Questioning The Effectiveness Of Supplements For Migraines
The quality of supplements you choose is important.
Try to get the best quality supplements for migraines you can afford to take for a while. It might take a few months to get the desired results. My super expensive doctor only prescribes Thorne brand.
Ask your healthcare practitioner for the best quality brand they canrecommend for you.
Migraine for Dummies says that getting rid of a full-fledgedmigraine with nothing but herbal remedies ranks right up there withcleaning up an oil spill with tissues.
So be aware that you may require a stronger method of treatment for your migraine episodes.
As you can see there are so many different supplements for migraines andheadaches available. I am sure I have not listed them all and new discoveries are being made all the time.
Someof these above have not passed through the most stringent clinical tests but thefirst six have been rigorously tested and succeeded through controlled clinical trials proving their efficacy.
No matter what you eventually decide upon to try for your migraine treatment, always discuss it with your doctor first.
This is a complex neurological medical condition and the supplements for migraines, herbs, alternative treatments, and medications you choose to use should not be taken without checking for contraindications or drug interactions.
Stay well, and I wish you great success using supplements for migraines as natural prevention.
Who Should Not Take Vitamins
Most people benefit from eating a diet that contains many vitamins. However, some vitamins, especially when taken as supplements, can interfere with prescription drugs. Telling your doctor about any vitamins or supplements you take before starting a new drug can help determine if they are safe for you. Before taking vitamins, tell your doctor about all your health conditions.
Do not take vitamins if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without talking to your doctor first.
How Do Supplements Work To Treat Migraine
Supplements can impact body and brain functions in all kinds of different ways, some of which have been shown to reduce migraine frequency or the severity of migraine headaches .
For some people, a deficiency in a vitamin or mineral may trigger an attack or increase its intensity, so balancing that with supplements can help.
With that said, no treatment is proven to work for everyone. As you probably already know, everyoneâs migraine patterns are differentâyour triggers are different than your sisterâs, and your frequency might be 3x what your co-worker experiences. And the treatment plan that works for others may not work for you.
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A Deficiency In Vitamin B2 Has Been Linked To Migraine Headaches
Although all of the B vitamins play a role in protecting you from headaches, vitamin B2 seems to stand out the most.
Eating foods high in vitamin B2 or supplementing with a quality vitamin may help improve mitochondrial energy metabolism and therefore, decrease the incidence of migraine headaches, she explained.
The recommended intake of B2, according to the NIH, is 1.3mg for males and 1.1mg for females ages 19 and up. If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, the recommended daily allowance is 1.4mg for pregnancy and 1.6mg for lactation. You can find B2 in foods like eggs, kidney, liver, lean meats, milk, green vegetables, and fortified grains and cereals. Higher doses may be recommended if you suffer from migraine headaches.
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How To Ease Your Headache
Easing your headache will depend on what is causing them.
Often, the most effective thing to do is to prevent the headaches by avoiding known triggers.
However, sometimes that isnt possible, and sometimes it can feel like we get headaches for no known reason. If this concerns you, please seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity.
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Vitamins And Migraine Research
Research on vitamins and their connection with migraine is ongoing. Some experts suggest that certain vitamins may reduce inflammation and lead to fewer migraine attacks. Others think vitamins may play a role in treating an active migraine. Since many vitamins are involved in making neurotransmitters, some experts think they may reduce pain signals.1,6-9
However, the exact relationship between migraine and vitamins is still an area of active study. Much more research is needed.1,6-9
Adopt A Regular Sleep Pattern
Experts believe sleep and migraines are linked. One theory is that migraine is a balancing mechanism¹³ that occurs if you have been getting too little or too much sleep.
To ensure you are getting enough high-quality sleep, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Make your sleeping environment peaceful and calming. Avoid distractions late at night, like phones and TV.
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Is It Safe To Use Dietary Supplements For Migraine
Please dont take supplements to treat your migraines without seeing a doctor first, as they could interact with other health conditions or medications you are currently taking. Always follow your doctor or pharmacists guidance and dont take more than your recommended dose.
Some supplements, such as vitamin A, could cause birth defects if you take too much. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
Can Vitamins Help Your Migraines
The ongoing advances in medical science are remarkable, but in spite of frequent new developments many people still prefer a natural approach to healthcare. Alternative therapies abound, and many of them include the use of vitamins and nutritional supplements. For patients who suffer from chronic migraine, is there really a benefit to be gained from taking vitamins, and if so, which ones should you focus on? Are some vitamins better than others? Weve put together this information as a resource, but you should always check with your doctor before starting a new form of treatment.
