Vitamins And Supplements For Migraine
Many patients want a natural approach to treating migraine. Here are some treatment options to discuss with your neurologist.
Many of my patients tell me they waited years before seeing a doctor for their migraine, thinking it wasn’t a serious condition. They thought the best way to deal with it was to grit their teeth and muscle through it. Now, many are active participants in their care and often tell me they want a natural approach.
I explain that vitamins and supplements may decrease the number of attacks or reduce the side effects of prescription drugs, but they aren’t cure-alls and can take time to become effective, as long as three months for some patients. For others, they may not work at all and may have side effects. With that in mind, here are some vitamins and supplements to discuss with your neurologist at your next visit, including some potential side effects.
Also known as riboflavin, this vitamin and it’s one of eight B vitamins that help convert food into fuel it also helps metabolize fats and protein. We don’t know exactly why B2 helps, but it could be because some people who are deficient in it are more prone to migraine. In a small study in the European Journal of Neurology, 23 people who took daily doses of 400 mg of riboflavin for six months reported half the number of headaches per monthfrom four to twoand reduced their use of medicines from seven pills per month to four and a half.
Fish Oil And Migraine Research
There is limited information available about the relationship between migraine and fish oil. Fish oil is thought to reduce inflammation. Some experts think lowering inflammation may play a role in preventing migraine attacks or treating symptoms. Others believe fish oil may impact the way our cells communicate with one another to reduce pain.4-6
However, current research is conflicted on the actual benefit fish oil has for those living with migraine. More studies are needed to uncover the relationship between fish oil and migraine.4-6
How To Treat Migraines Caused By A Vitamin Deficiency
Consulting with a doctor is the best way to treat a migraine caused by a vitamin deficiency. A doctor may prescribe migraine medications to treat migraine pain and offer tips and recommendations to prevent a single migraine from becoming a recurring problem.
For those who are dealing with ongoing migraines related to a vitamin deficiency, a consultation with a neurologist may be required. A neurologist can provide a chronic migraine diagnosis, and he or she may also prescribe migraine medications.
If a chronic migraine patient finds his or her current migraine medications are ineffective or cause intolerable side effects, Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute can help. Dr. Cabin is a head and neck surgeon with dual-subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and his unique expertise enables him to offer personalized chronic migraine treatments. To learn more about how Dr. Cabin helps patients dealing with chronic migraine pain, please contact us today at 310.461.0303.
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The Best Supplements For Migraines
As always, anyone suffering from any form of chronic pain should always refer to their doctor for the best course of action before embarking on any form of treatment. If youve already done so and are ready to feel relief, however, weve rounded up a selection of tried-and-tested supplements for nixing and in some cases, preventing migraines.Keep scrolling for Womans Worlds picks for the best supplements for migrainesto find out what each one does and where to find them.
Magnesium And Headaches During Pregnancy
Migraines are quite common for women to experience at some point during their pregnancy. The most difficult part of handling this pain is that many of the typically-recommended medications are not safe for pregnant women you wont be able to take ibuprofen or typical prescription drugs while you are pregnant. Even the European Headache Federation School of Advanced Studies cites that many medications can cause harm to the unborn baby.
This raises the question of, can magnesium help headaches during pregnancy? Its a natural substance and, as long as its taken properly, is completely safe for women to take while theyre pregnant.
Because of hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, its normal for women to experience more migraine headaches however, there are many ways to deal with this ailment or prevent it from occurring.
If you are suffering from headaches caused by magnesium deficiency, try adding more of this macronutrient to your daily intake through your diet and supplements. When determining how much to take, keep in mind that your prenatal vitamin probably already contains some magnesium deduct this from your daily intake to ensure you arent taking too much. If you arent sure what the best magnesium supplement for migraines is during pregnancy, consult with your healthcare provider.
What Is The Best Magnesium Supplement To Take For Migraines?
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Low Vitamin Levels May Be Linked With Migraines In Kids
14 June 16
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.
Natural Supplements For Migraines Have Plenty Of Research Supporting Their Effectiveness Even Though They Are Rarely Advertised Or Recommended By Your Local Doctor
Have you tried a supplement, like magnesium for migraines? Do you wonder if it’s worth adding supplements for migraines to your prevention plan? If so, you’re not alone.
Lola from Paris, France, asked the Migraine Again editorial team this question:
“I’ve suffered from chronic migraines since I was 4 years old. I have seen neurologists and many other doctors who gave me drugs, but they did not relieve me. Now I try everything and nothing works. I’ve heard of a treatment called Migravent do you know it? Is it effective?”
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What They Are Used For
A dietary supplement is a product that contains ingredients to supplement your diet. The dietary ingredients in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes. People take supplements for a variety of reasons, but usually to boost their diet or to try and help with their health.
Many people with migraine try supplements to help their symptoms. There are many different supplements that claim to be helpful for migraine and headache. However, there is limited evidence about how effective these are. Only a few have some evidence to show potential benefit including riboflavin , magnesium and Co-enzyme Q10.
What Primary Care Practitioners Should Know About Nutraceuticals For Migraine
Certain supplements have been found to be helpful in migraine prevention. These nutraceuticals can play a role in an effective preventative strategy for migraine. Nada Hindiyeh, MD, Neurologist at Stanford Medicine, provides insight into the most commonly used nutraceuticals for migraine prevention, their benefits and recommended doses.
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Learn More About How Magnesium Can Work To Prevent Migraine Attacks And Who Can Benefit From It
The usual treatment plan for migraine includes lifestyle modifications, treatment of acute attacks and preventive treatments. The acute and preventive treatments for migraine include a wide range of prescription and non-prescription medications. However, there are some nutraceuticals that can be helpful. Nutraceuticals, like magnesium, can be a great part of your treatment plan.
