How Does It Work
Researchers arent sure exactly how magnesium works to prevent migraines, but they do have some theories.
First, lets review the mechanisms that cause migraines. Scientists believe it goes something like this :
Human and animal studies have shown that treatment with magnesium can decrease CGRP levels and block pain receptors, which may explain its therapeutic effects .
However, these are likely just a couple of the ways that magnesium affects migraines, and there are probably other mechanisms we are not yet aware of.
What Forms Do Magnesium Supplements Come In
Magnesium supplements come in many forms, including tablets , capsules, powders, oil sprays, and even Epsom salt, which is supposed to be added to your bathwater. Capsules and powders are usually effective, but be wary of topical products like bath salts, sprays, and lotions. Your skin needs too much time to absorb a mineral like magnesium for topical methods to work. One small Israeli study showed that applying a magnesium sulfate lotion had no impact on participantsâ magnesium levels.
Topical Or Transdermal Magnesium And Magnesium Baths
In addition to taking magnesium orally, you can try boosting the level of magnesium in your body via absorption through your skin. This is especially useful if you are unable to tolerate oral supplements.
To penetrate the many layers of our skin and get into our circulation, substances have to be able to penetrate the skin or get in via sweat glands and hair follicles. So, using topical magnesium in the form of gels, creams and oils may be helpful.
Bathing in magnesium sulfate and/or magnesium chloride salts may have even more benefit as the pores open and soften. Perhaps exposure of more concentrated amounts of magnesium to sweat glands and hair follicles helps to find its way inside.
Some people report consistent relief from warm foot soaks with magnesium chloride flakes. Jennifer Bragdon discusses how she relieves her dizzy symptoms from vestibular migraine in her recent article about natural remedies. Throwing a handful into a warming foot spa as you relax is a fun way to increase your daily magnesium intake. Topical lotions, sprays and roller balls are a nice option when youre on the go. Whether its raised magnesium levels or the warm comforting self-care that salt baths represent, relief may be yours.
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Magnesium Levels In Migraineurs
For many decades, it was postulated that magnesium deficiency played a role in migraine pathogenesis. However, the lack of simple and reliable measures of magnesium levels prevented further research to prove this theory. While low serum, cerebrospinal fluid and cerebral tissue levels of magnesium have been found to be low in patients with migraine , these results have been inconsistent, with both normal and low levels detected in the same tissues of some patients. The variability of results may be due to the need to measure ionized magnesium as a true reflection of magnesium metabolism, and the development of an ion selective electrode for ionized magnesium in whole blood, serum, plasma and aqueous samples has made an accurate and rapid measurement of ionized magnesium levels possible .
What Is The Best Magnesium For Migraines
Did you know that roughly 1 out of every 6 Americans suffers from migraines ?
Migraines are severe headaches that are often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound, and vision disturbances.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for migraines , so treatment is usually focused on reducing the number of attacks and managing symptoms.
Medications, such as over-the-counter painkillers and prescription drugs, are often used to treat and prevent migraines, but natural remedies are becoming more popular.
One promising option for those seeking natural migraine relief is to try magnesium supplements.
In this article, well explain the link between magnesium and migraines and tell you which magnesium supplement is best for preventing migraines.
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Alternative Choices For Migraine Pain
While medications are the mainstay of migraine treatment, they’re not a cure-all. For women who are pregnant or hoping to be, supplements are a safe alternative. For people who can’t get enough relief from prescriptions or who dislike the side effects, supplements can also help.
“Almost anyone, including children, can take magnesium,” DeRossett tells WebMD. “The only side effect is diarrhea. Some people get it, some don’t. For some, it’s dependent on how high the dosage is.”
She recommends magnesium “more than other supplements, and have found it to have the most robust effect in preventing migraines,” she says. “I advise vitamin B-2 if a patient has a predisposition to diarrhea.” Some supplements combine magnesium, vitamin B-2, and the herb feverfew. Coenzyme Q10, which the body produces naturally, has also been shown to cut migraine attacks, but it’s pricier than the others, she adds.
You have to take magnesium for three months to get a benefit, says DeRossett. “People sometimes give up on it too soon.” Taking the correct dosage is important as well: 500 mg magnesium, 400 mg riboflavin , and 150 mg coenzyme Q10.
The herb butterbur can also help prevent migraine attacks, she adds. A recent study found that a daily 75 mg butterbur supplement cut migraine frequency by more than 50%.
