A Magnesium Deficiency Can Contribute To Headaches
Magnesium helps the body regulate nerve and muscle function, maintain blood sugar levels, and regulate blood pressure. Dr. Sara Crystal, MD, Neurologist and Headache Specialist, andCove medical advisor, told INSIDER there is good evidence that magnesium deficiency can contribute to migraines. That’s why she said many people find magnesium supplements helpful in treating these symptoms.
Since magnesium is considered a natural “relaxer” of the muscle and nervous system, Morrison said it’s not surprising that a lack of this mineral causes muscle tension, cramps, insomnia and widespread pain, including headaches. Good food sources include legumes, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fortified foods like breakfast cereal, milk, and yogurt.
What Happens If I Take Riboflavin And It Doesn’t Work
If you’ve 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.” That’s why we wrote an article full of advice about what to do when your treatment’s not working.
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Dizziness
Its certainly possible.
Lack of sleep can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. Further, dizziness and balance issues are often symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Because we know that vitamin D impacts so many of our bodies functionsincluding our circadian rhythms which in turn help regulate sleepit makes sense that low vitamin D levels can lead to dizziness and related issues.
In addition, a number of studies have looked at the association of vitamin D on BPPV, the most common form of peripheral vertigo.
For example, one study published in Neurology set out to assess the effect of vitamin D and calcium supplementation in preventing recurrences of peripheral vertigo.
The multi-center, parallel, randomized control trial assigned patients to either the intervention group or the observation group. Those 348 patients in the intervention group with vitamin D levels under 20 ng/mL at baseline were intended to treat with vitamin D 400 IU and 500 mg of calcium carbonate twice daily for one year, while the remaining 445 patients in the same group with serum vitamin D levels equal or greater to 20 ng/mL were not asked to take supplements.
The observation group did not get their vitamin D levels tested and did not receive supplements.
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The Link Between Vitamin D And Migraines
Many young adults, teens and children who get frequent migraines were more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10, than people who dont get migraines, found a recent study. A vitamin D deficiency showed up in 70% of the patients, while 30% had coenzyme Q10 levels at the low range and 15% had riboflavin levels below normal. The boys and men in the study were more likely to have vitamin D deficiencies, while the girls and young women were more likely to be low in coenzyme Q10.
Though the results are intriguing and offer hope to people who experience serious migraines, its too early to say if taking a vitamin supplement is all you need to do to prevent migraines. The patients in this study who had vitamin deficiencies took a daily vitamin, but they were also taking prescription migraine medications at the same time, so it was not possible for researchers to test if vitamin supplementation on its own would be effective.
These Vitamin Deficiencies Could Explain Your Migraines
People who suffer from migraines may want to check if theyre getting enough of certain vitamins and nutrients.
While it isnt yet clear if supplementation might help prevent migraines, new research presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego revealed that a significant portion of kids, teens and young adults who suffer from migraines are mildly deficient in vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10.
“We think that there is a likelihood that patients with migraines are more likely to be deficient in these vitamins than the general population,” lead study author Dr. Suzanne Hagler, a headache medicine fellow in the neurology division at the Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center, told The Huffington Post.
If future studies find that these deficiencies do indeed play a role in migraines, Hagler said that a healthy diet that samples from diverse food groups, as well as vitamin and nutrient supplements, could be key in helping to prevent or treat migraines, perhaps alongside standard migraine medicines.
The findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and should be considered preliminary. Hagler plans to submit the report for consideration this summer.
But because many of the patients were ultimately treated with both vitamin supplements and preventive migraine medications, Hagler couldnt tell whether their migraine improvements were due to the vitamin supplements or the migraine medications.
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One Part Of A Complex Puzzle
All of this is not to say that vitamins dont have a role to play in your migraines. Migraines are a complex condition that likely has many contributing factors. Doctors should explore all possibilities including nutrient deficiencies to try to ease the burden of migraines.
One important contributing cause that many people overlook is temporomandibular joint disorders , which can cause muscle tension and nerve pressure that contribute to the frequency and intensity of migraines. Unfortunately taking vitamins for TMJ wont treat you. You will need TMJ treatment instead. It can help many people who arent getting good results from their current migraine therapy.
Want to learn whether TMJ treatment can help with your migraines in Rochester, NY? Please call for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Contemporary Dentistry.
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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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 you’re 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.
Food Sources Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to good health. A few foods that are high in vitamin D are fortified cereal, fortified milk, eggs, and mushrooms. And when it comes to animal sources, salmon, beef liver, caviar, and tuna are excellent sources.
You can even get your daily dose of vitamin D by just spending 5-10 minutes in the sun, two times a week.
