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What Magnesium To Take For Migraines

Magnesium Sulfate And Magnesium Hydroxide

MAGNESIUM for MIGRAINES/HEADACHES (Benefits + Dosage) 2021

These forms are potent laxatives so beware if you try them. Since the role of these magnesium salts is to draw water into the GI tract and help move the bowels, the magnesium is not considered very bioavailable and is just flushed down the toilet. We do not recommend either type. Magnesium sulfate is also known as Epsom salt and can be used to boost your magnesium transdermally. Read on for more about magnesium baths.

Interesting Types Of Magnesium

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Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body.

Its involved in over 300 metabolic reactions that are essential for human health, including energy production, blood pressure regulation, nerve signal transmission, and muscle contraction .

Interestingly, low levels are linked to a variety of illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders, and migraines .

Although this mineral is present in many whole foods like green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, up to two-thirds of people in the Western world dont meet their magnesium needs with diet alone .

To boost intake, many people turn to supplements. However, as multiple varieties of supplemental magnesium exist, it can be difficult to know which one is most appropriate for your needs.

This article reviews 10 various forms of magnesium, as well as their uses.

Are Magnesium Supplements Safe

Studies suggest magnesium supplements are safe, but they can cause some mild side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. And hereâs another good reason to let your doctor know if you take magnesium supplements: They donât always work well with drugs for other conditions like bone health, infections, high blood pressure, and chronic heartburn.

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What Amount Of Magnesium For Migraine Is Recommended*

As per the Johns Hopkins migraine handout, it is recommended to take 400mg twice per day, so 800mg per day.

During the Migraine World Summit presentation, Dr. Mauskop suggested starting with 400 mg once per day. Once you know that amount is tolerated by your GI tract, double it. If that amount is tolerated, he suggests tripling it. That would mean 1,200 mg per day. Thats a LOT of supplementation with capsules and/or powders and gummies. However, some people may only see improvement with higher amounts.

Since achieving 800mg/day or more of magnesium means quite a few capsules to swallow as well as an adjustment to the family budget, many people find it effective, easier and more practical to take different forms. For instance, they may take 1-2 capsules/day of magnesium threonate, 2 -3 capsules/day of magnesium glycinate and they rest of the daily dose as a magnesium carbonate/citrate drink from Natural Calm or a magnesium foot soak.

Dr Mauskops Study Of Magnesium For Migraine

Magnesium for Migraine (graphic) hmmm... I was always told ...

During one of the annual Migraine World Summits, Dr. Alexander Mauskop, director of the New York Headache Center, discussed the importance of magnesium at length. Not only is Dr. Mauskop a key researcher of magnesium for headache, he is a prominent headache specialist who uses magnesium in several forms in his practice to help abort and prevent attacks.

Interestingly, in one study Dr. Mauskop discussed, people who did not get relief from a popular triptan had low magnesium levels. When their magnesium levels were increased, they found relief from this frequently prescribed and effective migraine medication.

In Mauskops own study on magnesium infusions, he showed very interesting and promising results. Of those people that came to his office and received infusions of magnesium for migraine attacks, the people who experienced relief tended to be those who were deficient as measured by the red blood cell magnesium. Those that werent deficient didnt get relief.

Studies with oral magnesium had good results, but the previous red blood cell levels of magnesium werent measured before or after the study. Based on the info from Dr. Mauskop, you have to wonder if those who had the best results with magnesium were those who were deficient and had the most to gain from replenishing their bodies with the magnesium supplement.

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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 :

  • A trigger causes brain cells to release neurotransmitters , such as calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P.
  • These chemical messengers cause increased blood flow, swelling, and inflammation in the brain.
  • Nerve cells transmit messages to other parts of the brain, where pain is perceived.
  • 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.

    Who Should Consider Magnesium

    Because magnesium is extremely safe, anyone who experiences migraine may want to talk to their doctor about using it as a preventive treatment.

    Due to the way magnesium works, it can be especially helpful for people who have migraine with aura. People with menstrual migraine also seem to benefit from daily magnesium.

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    Which Types Of Magnesium Works Best For Migraine

    • Nature-made Calcium/magnesium/zinc — one would need 4 of these/day. The zinc is undesirable here.
    • Calm .

    Slow-Mag tablets contain 135 mg of Magnesium. These are coated so they dissolve slowly. We do not have anyone taking these. One would think about 4/day would be needed.

    One of our patients likes the “Smarty-Pants” gummy magnesium. This product contains quite a bit of other stuff, and it is not a “pure” magnesium product. This adds risk of side effects. It also has 3 grams of sugar, and presumably is not so good for your teeth either.

    One would think that one of the many 500 mg magnesium gluconate preparations might work better, if you can find one.

    What If You Cannot Tolerate Oral Supplemental Magnesium

    Magnesium could lead to fewer migraines

    Unfortunately, some of us have very sensitive tummies. Even though the more absorbable and best magnesium for headache and migraine have been discussed above, some people may still have unacceptable symptoms. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Always take magnesium with food.
    • Since there are so many forms of magnesium, try each of the more absorbable types one by one. Yes, this can get frustrating and expensive, but is worth it if you find success. Give the ones that do not work well to someone you love. Magnesium is excellent for much more than migraine.
    • Try two other forms that I did not mention above, magnesium chloride and magnesium malate. They are also typically well-tolerated.
    • Experiment with the time of day that you take the supplement.
    • Dont get discouraged if you can tolerate only lower amounts of magnesium but not 400 mg/day or more. Take what you can and focus on eating some wholesome food .

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    What Is The Best Magnesium For Migraine

    When people search for a new magnesium supplement without knowing what to look for, they usually focus on price. This means many arent getting the full potential out of the supplements theyre taking. This could be because our body doesnt agree with that particular form of magnesium. Or it could be that the supplement contains additional fillers or potential Migraine triggers, making it poor quality and more difficult to absorb.