What If I Take Magnesium And It Doesn’t Work
The benefits of supplements can take a while to show up, so try to wait three or four months before giving up on magnesium.
If magnesium’s still not working for you after a few months, you might want to switch to a different supplement with a track record of reducing migraine frequency, like riboflavin or Coenzyme Q10 , or a preventive medication.
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Foods You Should Eat To Stop Or Prevent Migraines And Headaches Naturally
Migraine is a common ailment that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Its can effects can be debilitating. Sufferers often have to stop their normal activities because of it and conventional medicine often does not work. However, by integrating certain foods into your diet, you can prevent or even stop these terrible episodes. To do this, Scientific Origin has identified the foods that have been proven to work effectively against headaches and migraines.
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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.
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Help You Sleep Better
One of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency is insomnia, so some individuals take magnesium because it helps them sleep. People with an anxiety disorder often experience fatigue and are more likely to struggle with sleep because they experience muscle weakness due to magnesium deficiency.
There are two ways that magnesium helps individuals sleep faster. It can ease stress and induce muscle relaxation, which will help put you to sleep. It also promotes a healthy circadian rhythm, which helps your body get into a natural sleep cycle, meaning you will wake up feeling well-rested.
Magnesium Citrate Vs Magnesium Glycinate
Are you deficient in magnesium? It wouldnt be uncommon, as nearly 50 percent of Americans fail to eat enough magnesium in their diet . On top of that, our stressful lives and other health conditions may deplete our body of this important mineral.
Magnesium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that we must obtain from our diet. It has over 300 functions in the body and plays a crucial role in hormonal balance. For example, magnesium affects thyroid function, estrogen detoxification, blood sugar, stress hormones, and more .
Magnesium is an important mineral that many women are significantly lacking. In particular, women with PCOS are 19 times more likely to have a magnesium deficiency. This is important because magnesium plays a key role in regulating insulin and glucose. In fact, having low levels of magnesium increases your risk of insulin resistance, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes.
Magnesiums role in thyroid health is that magnesium is needed to make thyroid hormone. Studies have shown that replacing a magnesium deficiency lowers TSH
Others at risk for magnesium deficiency include people who take certain medications like acid reflux medications or birth control pills, and people who have trouble absorbing magnesium due to gut health issues.
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Where Do You Get Magnesium From
Magnesium is in a wide range of foods, with good sources including green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains, but as stated earlier, people suffering from headaches and migraines may be magnesium deficient, and supplementation may also be required.
Foods naturally contain magnesium in an organic form, such as magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate occurs as a building block in the body and is therefore well tolerated, fast-acting and available as a supplement to the diet.
A More Specific And Robust Definition Of Quality
A DS is a quality product or not based on three parameters.
Is It Real?
In other words, is the RM authentic ? If no testing was performed to verify or identify the RM, and it was used in an FP anyway, its inclusion in the product not only could have resulted in decreased response it may have actively caused harm.
Identifying and authenticating botanical products can be challenging especially if they are powdered extracts versus plant parts or powdered plant parts that have not been extracted. Plant parts when whole or in pieces can be identified more easily by gross and microscopic examinations to ensure compliance with published criteria that are specific to the plant. Most powdered botanical extracts need to undergo some sort of chemical or technical testing to verify correct genus and species.
Vitamins, amino acids, and many other nonbotanical materials are somewhat easier to chemically identify than botanicals, and botanicals are much more prone to adulteration.
Is It the Potency It Claims to Be?
In most cases testing every lot of material received for potency helps ensure a consistently potent FP. If most lots are solely identified as authentic and not tested for potency, this does not document the potency of the FP.
Much of the potency issue has to do with label claims as well. Some examples:
Ideally, one should ask and know if a DS manufacturer is routinely conducting potency/strength testing on RMs and/or FPs.
Does the Product Contain Any Contaminants?
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Migraine Supplement #1 Magnesium
Magnesium is naturally found in foods like nuts, leafy greens and wholegrains, and is usually easily absorbed by a balanced diet. Studies have suggested, however, that migraine sufferers are prone to lower levels of this important mineral.
A lack of magnesium could potentially trigger migraines, as it plays an important role in controlling blood pressure and supporting the function of muscles and nerves.
In that case, it makes perfect sense to take a magnesium supplement to treat your migraines, right? Well, the efficacy of magnesium supplements will depend on the type of migraines you experience, your existing magnesium levels and other migraine treatments you take.
