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Does Magnesium Citrate Help With Migraines

Why Magnesium For Migraine Is So Important

how does magnesium help migraine ?

Many headache specialists know that magnesium is a brain-friendly substance. They know it can often play a role in preventing migraine as well as treating an attack.

While I was getting magnesium infused at Jefferson Headache Center a few years ago I asked how magnesium worked. The nurse practitioner said, Magnesium for headache is just good. Its a head-friendly substance. Unsatisfied with that answer, I did a bit of research of my own.

Magnesium plays a number of roles in migraine and its pain process.

This important nutrient is literally involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. Some of the biochemistry that may be related to helping prevent or treat migraine includes:

  • Magnesium is needed to form neurotransmitters and to regulate various receptors, including those for serotonin, CGRP and others. Magnesium can block the action of glutamate, nitric oxide and other substances that can trigger a migraine attack. Glutamate is a substance that gets a lot of attention because of its important role in migraine as well as pain, traumatic brain injury and other brain disorders.
  • Magnesium is thought to blunt pain signals by blocking transmission of pain in the nervous system.
  • Magnesium relaxes muscles. Lessening muscle tension may be helpful in helping an attack go away faster and allow the person to feel soothed.
  • Magnesium has a general calming effect on the nervous system.

How Does Magnesium Prevent Migraine

In 2012, the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology gave magnesium a Level B rating among medications used for migraine prevention. This rating means it is probably effective and is an option for migraine preventive treatment .

Its believed that magnesium can prevent the brain signaling that causes visual and sensory changes associated with aura. It can also reduce or block pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain and may be helpful for brain blood vessels.

What Is The Link Between Magnesium And Migraines

Studies have found that up to 50% of migraine sufferers have low magnesium levels .

They have also shown that daily magnesium supplements can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines

One study even found that magnesium supplementation was more effective and fast-acting than a common drug used for the treatment of acute migraines .

Still, other research has found no benefit from magnesium supplementation, but this may be because the dose was not high enough .

Also, because magnesium status is so difficult to test, its possible that some studies results are thrown off by including both magnesium-deficient and non-magnesium-deficient patients.

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Migraines And Headaches: The Magnesium Deficiency Link

There are more than 300 different kinds of headaches. Medical science distinguishes between a tension headache and a migraine as the following:

Tension headache: Dull, pressing to pulling pain over the whole head.

Migraine headache: Throbbing and pulsating most likely on one side only. Often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Both kinds of headache are often associated with hypersensitivity to light and noise.

Bioavailability Matters With Magnesium For Migraine

Does Magnesium Help With Hirsutism Symptoms?

According to Ancient Minerals, If one was to ingest the commonly recommended adult dosage of 300-400 mg magnesium per day in poorly absorbed form, it could equate to a usable dosage of only 12-16 mg.. They also go on to quote Holy Water, Sacred Oil: The Fountain of Youthwhere it is mentioned that magnesium is most effective when contained in the intestine for a minimum of 12 hours. If magnesium was going through the system faster , youre not getting the full benefits of the supplement youre taking.

One key word to know is bioavailability, which means how well the supplement is absorbed by the body. If the supplement youre taking is not very bioavailable, its not being metabolized and youre probably not reaping the benefits from it. As we age and our metabolism slows, it can be even more important to focus on bioavailability, as vitamins can become more difficult to absorb. This is why choosing high quality supplements is so important. Fillers, binders, and artificial ingredients or flavorings can all limit absorption. Magnesium itself isnt a highly absorbable supplement to begin with, but if you have a deficiency then your body will be able to absorb more than it would otherwise.

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Migraine Treatments That Are Safe For Pregnancy

    Dear Dr. Roach I am eight weeks pregnant, and I had migraines before I was pregnant. I always took medicine at the onset of these occurrences, and halfway through the day, my migraine would subside. Usually Id take between four and six Excedrin Migraine pills, or Aleve. Now I am getting very bad headaches during the pregnancy, and I am worried about taking OTC medicines. Is there a safe supplement or dietary adjustment I can make to help my bad headacheswhile I am pregnant? F.J.

