Why Did My Vitamins Cause A Headache
26 August, 2019
Many people take vitamins for the health benefits, but you might need to ask yourself are you experiencing a vitamin headache? Certain vitamins and how much you take can trigger vitamin overdose symptoms, such as migraines.
If you take vitamins and supplements frequently, you probably do so with good intentions. Perhaps you take a daily multivitamin to prevent nutrient deficiencies or you take a pre-workout supplement as part of your fitness routine.
Headaches are a mild side effect, but repeated headaches and migraines resulting from taking vitamins may evolve into a serious problem. If you notice your vitamins and supplements causing headaches, it could be a sign of acute vitamin toxicity from megadosing.
Too much of anything can cause side effects. One side effect of taking too many vitamins especially vitamins A, B, C and D may be headaches.
Headaches From Taking Vitamin D
I wrote to you last week and I feel as though I am getting great answers from you and others are as well. I will restate my situation so you do not have to look it up. I had a Vitamin D Level of 5 ng/ml in Nov. Since that I have been on 50,000 IU’s of vitamin weekly. About 2 weeks into that I started 2,000 units of D3 daily since I felt as though I was going down hill fast. I was rechecked at 12 weeks and have a count now of 18 ng/ml. After asking you what to do, I called my doctor and spoke with him about the kind and amount I was taking. I pulled up dozens of articles on this as well to tell him about. He told me it would be safe to take 4,000 IU’s of vitamin d daily and drop the 50,000 weekly. I decided to take 5,000 daily and a multi vitamin with 800 in it. This has been about a week now. I was wondering if you felt my new symptoms of headache, tension in the neck and back, may be related. I am very frustrated since I can not get in with another doctor for a few months. I have 4 kids to care for and really do not want to get to the point I was in November with insomnia, depression, weight loss, along with all the fatigue and soreness. I feel like there is a simple answer to all of this, yet feel so lousy.Thanks for the help.
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 Does Vitamin D Help With Hormone Balance
A prohormone isnt a hormone itself, but a substance that your body converts into a hormone.
So, when the sun hits the skin, the body makes vitamin D through a chemical reaction. Then, the liver and kidney convert vitamin D to an actual active hormone known as calcitriol, which helps the body absorb calcium and keep our bones healthy.
And were just getting started with the benefits of vitamin D for hormone balance.
Ever felt like your mood depends on the amount of sunlight you get a day?
Thats because researchers have found that vitamin D protects us from running out of serotonin, and helps regulate the production of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine in the brain. Hence, the higher the vitamin D levels, the lower an individuals risk of depression. The same goes for obesity – people with a vitamin D deficiency, are more likely to be obese.
One study also shows a link between vitamin D and a womans estrogen levels. Low levels of vitamin D may lead to lower estrogen levels, which can cause mood swings, headaches, depression, hot flashes, and more.
How Do You Permanently Cure A Migraine
Talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that works for you.Avoid hot dogs. Diet plays a vital role in preventing migraines. Apply lavender oil. Inhaling lavender essential oil may ease migraine pain. Try acupressure. Look for feverfew. Apply peppermint oil. Go for ginger. Sign up for yoga. Try biofeedback.More items
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What Is Hormone Imbalance
Hormones are the vital chemicals that control many of the bodys vital functions, including reproduction, growth and development, heart rate, metabolism, sleep cycles – the list goes on.
In this regard, our body needs hormonal shifts to carry on.. For example, after a meal, your pancreas produces insulin to regulate your fats, carbohydrate, and protein levels. Similarly, when youre dealing with a stressful situation, your adrenal glands produce cortisol to increase glucose in the blood, as a response to the stressor.
These are all healthy hormone fluctuations that you dont even notice in your daily life.
Its when there is an imbalance of a specific hormone, that you experiencehormone imbalance symptoms.
These symptoms can be light at first, such as a slight headache or bloating. If left untreated, though, they can become more intense and cause trouble sleeping, low libido, unexplained weight changes, and fatigue.
Can Vitamin Deficiencies Cause Headaches The Answer Is Yes
Vitamins are natural compounds the body needs to function. Humans mostly get vitamins from the food they eat. Some may be synthesized in other ways through sun exposure or other natural processes, for example.
Even if you take multivitamins every day, its still important to make sure that you are getting all the vitamins you need. Do you have new headaches? Are the headaches you commonly have getting worse? Vitamin deficiency could be why.