For example, it has been suggested that magnesium could help those suffering with menstrual migraine, and also those who experience aura symptoms. But too much magnesium could be bad for you, so consult your doctor before making any decisions.
To work out if magnesium could help prevent your migraines, you should try a supplement of around 400 milligrams per day. You need to take it for at least three months, though, to notice any results.
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What Else Should I Know About Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium supplements are reasonably inexpensive and sold in a variety of forms. Some are easier for your body to absorb. These include magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, and magnesium chloride. If you and your doctor agree that magnesium might be worth a try for preventing migraines, be patient. It could take 3 or 4 months before you notice any benefit.
American Migraine Foundation: âMagnesium.â
Association of Migraine Disorders: âMagnesium: What Does Research Tell Us?â
National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements: âMagnesium.â
Current Pain and Headache Reports: âComplementary and Integrative Medicine for Episodic Migraine: An Update of Evidence from the Last 3 Years.â
American Family Physician: âTherapeutic Uses of Magnesium.â
Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy: âThe role of nutrients in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine headaches: Review.â
Neurology Advisor: âMagnesium May Be Effective for Migraine Prophylaxis.â
Headache: âMagnesium in Migraine Prophylaxis — Is There an EvidenceâBased Rationale? A Systematic Review.â
The Migraine Trust: âSupplements and herbs.â
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What Should I Be Cautious Of
Magnesium supplements are relatively safe , but that doesnât mean theyâre for everyone. People with reduced kidney function or certain neurological disorders should not take magnesium without first discussing it with their doctor.
In addition, magnesium supplements can interfere with your bodyâs ability to absorb some medications, so talk to your doctor before starting if youâre taking any of these medications:
- bisphosphonates, which are used to treat osteoporosis
- prescription medications for acid reflux or peptic ulcers
Are You Getting Enough Magnesium In Your Diet
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for magnesium is 400 milligrams per day for men and 310 mg per day for women . Magnesium is commonly found in nuts, seeds, legumes , and leafy green vegetables. For various reasons such as poor soil conditions or the abundance of processing to our foods which strips magnesium from foods, it can be difficult to solely rely on diet for this mineral.
Although we always support a food first philosophy, we recognize that many of our patients may require additional magnesium in supplement form.
In this article, well review two types of magnesium supplements: magnesium citrate vs. magnesium glycinate. But first, lets discuss how to determine if you have a magnesium deficiency.
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Why Magnesium Glycinate For Migraines
Magnesium glycinate is a form of magnesium that absorbs very well and this becomes crucial when we understand that it is not just about the nutrients that you put into your mouth, but also the amount of those nutrients that get absorbed and used by your body.
Generally, magnesium glycinate and threonate are recommended for their great absorption and utilization by the body and this is what I have found with migraine sufferers.
See this pin for different types of magnesium and what they are good for:
Whats The Link Between Magnesium And Migraines
Studies have found that people who have migraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium than people who donât get headaches. Some scientists believe that magnesium blocks signals in the brain that lead to migraines with an aura, or changes in vision and other senses. Research also suggests that magnesium stops certain chemicals that cause pain. Whatâs more, a drop in magnesium levels also seems to cause blood vessels in the brain to narrow, or constrict, which may also play a role in migraine.
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Which Foods Have The Most Magnesium
When trying to evaluate our magnesium intake, the first source we should look at is our daily diet. Healthy foods are foundational to raising magnesium levels and other essential minerals, and supplements should never be viewed as a substitute for a nutrient-rich diet.
While its beneficial to build a healthy diet with all of these foods, leafy greens are the best source for magnesium and overall mineral intake. This is because grains, seeds, and nuts contain a compound called phytic acid, which can reduce the bodys ability to absorb magnesium and other minerals like zinc and iron.
How To Take Magnesium For Anxiety Or Depression
Magnesiums beneficial effects on mood and stress are so well-known that the mineral has nicknames like the original chill pill and natures valium.
However, many people, including some of the new patients that come to my office, are on low doses of magnesium or take forms of magnesium that are not well-absorbed by the body. Its no surprise that they dont notice any benefit in their anxiety, stress, mood, or sleep. Some of the commonly asked questions that patients have about magnesium supplements include:
In this article, Ill share the strategies that I use as an integrative psychiatrist to help my patients increase their magnesium levels in a safe and effective way.
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