    Answer Migraine headaches often get worse during pregnancy because of hormonal fluctuations. Many of the prescription medications are not considered safe during pregnancy, and I understand why many pregnant women are reluctant to take any medications.

    Unfortunately, not all supplements are safe during pregnancy. For example, vitamin A in very high doses is clearly unsafe in pregnancy. However, two supplements, magnesium and riboflavin, are helpful in preventing migraine.

    Magnesium has been shown in several studies to be helpful for migraine prevention, and is frequently used for other reasons in pregnancy and is considered safe. One study used magnesium citrate doses of up to 600 mg per day.

    Riboflavin also has been shown to reduce migraines at a dose of 400 mg daily.

    How Magnesium Is Regulated:

    Magnesium in the blood reflects a balance between absorption in the gut and elimination through the kidney. Magnesium absorption is reduced by some stomach medications for reflux, called proton pump inhibitors. Some of them are over the counter — e.g. prilosec. This means that it is especially important to take magnesium supplements for migraine prevention, if you take a PPI. Magnesium is regulated through the kidney, where it is reabsorbed. Incomplete reabsorption causes magnesium wasting .

    There are about a dozen genes that result in hypmagnesiumia – but these are extremely rare in clinical medicine, and finding them does not contribute to therapy .

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    Does Magnesium Deficiency Play A Role In The Development Of Migraines

    Researchers and scientists have long theorized that magnesium deficiency plays a role in the development of migraines. However, reliably measuring magnesium levels in the body can be difficult, which makes proving that hypothesis challenging.

    Dr. Alexander Mauskop, a leading researcher in migraines, has helped shed light on the role of magnesium deficiency in the occurrence of migraines. In one of his studies, Mauskop observed that people who did not get relief from a popular and effective migraine medication had low levels of magnesium in the blood. After increasing these levels, the individuals found relief.

    In another study, people who were deficient in red blood cell magnesium and received magnesium infusions for their migraine attacks also found relief. In comparison, those that experienced migraine attacks but werent deficient in RBC magnesium did not find relief.

    Other studies have hypothesized the reason for low magnesium levels among people with migraines. Some suggest that stress caused by migraines leads to over-excretion of magnesium. Others propose that general stress causes excessive secretion of magnesium, thereby lowering magnesium levels and causing a migraine.

    Ultimately, it is possible that magnesium deficiency plays a role in migraine, but further research needs to be conducted. This involves developing a reliable means of measuring levels of magnesium in the body, which is currently not available.

    A Few Words Of Caution

    How Supplementing WIth Magnesium Daily Can Help Reduce Migraine Pain
    • An excessive dosage of magnesium can cause diarrhea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
    • If you have a history of kidney problems, then avoid the intake of magnesium.

    Magnesium is as powerful and effective as pain-killers, but unlike the harsh chemical drugs, magnesium supplements and ointments do not cause cancer and ulcer. Follow through with the ways of using magnesium for migraine headaches to cure the chronic disorder naturally. If in any case the pain persists then do not hesitate to consult a physician.

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    Vestibular Migraines And Magnesium

    This study found that patients on these prophylactic therapies one of which was magnesium showed a decrease in duration, frequency and intensity of vestibular migraines.

    Thedizzycook who is a chronic vestibular migraine sufferer takes a magnesium supplement daily and recommends it as well.

    When dealing with magnesium and migraines it is important to understand:

    The kind of magnesium you are taking and what your body will tolerate

    Foods and activities that lower magnesium levels in the body

    How to get magnesium through diet as well as the cofactors and conditions necessary to keep it in your body

    Some of the fastest and most convenient ways to absorb magnesium

    Before you start supplementing, learn what is contributing to your migraines here and what foods you should be eating for them here.

    If you want to learn more about migraines because you are looking for better answers then join our community of over 15,000 members here.

    Have you ever tried magnesium? Let me know in the comments below and share this with someone who needs more magnesium in their life.

    See our video on menstrual migraines below:

    Is Supplementing With Magnesium For Migraine Safe

    Many doctors say yes, but that doesnt mean you should not do your own research as well as consult your own healthcare provider.

