies That Lead To Migraine Headaches
There are many reasons why migraine headaches occur, including vitamin deficiencies. Now, lets examine three vitamin deficiencies that have been linked to migraine pain.
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How To Avoid Diet Headaches
Getting a headache during weight loss is not uncommon. Youll need to cut calories if you want to lose weight, but low-calorie diets can lead to headaches, fatigue and sleep problems, among other issues. So-called diet headaches or low-calorie headaches can be caused, yes, by not eating enough and by not eating enough of the right foods.
To avoid headaches when youre on a low-calorie diet, you want to make sure youre staying mindful of all of your bodys needs.
The Role Of The Vitamin D In Neurology: Interrelationships Between Headache Epilepsy And Vitamin D Deficiency
F Mujgan Sonmez
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Department of Child Neurology, Turgut Ozal University, Turkey
Correspondence: Prof. F. Mujgan Sonmez, Department of Child Neurology, Turgut Ozal University, Faculty of Medicine, Alparslan Turkes Street, No: 57, Bestepe, Ankara, Turkey, Tel +90-312-203-5250, Fax -5453
Received: January 23, 2016 | Published: February 5, 2016
Citation: Sonmez FM The Role of the Vitamin D in Neurology: Interrelationships Between Headache, Epilepsy and Vitamin D Deficiency. J Pediatr Neonatal Care 4: 00132. DOI: 10.15406/jpnc.2016.04.00132
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My Doctor Prescribed Big Weekly Doses
Its not uncommon for people to get a prescription for 50,000 IUs of weekly Vitamin D for several weeks. This strategy quickly gives a loading dose to get the serum level of Vitamin D to a healthy range. The jury is out as to whether or not the large boluses are metabolically optimal. Studies show that the boluses are overall safe.
These bolus doses are typically dispensed by the pharmacy in Vitamin D2 form instead of Vitamin D3 form. This article discusses why Vitamin D3 is preferable and may be worth requesting.
This article from Dr. Gominak has excellent info to read and discuss with your doctor as well.
Personally, I think its a good idea to get a good loading dose. But, also have a plan to transition to a daily dose to maintain the levels.
Vitamin D Supplementation To Prevent Migraine
Vitamin D deficiency is a common worldwide problem that has been linked to numerous health conditions, including hypertension, sleep disorders, autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, and migraine. However, emerging research suggests that people with migraines who take vitamin D supplements may reduce their migraine frequencyan impressive and encouraging finding.
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Could Easing Your Headache Pain Be As Simple As Taking A Vitamin
Auras, blinding pain, nausea. If youve ever had a migraine, you know how truly painful and debilitating they can be. If you get them regularly, youre probably ready to try just about anything to stop them, from daily prescription medications to biofeedback sessions. Still searching for the perfect solution? Take heart: Good news may be on the horizon. New research is showing that relief may be possible by simply taking a daily vitamin D supplement.
Comparison Of Demographics And Clinical Data According To Sex And Chronicity
Vitamin D deficiency was observed more frequently in females than in males , although the difference was not statistically significant . In subgroup analysis, males with vitamin D deficiency tended to have higher VAS and PSQI scores than those without deficiency . In subgroup multivariate analysis after adjusting for age, season , and migraine subtype , vitamin D deficiency was independently associated with more monthly days with headache in females but not in males .
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Headaches And Fatigue For Days After Taking Vitamin D
My Vitamin D levels were tested. Very low — I forget (Dr. mentioned “cadaver.” Started the weekly therapy of 50000. Took it on a Saturday. Whoo hoo! Then, head ache, fatigue for the next six days until it was time to take another…Of course, no one had heard of that reaction. I ordered dry D in several different strengths to see how much I could take and still operate a motor vehicle. Took with calcium and magnesium. Discovered my max dose at a time was 1200 IU! I have a BMI of around 19 — so no fat to store the stuff. My rheumatologist prescribed for Fibromyalgia. I actually get almost immediate relief from 1200 IU’s. The needle burning pain goes away, but even at that low dose, I feel a little buzzed. Just want to chat, really relaxes me. I am trying to take the 1200 twice daily. I take no medications, other than singulair for allergies. I am allergic to NSAIDS. I eat a very healthy diet — lots of salmon, fresh greens, I make my own salad dressing from fresh lemons, raw garlic and olive or grapeseed oil. As I am so fair skinned, sun is a major no-no for me. Have you heard of anyone having such a reaction? I do very little dairy. Don’t like it. Not even ice cream. I do have to be vigilant about taking the stuff or my pain gets out of control. Oh, also in praise of the “D,” I noticed my allergic/respiratory issues improved. I didn’t correlate it at the time, but that was when I quit even carrying an inhaler.Thank you!
Vitamin D And Migraine: What The Research Says
There are only a few peer-reviewed studies looking at Vitamin D and Migraine, but there is some evidence that low Vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk of Migraine. Dr. Ryan Wheeler presented results from his clinical review on Vitamin D and Migraine at the American Headache Society Annual Meeting in 2008. His study found that more than 40% of patients with chronic headache and Migraine were found to be deficient in Vitamin D.
Another study, conducted at the Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center, found that a large number of children, teenagers, and young adults with Migraine had mild deficiencies in Vitamin D, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q.
A second 2017 study published in Headache found a correlation between low Vitamin D levels and chronic tension-type headache. The study also found that patients with lower levels of Vitamin D had higher levels of musculoskeletal pain and more fatigue than those with chronic tension-type headache and normal levels of Vitamin D.
There has been only one randomized study showing improvement in Migraine with Vitamin D supplementation. In this 2015 study, the combination of Vitamin D and simvastatin decreased Migraine frequency in adults with episodic Migraine.
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Is There A Link To Vitamin Deficiency
Migraines are named for the type of symptoms you experience. Researchers at the Cincinnati Childrenâs Hospital Medical Center recently published their findings after setting out to uncover links between migraines and vitamin deficiencies.
Past research demonstrated an association between adults and children with migraine disorders and vitamin deficiencies. However, there have been other studies that discounted this connection.13
The team, led by Dr. Suzanne Hagler, a headache medicine fellow in the division of neurology at Cincinnati Childrenâs Hospital, evaluated over 7,400 participants.
Additionally, they discovered an association in women between migraines and cardiovascular disease and mortality. Participants suffering from chronic migraines at regular intervals had an increased risk of CoQ10 and riboflavin deficiency, compared to those with episodic migraines occurring at infrequent intervals.
Many of the patients in this study were also prescribed preventative therapy and too few were given just supplements for the researchers to determine if supplementation alone was enough to prevent migraines.16
Is All The Research About Vitamin D And Migraine Positive
Although several studies have linked low levels of Vitamin D and Migraine attacks or chronic headaches, several studies have not shown a correlation. A 2014 study published in Biomedical Research compared 105 newly diagnosed Migraine patients with a control group. The study found no relationship between vitamin D and Migraine and no relationship between vitamin D levels and headache severity.
Although there need to be more studies looking at vitamin D supplementation and Migraine, if you havent made progress with reducing your Migraine attacks, it may be worthwhile to pursue vitamin D testing to determine if you could benefit from supplements.
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