Some doctors may check your vitamin D level to make sure it is in the normal range before treating you for Migraine. Doctors advise a dosage of 2,000 milligrams of vitamin D for headaches.
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Vitamin Deficiencies And Young Migraine Sufferers
But study couldn’t determine if supplements made a difference
FRIDAY, June 10, 2016 — Many young people who suffer from migraines have vitamin deficiencies, new research finds.
“Further studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin supplementation is effective in migraine patients in general, and whether patients with mild deficiency are more likely to benefit from supplementation,” said lead study author Dr. Suzanne Hagler in a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center news release. She is a headache medicine fellow in the hospital’s division of neurology.
A high percentage of them had mild deficiencies in vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 — a vitamin-like substance used to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance, the researchers said.
Many of the patients were prescribed preventive migraine medications and received vitamin supplementation if their levels were low. But because too few patients received vitamins alone, it wasn’t possible to determine if vitamin supplementation could help prevent migraines, the researchers noted.
The study also found that girls and young women were more likely than boys and young men to have coenzyme Q10 deficiencies. Boys and young men were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
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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Does Riboflavin Help Prevent Migraine Attacks
If youâre probably getting enough riboflavin from your diet, shouldnât you already be getting all of its migraine prevention benefits? Not exactly.
In studies of riboflavinâs effect on migraine headaches, participants are typically asked to take a lot more riboflavin than youâre likely to get from your dietâ400 mg. At that dose, riboflavin has been shown to reduce the number of migraines people experienced each month, although not enough research has been done to know how or why it works.
The evidence for riboflavinâs effectiveness is far from overwhelmingâthere have only been a few clinical trialsâbut the Canadian Headache Society still recommends it for prevention of migraine because the potential for negative side effects is low.
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Headaches
Research is finding an association, if not yet a cause and effect, between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk for headaches.
A piece in Health.com reported on a study out of Finland in middle-aged men that found those with low-serum vitamin D were at greater risk for frequent headaches in comparison to those with higher vitamin D levels.
In fact, the article reported that men with the lowest levels of vitamin D were more than twice as likely to have headaches at least once a week in comparison to those with the highest levels.
Only 9.6% of the study population reported chronic headaches however, on average, those had lower levels of vitamin D compared to those without headaches . D are reported in both nanomoles per liter and nanograms per milliliter . One nmol/L is equal to 0.4 ng/mL, and 1 ng/mL is equal to 2.5 nmol/L.)
The study itself references numerous other studies with beneficial associations between vitamin D and headaches, although the study authors point out further research is needed.
This article from verywellhealth.com details three studies on vitamin D deficiency and the relation to headaches. The first study says the prevalence of migraine and tension headaches increased the closer to the North and South Poles and farther away from the equatorwith the sun being the presumed differentiator.
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Low Vitamin Levels May Be Linked With Migraines In Kids
14 June 2016
Kids who frequently get migraines may have lower levels of certain vitamins and antioxidants in their blood, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that, of the children and teens in the study who visited a headache clinic for migraine pain, relatively high percentages had mild deficiencies of vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 a vitamin-like substance that is made in the body and is used to produce energy within cells compared with kids in the general population.
For example, the study found that 42 percent of kids with migraines had riboflavin levels that were at or below the level at which supplementation is recommended. It also showed that 71 percent of kids with migraines had levels of CoQ10 that were at or below the levels at which a supplement is advised, and 91 percent had vitamin D levels that were below that threshold.
The findings were presented on June 10 at the annual scientific meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego, and they have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
This study showed that vitamin deficiencies are common among children and teens with frequent migraines, and suggests that vitamin deficiencies may contribute to the development ofthese headaches, said Dr. Andrew Hershey, a pediatric neurologist and director of the headache center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Hershey co-authored the study along with Dr. Suzanne Hagler, also of Cincinnati Children’s.
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.
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Deviations Not That Extreme
We also need to remember that although the above levels of nutrient shortage sound significant on their own, they have to be taken into context with the general existence of low nutrient levels in the overall population. Various studies have indicated that the 40% low riboflavin levels cited in this study are likely comparable to the population at large.
And for vitamin D, the levels may be likely below the national average. Some research suggests that up to 77% of Americans have low vitamin D levels, so it shouldnt seem significant that 68% of people with headaches were found to have low vitamin D.
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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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 You’re 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 I’m more likely to see is a person with a dosing level of supplements that’s higher than optimal.”
Scientists don’t 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 that’s going overboard.
The bigger concern, Katz says, is that we’re “garnishing the food supply with overfortification.”
He says manufacturers have shifted their focus from what they’ve taken out of food — such as its fat, sugar, or salt — to what they’re putting in, whether it’s 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 they’re 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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