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Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Migraines

Where Can You Find Good Sources Of Vitamin D

Migraine Root Causes – Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D comes in two structural forms: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is found in fortified foods and plants. Vitamin D3 is found in fortified foods and can also be derived from sun exposure.

Foods rich in Vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Egg yolk, beef liver, cheese, fortified cereal, vitamin D fortified milk, orange juice, some yogurts and soy products are other sources of Vitamin D. Combining Vitamin D-rich foods with foods containing fatsuch as low-fat yogurt, olive oil dressing, or avocado will enhance absorption. Vitamin D can also be derived from sun exposure. Skin must be unprotected by sunscreen or clothing. Diet and sun exposure pose no risks for Vitamin D toxicity.

What Is Vitamin D Deficiency

If you have been experiencing headaches, you may now be asking yourself: are your headaches due to low vitamin D? Vitamin D is needed by the body to absorb calcium, necessary for things like bone growth. It is also helps the immune system function properly, fights illness, aids weight loss, and helps combat depression. Vitamin D deficiency is the lack of this particular nutrient in the body. There are many risk factors for vitamin D deficiency such as:

  • A lack of sunlight, which is crucial to obtaining this vitamin.
  • Dietary issues, such as allergies to foods that contain vitamin D.
  • Individuals with dark skin, as melanin inhibits the production of vitamin D.
  • Obesity, which does not allow vitamin D to circulate properly.
  • Malfunctioning kidneys, which otherwise are needed for the output of vitamin D in the body.

Additionally, older people tend to be more at risk than most. In fact, it is estimated that over 90% of seniors have vitamin D deficiency. This is due to their inability to produce ample amounts of vitamin D in the skin, and the reduced exposure to the sun as a result of their increased time indoors.

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.

Also Check: How To Get Vitamin D Levels Up

Vitamin D Chronic Migraine And Extracranial Pain: Is There A Link Data From An Observational Study

  • 1Neurology and Stroke Unit, ASST Sette Laghi di Varese, Varese, Italy
  • 2Endocrine Unit, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy
  • 3Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy
  • 4Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Medical Humanities, Center of Research in Medical Pharmacology, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy
  • 5Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Monza, Italy
  • 6Department of Biotechnologies and Life Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy

What Happens If I Take Riboflavin And It Doesnt Work

Vitamin B Deficiency Causes Migraines and Headaches and ...

If youve been taking riboflavin for three or four months and seen no difference, it might be time to try switching to magnesium or CoQ10, or a preventive medication like anticonvulsants or antidepressants.

We know it can be frustrating to have to try multiple migraine treatments before you find the one. Thats why we wrote an article full of advice about what to do when your treatments not working.

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Nutrient Deficiencies That Could Be Causing Your Headaches

Oh, my head is pounding.

We have all muddled through days when a headache gets in the way of what may have been planned. Before you grab that over-the-counter remedy to silence the drum banging in your head, experts say there could be several deficiencies that are contributing to your headache.


Water, water everywhere, but yet if we fail to drink enough it can spark a headache. According to the National Headache Foundation, even mild dehydration can cause a dehydration headache or even a migraine. Since its often not clear what is causing a headache, drinking a full glass of water and continuing to sip more fluids during the day is a simple way to ease the pain.

Magnesium Deficiency

Neurologist Dr. Joshua Daniel of Shore Physicians Group said many migraine headache sufferers are found to be deficient in magnesium when they have blood work done. He instructs patients to take magnesium not only to prevent the onset of future migraines because it stops the transmission of pain but also because there are no side effects. Magnesium is affordable and available over the counter, according to the physician.

Dr. Daniel said he includes magnesium with the IV fusion therapy to treat migraines that has proven to be very helpful with patients. He added that it is safe and has no contraindications for patients.

Fight Deficiency with Diet

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin B2 Deficiency

Can Vitamins Make You Feel Worse Before You Feel Better

Have you ever taken vitamins, only to feel ill after taking them?? The way theyre absorbed into the body is often the reason you dont overthink it. LloydsPharmacy pharmacist, Anshu Kaura, says vitamin C tablets are the worst kind of drug to take, as they cause people to become nauseous or even physically sick after taking them.