Other Alternative Supplements For Migraines
Although evidence is inconclusive from mixed findings in most studies using these supplements, I want to provide a complete list and let you and your doctor decide what might be best for your individual situation.
Fish Oil High doses of 1000 mg purified is best. I use Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. I take 2 in the morning and 3 with dinner. I know it sounds a lot well it did to me at first but I am sleeping much better and feeling much clearer since investing in this supplement. Good fish oil is not cheap.
I’d recommend you start small to monitor the effects. Inositol or GABA might be more effective for helping you sleep.
Vitamin B Complex or Forte Injections every 2 14 days. Injected into your bum muscle and it hurts much less when you warm the vial up in your hands first. Its also good to massage the needle injection points between treatments so they do not form small lumps.
Vitamin B3 Niacin 500 mgs taken at the earliest warning symptom is recommended. Make sure its the niacinamide so you don’t experience too much hot flushing.
Quercetin 500 mgs taken regularly every day. This is a bioflavonoid that can help with vascular tone. This means that the veins in your neck and head can become stronger and less likely to become overly dilated with blood.
You only take this until you are replenished with bowel flora, it’s not a forever one to take! You can also check with your doctor for a good reliable safe and sufficient brand.
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How Are These Substances Used
There are two main approaches to treating migraine treatment of the migraine attack when it happens, and taking regular medications to prevent attacks. Neither of these work 100%, and most people with more severe migraine need to take a combination of the two for best results. All of the substances discussed in this article are used mainly for prevention. Some have been used to treat an acute attack, but this is not discussed further in this factsheet, as there are no research studies for that kind of use.
Finding Your Migraine’s 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.
“We’re looking for migraine drugs that don’t have the limitations or side effects of antiseizure or blood-pressure-lowering drugs,” Nissan tells WebMD. “CGRP doesn’t 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.”
Stephen Silberstein, MD, professor of neurology and director of the Thomas Jefferson University Headache Center in Philadelphia, has led pioneering studies into this “window of vulnerability” during a migraine headache.
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What Causes A Migraine
Unfortunately, a specific cause of migraines has yet to be discovered, but doctors speculate that they are the result of abnormal brain activity, which temporarily affects our nerve signals, blood vessels, and chemicals.
Another guess would be genetics, with certain people being more susceptible to possible migraine triggers. Triggers can be emotional , hormonal , physical , medicinal , sleeping aids, contraceptive pills), dietary , or environmental .
What Vitamins Are Good For Menstrual Migraines
In a nutshell, the answer to this question is all of them! If you are low in any of the vitamins, then it could be influencing your ability to develop migraines. Vitamins and minerals work together in the body and its rare that you will be low in only one of them. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies come in packs.
For example, if youre low in vitamin C, you are also most likely to be low in vitamin E and vitamin A. These three antioxidants work together in the body. Vitamin C protects vitamin E and A so they wont be used up in the body. Vitamin E and A do the same. Thus, if you raise one of them without raising the rest of them, you risk causing a deficiency of the others you dont take.
This is why its often best to either take a multivitamin multimineral to get all the dosages right. By just taking vitamin supplements one by one, its guesswork. Ultimately, the best way to know what you should be taking is to see a clinical nutritionist who can balance these for you via what is found in lab tests.
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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.
Vitamins For Migraines And Headaches
When you have a headache caused by vitamins, you may want to see a doctor and discontinue use. However, there are cases where people take vitamins for migraines and headaches.
Magnesium and coenzyme Q10 supplements are often recommended to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches as well as prevent migraines. Some herbal supplements, such as feverfew, have also been known to treat headaches.
Some people have chronic migraines while others may experience headaches as a result of nutrient deficiencies. Headaches and migraines are a reported sign of deficiencies in vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium and iron.
Taking vitamins for migraines and discontinuing use of vitamins to prevent headaches may put you at a standstill. To avoid headaches altogether, try to drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Consult with a medical professional about any vitamins you choose to take.
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Vitamin B2 And Butterbur
Riboflavin or B2 occurs in dairy products, grains and certain plants, and it may have an effect on your cells energy metabolism. As a water-soluble vitamin its eliminated through the urinary system fairly rapidly, so for treatment and prevention purposes doctors recommend taking two doses of 200 mg each per day. This helps maintain your levels of B2 for a longer period each day. A dosage of 75 mg a day of butterbur is reputed to have a similar effect to riboflavin, although patients claim it doesnt help as much as the B2.
Negative reactions: Side effects of riboflavin are usually minimal, although high doses can cause your urine to develop an orange color. Patients suffering from hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver or biliary obstruction may need to take a higher dosage more often to get the same absorption results.
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Riboflavin For Migraine Prevention
Vitamin B2 – My neurologist told me this is one of the best vitamins you can take for migraine preventionand has been scientifically proven that it works. There’s even a study on it preventing migraine for children. Like magnesium, people with chronic migraine may be B2 deficient. Whats really interesting to me is B2 deficiency has side effects of digestive problems. I had struggled with digestive problems before my migraine attacks began, which I attributed to stress, but any issues I had have since cleared after starting the supplements and diet.
Studies have shown that Riboflavin can cut the number of headache days, as well as reduce the length and severity of migraine. Its also relatively low cost and has minimal risk of side effects, although it does interact with certain medications .
The only downside is its tough to find a capsule without gelatin in it, and some of the foods its found in can be migraine triggers like soy, almonds, and yogurt! 400mg a day is recommended for migraine patients based on studies. The below brands are gelatin free and are not a part of a “b complex”.
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