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.
Finding Your Migraines Window Of Vulnerability
The FDA is currently reviewing a new migraine drug called Trexima, which combines the migraine drug Imitrex and naproxen sodium contained in Aleve and other over-the-counter medications. The triptan prevents blood vessels from dilating. This dilating leads to migraine pain the anti-inflammatory drug prevents release of an inflammation-triggering enzyme, according to product developers.
Also in the pipeline: A drug that shows promise as both in preventing migraines and in stopping a migraine once one starts, says George R. Nissan, DO, director of research for the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago. The drug works by inhibiting a protein released during inflammation, called calcitonin gene-related peptide . CGRP is found in high levels in migraine patients.
âWeâre looking for migraine drugs that donât have the limitations or side effects of antiseizure or blood-pressure-lowering drugs,â Nissan tells WebMD. âCGRP doesnât cause constriction of blood vessels, so there would be fewer worries for patients with heart disease, and fewer limitations on its use. However, it may take years until we see it FDA-approved.â
Stephen Silberstein, MD, professor of neurology and director of the Thomas Jefferson University Headache Center in Philadelphia, has led pioneering studies into this âwindow of vulnerabilityâ during a migraine headache.
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Vitamin D Deficiency Causes: Why Are Older Adults Prone To Vitamin D Deficiency
From 60 years onwards, vitamin D deficiency is particularly common. This is not always because older people rarely go outdoors their body in fact produces down to four times less vitamin D than younger people. If you are over 60, you should regularly check vitamin D levels and counter any deficiencies with supplements.
Taking the right dosage of vitamin D supplements is incredibly beneficial, as it can prevent or alleviate many health complaints encountered frequently in old age. Positive effects confirmed in studies include:
- reduced risk of bone fractures
- better cardiovascular health
- greater muscle power.
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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.
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.
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Is Vitamin D Deficiency Related To Cancer
Vitamin D is considered by many to be a ray of hope when it comes to preventing cancer. Study results until now, however, have proven ambiguous. Individual studies found links, for instance, between vitamin D levels and the risk of colon cancer and breast cancer.
Current large-scale studies, however, found that vitamin D intake had no influence on the development of tumours. Many scientists say that more research is required before anything more concrete can be stated. Studies dealing with this topic are currently ongoing, some of which are also investigating the effects of high-dose vitamin D supplements on cancer development.
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!
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Does Vitamin D Help With Sleep
In 2017 Iranian scientists investigated the effect of vitamin D on sleep quality. A total of 89 participants with sleep disorders aged 20 to 50 years were administered either a vitamin D supplement or a placebo.
The result was that the participants who received vitamin D found that the quality of their sleep significantly improved, they slept for longer, and it took them less time to fall asleep compared with individuals who did not receive the vitamin D supplement. In another study, people with low vitamin D levels endured a poorer sleep quality.
Besides vitamin D, there are other sleep improvement supplements that have been proven to boost the quality of your sleep including melatonin, magnesium, 5-HTP and valerian among many others. If youre struggling with sleeping, you can discuss taking these supplements with your doctor.
Safety Of Supplements For Migraines
Most over-the-counter supplements are generally well-tolerated and safe, but here are some things to keep in mind:
- Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement. Some vitamins, minerals, and other supplements can interact with medications you may be taking. They could also aggravate an existing health condition.
- Women who are pregnant should be especially careful about taking new supplements. Some are not safe for pregnant women.
- If you have gastrointestinal issues, or youve had GI surgery, you should also talk to your doctor before taking new supplements. You may not be able to absorb them like most people do.
Also keep in mind that when you start taking a new supplement, you may not see results right away. You may need to continue taking it for at least a month before noticing the benefits.
If your new supplement seems to be making your migraines or another health condition worse, stop taking it immediately and talk to your doctor. For example, caffeine may help reduce headaches in some people, but may trigger them in others.
Never assume that all vitamins, minerals, and other supplements are safe, or that theyre of the same quality. For example, taking too much can lead to headaches, nausea, coma, and even death.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before deciding to try a new supplement brand or dosage.
Not all headaches are migraines. A migraine is a specific subtype of headache. Your migraine symptoms may include any combination of the following:
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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.
Vitamin D Levels In Pain And Headache Patients
Involvement of vitamin D levels and its relationship to chronic pain states is currently undergoing intense study. In the recent past, reports have been published describing low vitamin D levels in different chronic pain conditions, although not all studies agree to the extent of 25-OH vitamin D deficiency. In addition, various brief reports have also shown low vitamin D levels in patients with migraines and headaches.