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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.

Researchers took baseline levels of riboflavin, vitamin D, folate and coenzyme Q10 . A high percentage of the children, teens and young adults had mild CoQ10, vitamin D and riboflavin deficiencies.14

Interestingly, they found young women and girls were more likely to experience a CoQ10 deficiency and boys were more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency.15

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

How To Manage Vitamin D Deficiency

Migraines and Vitamin-D Deficiency

If you believe you are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency, increasing your levels of Vitamin D can be done at home, naturally. People can increase their sun exposure by simply partaking in outdoor activities, keeping in mind that too much sun can also can cause harm if sunburned. Additionally, Vitamin D supplements are available over the counter and are relatively inexpensive. Another way to get the proper level of Vitamin D is through certain foods. But which ones? Foods that have a good source of Vitamin D include:

  • Salmon

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What Happens If I Overdose

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of vitamins A, D, E, or K can cause serious or life-threatening side effects. Certain minerals may also cause serious overdose symptoms if you take too much.

Overdose symptoms may include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, hair loss, peeling skin, tingly feeling in or around your mouth, changes in menstrual periods, weight loss, severe headache, muscle or joint pain, severe back pain, blood in your urine, pale skin, and easy bruising or bleeding.

Subtle Signs Youre Getting Too Much

I have not seen someone off the street who was taking a toxic level of vitamin A or D those are very unusual, says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center in New Haven, CT, whose medical practice specializes in nutrition. What Im more likely to see is a person with a dosing level of supplements thats higher than optimal.

Scientists dont yet know if routinely getting a little bit too much of a vitamin or mineral is a problem, Katz says.

There might be hints of concern, but they would be very subtle signs, he says.

These fairly mild symptoms may include difficulty sleeping or concentrating, nerve problems such as numbness or tingling, or feeling more irritable depending on the nutrient thats going overboard.

The bigger concern, Katz says, is that were garnishing the food supply with overfortification.

He says manufacturers have shifted their focus from what theyve taken out of food such as its fat, sugar, or salt to what theyre putting in, whether its vitamin D, probiotics, or omega-3 fats whatever nutrient is in vogue.

When more and more foods are enhanced, it becomes impossible for consumers to know what dose theyre getting over the course of a day, Katz says. Clinicians have to realize we might be introducing new dietary imbalances because of this practice.

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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.

What Deficiency Causes Headaches

The Vitamin Deficiency That Can Cause Migraines

In some cases, a vitamin deficiency leads to a worsening of headaches or even migraines. Studies have shown that a diet deficient in vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin B12, could contribute to frequent migraines and other health issues.

Similarly one may ask, what deficiencies cause migraines?

4 Nutrient Deficiencies that Could be Causing your Headaches

  • Dehydration. Water, water everywhere, but yet if we fail to drink enough it can spark a headache.
  • Magnesium Deficiency. Neurologist Dr.
  • Fight Deficiency with Diet. Low levels of magnesium may contribute to migraines, according to Chris Kozmor, RN, M.
  • Vitamin D Deficiency.
  • Vitamin B2 Deficiency.

One may also ask, does low b12 cause headaches? A deficiency in B12 can cause an array of symptoms. They usually develop gradually but can worsen if the condition goes untreated. One common symptom of B12 deficiency is headaches.

Besides, which vitamins cause headaches?

The excessive ingestion of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A and D, and some water-soluble vitamins, including the various B vitamins and vitamin C, has the potential for serious side effects. Niacin may cause headaches.

Can lack of vitamins cause migraines?

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Vitamin D And Your Body

At one time, low vitamin D levels were thought to cause only the bone-weakening disease . Now, increasing evidence suggests low levels affect almost every system of the body, including the brain.

Though research to prove that low vitamin D causes is ongoing, several recent studies shed some light on the link. A report presented at a meeting of the American Headache Society found that 40% of people with migraines had low vitamin D levels. Those with deficiencies also developed migraines earlier in life.