    According to Dr. Mauskop, its one of the safest supplements to use for migraine, but urges caution when someone has kidney disease. In an article I consider a must-read about magnesium and migraine, Mauskop discusses risks in his final paragraph.

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    So What Are The Best Forms & Ways To Use Magnesium For Dizziness

    Below youll find my favorite ways to be sure Im getting enough magnesium for dizziness. I follow the magnesium dosage recommendations from Johns Hopkins Headache Center. In the beginning I took 800mg per day. Now that my symptoms are controlled, I have been able to save a little money by backing off that dose. Now I take 240-360mg a day with added foot soaks and topical magnesium on bad days.

    Magnesium Pidolate And Brain Penetration

    Do You Need Magnesium Supplements?

    The dysfunction of the bloodbrain barrier has been described in several neurological disorders, including ischemic stroke and inherited and neurodegenerative diseases . This topic remains controversial: while some studies did not find changes in BBB during a migraine attack , there are studies in human subjects and animals that indicate that BBB permeability may be increased with migraine and headaches . BBB disruption has been associated with magnesium deficiency in the brain . It is therefore interesting to distinguish agents that exert a protective role on BBB and prevent its impairment in response to various challenges. There is evidence that magnesium has a protective role on the BBB in vivo , and a recent paper has highlighted that 10 mmol/L magnesium sulfate reduces the permeability in an in vitro model of the human BBB . This effect could be the result of the antagonism between calcium and magnesium in the endothelial actin cytoskeleton, which remodels intercellular gap formation, thus inhibiting the paracellular movement of molecules through the tight junctions .

    Romeo et al. compared the effect of different magnesium salts at the same concentration in in vitro in models of rat and human BBBs. All salts decreased BBB permeability among them, magnesium pidolate and magnesium threonate were the most efficient in the rat model, and magnesium pidolate was the most efficient in the human model, suggesting differences in response between humans and rodents.

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    Q: Any Last Advice On The Benefits Of Magnesium

    A: There is one way in which topical magnesium is useful, but often underused.

    In emphasizing a holistic, natural approach that focuses on care for the body, mind and spirit, Epsom salt is very beneficial in reducing stress and muscle pain when used in the bath.

    Helping manage daily stress and minimizing pain is an important step in feeling well mentally and physically.

    Magnesium also can help reduce the frequency of migraines. Its often recommended for those who suffer from vestibular, ocular and common migraines.

    Ultimately, making sure your body is getting enough magnesium not only helps you maintain good health in general, it also may help you manage stress, migraines or muscle aches and pains.

    Dont ignore feelings of tiredness or weakness. Its a good idea to talk to your doctor if you notice any of these signs to find out whats behind your symptoms.

    Which Should I Choose

    Butterbur should probably be off the list for the time being, until a proven safe preparation is available, but when this is sorted, it looks to have encouraging potential.

    Feverfew has a less attractive success record than the other substances discussed here.

    Of the three supplements, Magnesium, Co-enzyme Q10 and Riboflavin, all seem to give broadly similar results. Co-enzyme Q10 has the least potential side effects so that would be a good one to start with. Remember you need to give each a decent trial period and it is best to keep a daily diary of your headaches so you can accurately chart the effect of the medication. Unfortunately there is no way to predict which medication will be successful for any particular person, so a process of trial and error is necessary. Another approach to choosing is to go for a medication which might also help another condition. So in the case of these supplements, Magnesium may have benefits for people with fibromyalgia which commonly co-exists with migraine.

    Ive quoted availability and dosages from Boots the Chemist, Holland and Barrett, Amazon and the internet. I chose these as they are widely available throughout the country, not because they offer any special benefit, or because I wish to endorse these companies in any way. None of these products are available on NHS prescription, so you will have to purchase them if you want to try them but do let your doctor know you are using them.