    The Best Magnesium Supplements For Migraine

    Did you know there are several different types of magnesium that are beneficial for different things? Migraine disorders can be linked with magnesium deficiency, making supplementation of magnesium for migraine necessary for most of us. However, if youre finding that you have more digestive issues when upping your magnesium intake, youre not alone. I wasnt aware until I started doing a little more research after my Migrelief formula was changed. I realized that the magnesium in this particular supplement was more commonly prescribed as a laxativesomething I did not need.

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    What Are The Risks

    Magnesium is low risk and doesnt typically have side effects. The most common side effect is diarrhea, which may work in your favor if you are prone to constipation. If a person experiences diarrhea or cramping, a lower or less frequent dose may still help prevent migraine while also avoiding these side effects.

    Too much magnesium can cause an irregular heart rhythm, low blood pressure and memory issues. People with diabetes, heart disease, arrhythmia and kidney disease must clear its use with their doctor before taking it. Some antibiotics, heart medicine and diuretics cannot be taken with magnesium. It can also interfere with some medications used to treat osteoporosis.

    If you are or become pregnant you should discuss magnesium treatment with your headache provider.

    Because of its safety profile and low possibility of side effects, magnesium is often a great asset in a prevention strategy for people with migraine.

    The American Migraine Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those living with this debilitating disease. For more of the latest news and information on migraine, visit the AMF Resource Library. For help finding a healthcare provider, check out our Find a Doctor tool. Together, we are as relentless as migraine.

    Reviewed for accuracy by the American Migraine Foundations subject matter experts, headache specialists and medical advisers with deep knowledge and training in headache medicine. to read about our editorial board members.

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    Are There Any Possible Side Effects

    The Best Magnesium Supplements for Migraine

    Typically, if people get too much magnesium, their kidneys will just get rid of the excess in their urine. Still, you should not take magnesium supplements more often than indicated on the packaging unless directed by your doctor.

    Taking too much magnesium can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea, and extremely high intake can cause irregular heartbeat and even cardiac arrest. That said, itâs very difficult for someone to accidentally take enough magnesium to induce the most severe side effects.

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    Dosage For Enhancing Exercise Performance

    Various studies on magnesium supplements effects on exercise performance have shown that the improvement potential is largely based on dosage.

    For example, two studies that used doses of 126250 mg of magnesium daily showed no significant change in exercise performance or muscle gain.

    Researchers concluded that any benefits from supplementing with magnesium at these doses were not strong enough to be detected (

    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.

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    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.

    What Else Should I Know About Magnesium Supplements

    how does magnesium help migraine ?

    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.

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    The Best Magnesium For Headaches

    In 2012, the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology reviewed the studies on medications used for migraine prevention and gave magnesium a Level B rating. That means it is probably effective for most people and should be considered for migraine and headache relief.

    If youre worried about taking too much, we hear you. Too much magnesium from foods isn’t a concern for healthy adults. However, taking high doses of magnesium supplements or medications can cause nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Always talk with your doctor before taking new supplements consistently.

    So which are best for headaches? Lets look at the most common forms of magnesium to find out.

    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.

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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:

    • antibiotics
    • bisphosphonates, which are used to treat osteoporosis
    • diuretics
    • prescription medications for acid reflux or peptic ulcers

    Magnesium For Migraine: Are You Getting Enough Magnesium


    The recommended daily allowance of magnesium is around300 mg for women and 400 mg for men. Most Americans dont get nearly that amount. A magnesium deficiency can reveal itself in a number of ways:

    • Early signs include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness.
    • Magnesium supplements are widely used to treatpremenstrual syndrome, since women with PMS have low magnesium levels.
    • In people who are deficient, magnesium supplements can calmanxiety andstress. Even magnesium-deficient mice show anxiety-related behaviors.

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    How Much Should You Take

    Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements. If they give you the go-ahead, they may suggest 400 milligrams a day as a starting dose. Some research studies give people with migraines up to 600 milligrams a day. Donât take more than 1,200 milligrams a day. If you already take a multivitamin, check to see if it contains magnesium.

    Magnesium For Migraines: What You Need To Know

    Magnesium is an important natural mineral that our bodies need for various cellular functions. It helps maintain stable blood pressure, keeps the heart healthy, and is involved in building bone, DNA, and proteins. Research has shown that increasing the level of magnesium in the blood may help prevent or treat migraines.

    Magnesium can be found naturally in many foods and beverages, including certain vegetables, nuts, grains, and spices. Ingesting magnesium naturally through food or beverages has no known adverse effects. Magnesium supplements, in contrast, may cause side effects.

    Before making changes to your migraine-care regimen, including boosting your magnesium intake, be sure to talk with your doctor or health care provider.

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    What Form Of Magnesium Supplement Does Cove Offer

    Cove offers 400 mg magnesium glycinate and citrate tablets. After working with leading headache specialists, we chose this formulation because it’s easily absorbed, calming, and most likely to be effective. You can get magnesium supplements delivered to your door with Cove.

    You can also try taking magnesium in combination with other vitamins and minerals that can have a positive effect on migraine. Cove offers two of these:

    • Beam is a first-of-its-kind migraine supplement that includes clinically-effective doses of magnesium, riboflavin and Coenzyme Q10, all of which have been shown in studies to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
    • Oasis is a hydration supplement that helps your body replenish electrolytes you naturally lose throughout the day. It contains a clinically-effective dose of magnesium as well as sodium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins C, B6, and B12.

    Bioavailability Matters With Magnesium For Migraine

    How Magnesium Is Studied To Beat Migraines and Headaches

    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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