Another study, in the Journal of Headache , shows migraines are more common at higher latitudes. This fact, and the pattern of migraine pain by season, suggests that the headaches strike where sun exposure is decreased and vitamin D levels reduced. Population studies report that about 42% of US adults have abnormally low levels of Vitamin D.

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In a 24-week trial, researchers at the Aalborg University in Denmark recruited 48 male and female adult migraine sufferers and had half the group take 100 mcg of vitamin D3 per day and the other half pop a daily placebo.

Patients used journals to document their migraine experiences both before and during the study period.

The results, published in the journal Current Medical Research, reveal that the vitamin group cut their number of migraine days in half from about six to three. The placebo group got far less relief, experiencing just one fewer migraine day on average. The severity of headaches remained the same in both groups.

Known as the sunshine vitamin because the body manufactures it following exposure to the suns UV rays, vitamin D is also found in foods such as oily fish and fortified milk products. The current recommended daily intake is 600 IU .

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Why Do I Feel Worse After Taking Vitamin D

It is likely that taking vitamin D supplements will make them feel worse since the high PTH results in the supplements containing high concentrations of 1, 25 dihydroxy vitamin D, which is the active form, causing symptoms of vitamin D toxicity. It is imperative that you stop taking vitamin D immediately if you feel worse after taking it.

Patients And Clinical Demographics

Micronutrient Testing For Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies That Cause Migraines

There were 494 adult patients with migraine who were registered in the headache records between January 2016 to May 2017, of which 154 had an incomplete response or absent questionnaire, 162 had no assessment of the vitamin D level, and 21 had an interval between the assessment and vitamin D testing of longer than 1 month, and so were excluded, resulting in 157 migraineurs being included in this study . The sex distribution, number of days of migraine attacks per month, VAS score, and season distribution did not differ between the included and excluded patients, but the frequency of chronic migraine was higher and that of probable migraine was lower in the included patients .

Flowchart outlining patient inclusion.

The 157 included patients were aged 37.0±8.6 years , and 75.2% of them were female. They were classified into migraine without aura , migraine with aura , chronic migraine , and probable migraine according to the ICHD-3 classification. The vitamin D level was 15.9±7.4 ng/mL. The frequency of vitamin D deficiency was observed in 121 migraineurs , and was more common in spring and winter than in summer and autumn . Based on a < 30 ng/mL cutoff for serum vitamin D, 149 migraineurs were considered to have vitamin D insufficiency.

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Measurement And Analysis Of Vitamin D

The serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration is used to assess the vitamin D status. Nonfasting levels of serum 25D were measured using a chemiluminescence immunoassay . The intra- and interassay coefficients of variation were 1.72.8% and 2.74.1%, respectively. The assay was standardized against NIST Standard Reference Material 2972 and certified by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention Vitamin D Standardization Program. Vitamin D deficiency, insufficiency, and sufficiency were defined as < 20, 20 and < 30, and 30 ng/mL 25D, respectively., The month and year were recorded for when the vitamin D test was performed.

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.

Recommended Reading: Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Headaches

What Is Vitamin D

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.

Migraines Are Not Just Bad Headaches

Does Low Vitamin D Cause Headaches?

Migraine symptoms include a severe and debilitating headache, but the condition is far more serious than a bad headache. Migraines are a neurological disorder, characterized by recurring headaches and considered to be the most common disorder of the nervous system.8

They are more common in women than men because of hormonal influences,9 and are characterized by recurring attacks of moderate to severe intensity, many times occurring only on one side of your head. These headaches may last from a couple of hours to up to three days and are often aggravated by physical activity.

Other symptoms that may accompany a migraine headache include nausea, visual disturbances, dizziness, numbness in your extremities or face, and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smell and touch.10

Personal healthcare costs may be up to 70 percent higher for a family with one person suffering from migraine headaches. There are different types of migraine headaches, and sometimes one person may experience various symptoms from one headache to the next.11,12

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