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Five Vitamins For Headaches And Migraines
An estimated 1 billion people suffer from migraine disease worldwide. However, experts believe this figure is probably higher because the condition often goes undiagnosed.
For some, migraine episodes come and go. For others, attacks are a part of their daily lives and make it difficult to enjoy the things they once loved. Headache and migraine attacks can be debilitating and finding relief can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.
If you suffer from frequent headaches or migraine attacks, you may be wondering whats causing them and which vitamins can help.
Nutraceuticals And Migraine Treatment
Studies have shown that 80% of people with headache disorders have used some form of alternative medicine, including nutraceuticals, for headache treatment, said Dr. Chua. And there is some value to moving forward with this option. Multiple studies have been conducted evaluating non-pharmacological treatments for their efficacy and safety. The most common are:
- Magnesiuma mineral used to prevent migraine attacks
- Riboflavina vitamin also known as B2, which in high doses has been shown to prevent migraine attack
- Co-enzyme Q10 an antioxidant that, when taken regularly for migraine prevention, has been shown to reduce frequency and intensity of migraine
Feverfewa plant that can be used as a preventive treatment for migraineis another commonly used nutraceutical, but its effectiveness has not been well-proven in studies.
Other alternatives often cited for migraine treatment include butterbur, tree bark, lavender, peppermint, and ginkgo biloba, and there are tons and tons of others out there, Dr. Chua said, but there is less evidence available that supports their efficacy.
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What Is A Migraine
A migraine is a type of headache that ranges in severity. Its often accompanied by throbbing pain on one side of the head, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting.
While the cause of migraines is unknown, they are believed to be related to changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain.
A migraine occurs in four stages:
The prodrome is the pre-headache part of the migraine. This stage mostly involves sensory symptoms, such as pain or changes in vision and smell.
Auras are visual distortions or illusions which occur just before a migraine attack.
The next stage is a headache. Headaches are defined as throbbing pains that affect one side of the head.
The final stage is post-dome, which causes aftereffects like confusion and tiredness. You might hear this referred to as a migraine hangover.
Migraines generally start occurring between the ages of 10 and 45, but they can, in rare cases, begin at any time in life.
They most often affect women, although men also get migraines.
Whats The Evidence For Alternative Therapies In Treating Migraine
Should I try a natural remedy for migraine?
Many so-called natural products, vitamins, minerals and plant remedies have been tried for years in order to prevent migraine.
While research is often limited, some natural remedies for headache, like those discussed in this factsheet, may be effective to some degree.
This doesnt mean that other natural remedies for headaches definitely dont work, but there is often a lack of evidence.
Unfortunately, with limited funding for research into natural remedies for migraines, the studies that have been done are often both small scale and few in number. This means we dont have enough information to make firm treatment recommendations.
In this factsheet, then, we consider so-called natural supplements for migraine and other headaches, including plant remedies feverfew and butterbur along with magnesium, coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin .
How do I treat migraine naturally?
There are two main approaches to treating migraine: treatment of the migraine attack when it happens and taking regular medications to stop attacks happening or reducing their severity .
Neither of these will work alone in every case and most people with more severe migraine will need to take a combination of the two for best results.
Overall, the research is not conclusive, but it points to magnesium being potentially helpful in menstrual migraine and migraine with aura in particular.
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Migraines Are The Most Common Headaches Around The World
More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from migraines. Its estimated that nearly 20 million people experience a migraine every day. But, the reason for that migraine could be in your diet. A new preliminarily study by Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center found that a good amount of children, teens, and young adults who experienced migraines had vitamin D, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10 deficiencies. Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant that is similar to a vitamin and can be found in every cell. It helps produce energy to maintain cell growth.
Suzanne Hagler, MD was the lead author on the study. She presented the finding at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in June 2016. Hagler and her colleagues studied blood samples of 7,420 patients to check for nutrients and vitamins that have been linked to migraines in the past including, vitamin D, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10 and folate.