In this brief review, we review the existing literature on this potentially interesting subject and its relationship to painful states. We also present a fraction of some preliminary initial data from our clinical patient population observations in both pain and migraine/headache patients.
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What Amount Of Vitamin D Should You Take
There is no definitive answer based on the a high degree of individual variation and seasonal exposure to the sun. As a Floridian, I can tell you that there are many people who regularly get adequate daily sun exposure. They eat good sources of Vitamin D yet are still unable to keep it from being low. Getting into the optimal range for helping sleep and migraine would be out of the question for them without significant supplementation.
Vitamin D Absorption Problems How Magnesium And Vitamin D Work Together
Since magnesium is required for the conversion of vitamin d into its active form, it’s also true that taking vitamin d may not raise Vitamin D Blood Levels in those who are magnesium deficient!! Be sure that you read this again and understand this magnesium and vitamin d interrelationship:
- Magnesium is ‘Used Up’ when Vitamin D is converted into its active form in the blood
- Magnesium is ‘Required’ to convert Vitamin D into its active form in the blood
It works BOTH ways. Magnesium is not JUST depleted, but you won’t convert vitamin d unless you have enough magnesium in order to allow vitamin d to BE converted!! In many cases where large doses of vitamin d are taken but the vitamin d level does not come up, both the person deficient and their doctor believe that they are having Vitamin D Absorption problems.This ends up causing: 1) A lot of fear that an underlying serious medical problem exists 2) Unnecessarily high dosages of Vitamin D are often taken causing worsening of the magnesium deficiency 3) Thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars are spent in unnecessary medical testing to find the ‘absorption’ problem 4) The underlying magnesium deficiency is often never found and addressed because testing for magnesium levels is not a useful test to determine need for that nutrient
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Who Is Most Affected By Vitamin D Deficiency
In general, vitamin D deficiency occurs in all age groups and social groups, and in areas as diverse as Europe, South America and the Middle East. That being said, you should be aware that there are certain risk groups. If you belong to one of these groups, you should regularly check vitamin D levels and, if necessary, take supplements.
The risk groups include:
- people who are predominantly indoors or who cover their bodies when they are outdoors
- pregnant women, since they also have a higher vitamin D requirement
- people with a dark skin type because their bodies produce less vitamin D than people with fair skin
- elderly people, since vitamin D production decreases significantly in old age and they may often not be outdoors, for mobility reasons
- babies, since the vitamin D content in breast milk is low and they should not be exposed to direct sunlight
To find out more about the ideal diet during breastfeeding and pregnancy as well as which other important vitamins and minerals your body needs head over to our dedicated Health Portal blog article.
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.
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How Do You Know If Your B12 Is Low
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 DeficiencyWeakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness.Heart palpitations and shortness of breath.Pale skin.A smooth tongue.Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas.Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking.Vision loss.More itemsMay 3, 2021
Dehydration Could Be The Culprit When It Comes To Your Headaches
We’re surrounded by drinking water, yet many of us don’t get enough of this important fluid during the day. And some people don’t drink any fluids for hours and hours, which registered dietician MEd, CSSD, LDN, CDE told INSIDER can be a contributing factor in headaches.
“If you fall in this category, consider setting the alarm on your phone or computer to cue you to drink,” recommended Stefanski. She said to focus on drinking eight ounces of water several times per day. “Everyone has different fluid needs, but you should aim for at least 64 ounces of fluid as an adult,” she explained.
Read more: 11 signs of dehydration you might be missing
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Vitamin D And The Brain
Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Once synthesized in the skin, it travels through the lymphatic system to the liver and kidneys, where it is converted into an active hormone. This hormone then circulates through the bloodstream and binds to vitamin D receptors in the brain.
Experts believe that by binding to these receptors, the vitamin D hormone may regulate the release of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. And because vitamin D has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps protect the brain from oxidative stresssomething that is closely associated with increased migraine risk.
Vitamin D Deficiency Causes: What Do I Need To Know
Vitamin D deficiency occurs because we do not get enough sun. While our ancestors stayed primarily outdoors, we spend most of our time indoors. And we also cover our bodies with clothing and protect ourselves with sun cream. All of this reduces the effects of UVB on the skin and thats precisely what our body needs to produce vitamin D.
Did you know that by applying a sun cream with a sun protection factor of 30, vitamin D synthesis in our skin is reduced by more than 95 per cent?
Several other factors can also interfere with our bodys vitamin D production. These vitamin D deficiency causes, include for example:
- diseases that impair fat digestion and ingestion, such as coeliac disease, bile acid deficiency or pancreatic insufficiency and
- certain medications such as antihypertensives, antiestrogens, cytostatics, antiepileptics and herbal medicines.
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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.