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    Natural Remedies For Migraine Should I Try Them

    Many natural products, vitamins, vitamin like chemicals and plant remedies have been tried in order to prevent migraine. The ones we discuss in this factsheet are those which have at least some research studies to justify their use. This doesnt mean that other things dont work, but we often lack research evidence for them. Unfortunately with limited funding for research available, the studies that have been done are often both small and few in number. This means we do not have as much information as we need in order to make firm treatment recommendations. The advice in this guide is based on the research that is available, but inevitably this limits the quality of advice we are able to give.

    In this factsheet we consider plant remedies Feverfew and Butterbur and the chemicals Magnesium, Coenzyme Q10 and Riboflavin .

    Research On The Magnesium

    Can magnesium relieve headaches?

    In a 1996 published study, researchers gave 81 migraine sufferers either 600 milligrams of magnesium or a placebo pill once daily for three months. After four weeks, 42% of the group taking magnesium reported a reduction in the number of migraine occurrences. As well, the duration of migraine drug use significantly decreased among people who took magnesium supplements.

    20 years later, there is growing support in the physician community that some of the most severe cases of migraines may actually be directly related to an imbalance of key minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

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    Q: What Are Early Signs Youre Running Low On Magnesium

    A: One of the first signs of magnesium deficiency is often fatigue. You may notice muscle spasms, weakness or stiffness as well.

    Loss of appetite and nausea are other common symptoms in the early stages. However, you may not notice any symptoms at all in the beginning.

    A magnesium deficiency can be hard to diagnose. Many of the initial symptoms could indicate a wide variety of other health issues.

    Magnesium And Riboflavin For Migraine: A Review

    Magnesium and Riboflavin for Migraine: A Review

    Migraine, defined as an episodic headache disorder accompanied by neurological symptoms, is one of the most debilitating and under-diagnosed neurological conditions afflicting otherwise healthy people. Migraine headaches are most common in people aged 35-45 years and affect more than 11 million Americans . As many as 5.5 million patients experience at least one migraine attack per month. Patients complain of increased sensory sensitivity, gastrointestinal disturbances, vasomotor symptoms, and pain, which can be disabling. Self-reports of pain intensity are high, rating an average of 7 on a 10-point scale.1-4

    Conventional Treatment

    Despite the marked symptoms and disability associated with migraines, 31% of American patients with frequent migraines reported in a telephone survey never seeing a doctor for diagnosis or care.7,8 In fact, up to 57% of people who meet the criteria for migraines have not been diagnosed by a physician.9 It is therefore not surprising that the most popular therapy for these patients was over-the-counter medications , followed by prescription medication only , and combinations of prescription and OTC medications .10

    CAM Therapies for Headache

    Because of similar findings, some experts have recommended trying safe and possibly effective CAM therapies for selected patients.16 One review article cites positive evidence for magnesium, feverfew, and riboflavin and recommends their use in combination.17

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    The Best Magnesium Supplements For Migraines

    The best supplements are made from all-natural ingredients, or organic ingredients when possible. Magnesium is often paired with zinc and vitamin D, so youll find a few blends on the list as well. Lets jump in and learn about todays best magnesium supplements for migraines.

    Features: First on our list is Elm & Ryes 100% pure magnesium supplement with added vitamins. Featuring all-natural ingredients, trusted production methods, and Elm & Ryes commitment to producing the very best supplements in todays markets.

    Price: Elm & Ryes magnesium supplements are available for just $50 for a 30-day supply.

    Availability: You can order Elm & Ryes products directly from the website at Everything ships with minimal costs, and youll get the Elm & Rye guarantee of excellence. You cant do better when it comes to all-natural supplements!

    2. Doctors Best High Absorption Magnesium

    Features: Featuring high-quality, high-absorption magnesium, Doctors Best provides a supplement that works great for everyone by slowly absorbing into the body for maximum efficacy. Doctors best is well-known for being a quality supplement brand.

    Price: Doctors Best magnesium costs about $10 per bottle, and one bottle contains a 30-60-day supply, depending on how much you take daily.

    Availability: Doctors Best products are available across the web on sites like Swanson Vitamins, The Vitamin Shoppe, iHerb, and Amazon.

    3. BioBreakthrough Magnesium by BioOptimizers

    5. Essential Elements


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