Ways To Get Vitamins Into Your Diet
Eating a varied diet will most likely provide many of the vitamins a person needs. Good sources of many different vitamins include:1-5
- Fruit, especially bananas, strawberries, and oranges
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Lean meats like chicken
- Healthy fats, like avocados, vegetable oils, and fatty fish
This is not a complete list of all foods that contain vitamins. In many cases, foods in the United States are fortified. This means foods that normally do not contain vitamins have vitamins added. Cereals, grains, and milk are commonly fortified foods.1-5
Outside of our diet, vitamins can also be taken as supplements. Vitamin supplements usually come in capsule or tablet form. They can be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy or grocery store.1-5
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Vitamins B6 B12 And Folic Acid
Studies showed that vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid, taken over six months, had visibly reduced the frequency of Migraine attacks
Experts recommend an average of 400 milligrams of B complex a day. Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is also essential for the body, as it provides energy, through the metabolism of fats. Deficiency of this vitamin can hinder the normal functioning of the body, and may even trigger a Migraine attack.
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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.
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Safety Of Supplements For Migraine
Before you try a supplement to prevent or treat migraine, its important to consider its safety profile.
The supplements on this list are generally considered safe and well-tolerated. The limited research on their use in migraine prevention and treatment suggests there are no serious side effects from the doses used in existing studies .
However, the long-term effects of using these supplements are not well known. Possible dangerous side effects of chronic use cannot be ruled out. Its also possible that these supplements may interact with each other or other medications.
There is also no standardized dosage for any of these supplements. Recommended dosages and forms vary. For instance, a dose that works safely for treating migraine attacks in the short term may become dangerous if you take it every day.
Furthermore, the side effects of supplements may vary by person. Taking too much can result in kidney or liver injury. You should be especially wary of toxicity if you have a condition that affects these organs (
Additionally, certain supplements may not be suitable for:
- pregnant people
- people who are breastfeeding or chestfeeding
- individuals with underlying conditions
- people on medications
Finally, its important to purchase supplements from reputable companies. Make sure the products have been tested for purity and strength by a third party. This will help you avoid products that contain unlisted ingredients and too much or too little of a nutrient or compound.
Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Migraines
It seems like such a simple answer, but its what researchers suggested when they presented their data to the 58th Annual Scientific of the American Headache Society. They have proposed that vitamin supplements might be the secret to preventing and treating migraines.
To support their theory, researchers drew from nutrient measurements taken from the blood of young adults, teens, and children seeking treatment for headaches. Researchers looked at four key nutrients: vitamin D, riboflavin , folate , and CoQ10, an antioxidant that is vital to cell function.
Researchers found that nutrient deficiencies were common for those with migraines. They discovered that all four vitamins showed deficiencies. More than two-thirds of those tested showed low vitamin D. About 15% of teens had riboflavin levels below the recommended, and 40% were at levels where doctors recommend supplementation. Nearly two-thirds tested low for folate, and 30% tested below the lower reference limit for CoQ10.
Although these may seem like promising connections, there are many reasons why we wouldnt want to take this research too seriously yet.
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Finding The Window Of Vulnerability
In another approach to the goal of preventing migraine headaches, Silberstein and other researchers have looked at drug timing. This involves finding the window of vulnerability, a critical time period for migraine headache sufferers. If patients can take their drugs just at this point instead of ongoing, some side effects can be offset. Theyll also take less medication, cutting out-of-pocket costs.
Two recent studies of menstrual-related migraines produced the first scientific evidence for a pattern of vulnerability in migraine headaches. Researchers say their findings could apply to other types of migraines, not just menstrual headaches.
Its an exciting finding. If altitude changes are your nemesis, then taking a long-acting triptan drug twice a day on the day before you go skiing in Utah and continuing it for a week may nip your migraine from starting at all.
New migraine drugs are also on the horizon. A lot of drugs are coming down the pipeline, drugs that work by different mechanisms, says Silberstein. One is a class of enzyme-blocker drugs, such as Aricept, currently prescribed to treat mild to moderate confusion related to Alzheimers. This drug is a contender for migraine prevention, he tells WebMD.
Biofeedback And Relaxation Training
Biofeedback is a method people use to gain awareness of bodily functions, such as heart rate and muscle tension. Over time, people undergoing biofeedback learn to control these functions by practicing deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and other skills.
Biofeedback and other forms of relaxation training can reduce muscle tension and chronic pain, and are one of the most well-studied complementary therapies for headaches.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, biofeedback and relaxation training can reduce migraine frequency and severity by 45-60%, comparable to popular migraine medications. However, they work best in conjunction with medication.
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