Three main deficiencies contribute to headaches:
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Other Ways To Balance Your Hormones
There are many additional ways to reinforce the positive effects of vitamin D for hormone balance. They include:
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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How To Get Vitamin D
There are three main sources of vitamin D: sunlight, certain foods, and supplements.
The sun is the number one source of the nutrient. Staying for 10 minutes under the midday sun is equivalent to 10,000 units of vitamin D.
Certain foods are also good sources of vitamin D. They include:
- Egg yolk
- Calcium-fortified foods like cereal, orange juice, and oatmeal
Yet, the sun remains by far the best way to boost vitamin D levels. These few foods dont have more than 200 IU per serving, at best.
Now, if you dont have the opportunity to get enough sunlight or eat food that can provide vitamin D, we recommend taking vitamin D supplements.
Usually, 10 milligrams a day are enough for most people. Anything more can be harmful.
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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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.
Vitamin D3 Plus A Statin
In another study published in the Annals of Neurology, 57 adult migraineurs were assigned to take either a vitamin D3 supplement twice daily along with a cholesterol-lowering medication called Zocor , or two placebo pills twice daily.
Research has found that certain cholesterol-lowering medications like simvastatin can protect against vitamin D deficiency by helping to increase vitamin D blood levels.
When compared to the placebo group, the participants who took both the vitamin D supplement and simvastatin had a greater decrease in their number of migraine days over the 24-week study period.
More specifically, nearly one-third of the participants taking the vitamin D supplement and simvastatin experienced a 50% decrease in their number of migraine days by the end of the 24-week study.
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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.
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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Does Magnesium Help With Migraines
Research on magnesium has found it to be a potentially well-tolerated, safe and inexpensive option for migraine prevention, while it may also be effective as an acute treatment option for headaches including migraines, tension- type headaches and cluster headaches, particularly in certain patient subsets.
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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Where Can You Find Good Sources Of Vitamin D
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.
Are Your Headaches Due To Low Vitamin D
Have you heard your friends talking about their vitamin D level? Did your healthcare provider check your level at your annual checkup?
While vitamin D is known to play an important role in bone health, there is inconsistent data on its role in other medical conditions, such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and pain disorders, like chronic pain and headaches.
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B Vitamins Including B6 And B12
If you suffer from frequent headaches, an amino acid called homocysteine could be partially to blame. This compound is produced naturally within the body. High levels of it can cause many problems one of the most common of which is headaches.
Vitamin B can reduce homocysteine levels and stave off associated headaches.
Vitamins in the B family come from a wide range of protein-rich foods, especially meats. They can be found in beef, chicken, fish, pork and eggs. For those who wish to avoid meat, soybeans can be a suitable substitute.
How To Treat Migraines Caused By A Vitamin Deficiency
Consulting with a doctor is the best way to treat a migraine caused by a vitamin deficiency. A doctor may prescribe migraine medications to treat migraine pain and offer tips and recommendations to prevent a single migraine from becoming a recurring problem.
For those who are dealing with ongoing migraines related to a vitamin deficiency, a consultation with a neurologist may be required. A neurologist can provide a chronic migraine diagnosis, and he or she may also prescribe migraine medications.
If a chronic migraine patient finds his or her current migraine medications are ineffective or cause intolerable side effects, Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute can help. Dr. Cabin is a head and neck surgeon with dual-subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and his unique expertise enables him to offer personalized chronic migraine treatments. To learn more about how Dr. Cabin helps patients dealing with chronic migraine pain, please contact us today at 310.461.0303.
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Other Vitamin Deficiencies Associated With Migraines
In addition to the aforementioned vitamin deficiencies, people who lack sufficient amounts of folate and coenzyme Q10 may be more prone than others to migraine attacks.
Folate is a B-vitamin used to produce red and white blood cells in bone marrow, RNA and DNA, as well as transform carbohydrates into energy. Folate-deficiency anemia may develop in individuals who lack folic acid, a synthesized version of folate, in the blood. In this instance, an individual may experience migraines, along with a lack of energy, decreased appetite, pale skin and other physical symptoms.
A recent study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain highlighted the use of folic acid to treat migraine symptoms. The study revealed migraine patients who were given 2 mg of folic acid in conjunction with vitamins B12 and B6 achieved greater success in reducing their migraine symptoms than patients who received 1 mg of folic acid in combination with vitamins B12 and B6.
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance found in cells. Roughly one out of every 100,000 people are coenzyme Q10-deficient, the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes. Furthermore, a coenzyme Q10 deficiency may put a person at risk for migraines, heart disease and other medical issues.