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What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Migraines

What Is Vitamin D

Migraine Root Causes – Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in two forms:

  • Cholecalciferol : It is made by the body after exposure to ultraviolet light and is present in certain foods such as tuna and salmon.
  • Ergocalciferol : This form can be derived from the fungal sterol “ergosterol” and is found naturally in foods such as sun-dried shiitake mushrooms.

Both forms of vitamin D are used in the fortification of foods and in vitamin D supplements.

The Vitamin Deficiency That Can Cause Migraines

Migraines strike approximately 38 million men, women and children each year in the U.S.1 and 1 billion people worldwide.2 Nearly 25 percent of households in the U.S. have at least one person who suffers from migraine headaches.

However, while migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world,3researchers are still discovering how and why they occur. The majority of people suffering from migraines are between 35 and 55.4

As these are some of your most productive work years, migraines may have a significant financial impact on your family, employer and your community. The World Health Organization ranks migraines as the 19th most common reason for disability worldwide.5

Migraines are responsible for at least $20 billion each year in medical costs and lost work productivity.6 Lost productivity time increases more rapidly in those who suffer from chronic migraines rather than episodic migraines.7

How To Avoid ‘diet Headaches’

Getting a headache during weight loss is not uncommon. You’ll need to cut calories if you want to lose weight, but low-calorie diets can lead to headaches, fatigue and sleep problems, among other issues. So-called diet headaches or low-calorie headaches can be caused, yes, by not eating enough and by not eating enough of the right foods.

To avoid headaches when you’re on a low-calorie diet, you want to make sure you’re staying mindful of all of your body’s needs.

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Low Vitamin Levels May Be Linked With Migraines In Kids

14 June 2016

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.

How To Treat Migraines Caused By A Vitamin Deficiency

These Vitamin Deficiencies Could Explain Your Migraines ...

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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A Magnesium Deficiency Can Contribute To Headaches

Magnesium helps the body regulate nerve and muscle function, maintain blood sugar levels, and regulate blood pressure. Dr. Sara Crystal, MD, Neurologist and Headache Specialist, andCove medical advisor, told INSIDER there is good evidence that magnesium deficiency can contribute to migraines. That’s why she said many people find magnesium supplements helpful in treating these symptoms.

Since magnesium is considered a natural “relaxer” of the muscle and nervous system, Morrison said it’s not surprising that a lack of this mineral causes muscle tension, cramps, insomnia and widespread pain, including headaches. Good food sources include legumes, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fortified foods like breakfast cereal, milk, and yogurt.

Food Sources Of B Vitamins + Folic Acid

Folic Acid: Fruits, whole grains, veggies, beans, and fortified and whole grain products are excellent sources of folic acid and can help retain the recommended levels of this vitamin in the body

Vitamin B6: Vegetables, fruits, beans, poultry, and fish are good sources of vitamin B6. It is primarily found in dark leafy greens, oranges, papayas, and even cantaloupes.

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal products . People who follow a plant-based diet are often found to be deficient in this vitamin. Hence, such people need to increase their consumption of cereals, soy, and rice milk, which are rich in vitamin B12.

Vitamin B2: A lot of foods contain vitamin B2. Some foods rich in it are milk, yogurt, spinach, almonds, tomatoes, and beef.

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Magnesium Deficiencies And Headaches

Magnesium is a mineral that’s found both in the body and many foods. It’s also available as a dietary supplement and is sometimes added to certain food products, according to the National Institutes of Health .

The body needs magnesium to produce energy as well as carry out several other important functions. The Recommended Dietary Allowance of magnesium for adults ranges from 360 to 420 milligrams.

For reference, an ounce of chia seeds contains 111 milligrams of magnesium, per the NIH.

Headaches can be a symptom of magnesium deficiency, according to the NIH. In fact, people who experience migraine headaches have lower levels of blood and tissue magnesium than those who don’t get migraines.

Even so, research on the use of magnesium supplements to prevent or reduce symptoms of migraine headaches is limited.

The American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society concludes that magnesium therapy is “probably effective” for preventing migraines, but the treatment should only be used under the guidance of a health care provider, per the NIH, since it’s important not to take in an excess of the mineral.

You can boost your magnesium by eating foods rich in the mineral.

Foods High in Magnesium

  • Yogurt

Could Vitamin D Cure Migraines

Micronutrient Testing For Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies That Cause Migraines

    When you’re in the midst of a migraine, the bright light of the sun can be excruciating. But hiding from its rays on a regular basis may contribute to these headaches’ development. Low levels of vitamin Dwhich your body produces when exposed to sunlighthave been implicated in migraines and other types of headaches.

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    Can Vitamin Deficiencies Cause Headaches The Answer Is Yes

    Vitamins are natural compounds the body needs to function. Humans mostly get vitamins from the food they eat. Some may be synthesized in other ways through sun exposure or other natural processes, for example.

    Even if you take multivitamins every day, its still important to make sure that you are getting all the vitamins you need. Do you have new headaches? Are the headaches you commonly have getting worse? Vitamin deficiency could be why.

    Three main deficiencies contribute to headaches:

    Nutrient Deficiencies That Could Be Causing Your Headaches

    Oh, my head is pounding.

    We have all muddled through days when a headache gets in the way of what may have been planned. Before you grab that over-the-counter remedy to silence the drum banging in your head, experts say there could be several deficiencies that are contributing to your headache.


    Water, water everywhere, but yet if we fail to drink enough it can spark a headache. According to the National Headache Foundation, even mild dehydration can cause a dehydration headache or even a migraine. Since its often not clear what is causing a headache, drinking a full glass of water and continuing to sip more fluids during the day is a simple way to ease the pain.

    Magnesium Deficiency

    Neurologist Dr. Joshua Daniel of Shore Physicians Group said many migraine headache sufferers are found to be deficient in magnesium when they have blood work done. He instructs patients to take magnesium not only to prevent the onset of future migraines because it stops the transmission of pain but also because there are no side effects. Magnesium is affordable and available over the counter, according to the physician.

    Dr. Daniel said he includes magnesium with the IV fusion therapy to treat migraines that has proven to be very helpful with patients. He added that it is safe and has no contraindications for patients.

    Fight Deficiency with Diet

    Vitamin D Deficiency

    Vitamin B2 Deficiency

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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 And Your Body

    This Vitamin Deficiency Causes Migraines and Headaches ...

    At one time, low vitamin D levels were thought to cause only the bone-weakening disease . Now, increasing evidence suggests low levels affect almost every system of the body, including the brain.

    Though research to prove that low vitamin D causes is ongoing, several recent studies shed some light on the link. A report presented at a meeting of the American Headache Society found that 40% of people with migraines had low vitamin D levels. Those with deficiencies also developed migraines earlier in life.

    Another study, in the Journal of Pain, shows migraines are more common at higher latitudes. This fact, and the pattern of migraine by season, suggests that the headaches strike where sun exposure is decreased and vitamin D levels reduced. Population studies report that about 42% of US adults have abnormally low levels of Vitamin D.

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    Review Assesses Role Of Vitamin D In Migraine Mechanism Treatment

    Eighteen out of 30 studies included in a recent literature review, published in Nutrients, showed a link between serum vitamin D levels and headaches, with the strongest connection established between serum vitamin D and migraine.

    Eighteen out of 30 studies included in a recent literature review, published in Nutrients, showed a link between serum vitamin D levels and headaches, with the strongest connection established between serum vitamin D and migraine.

    The review, which collected all articles concerning the relationship between primary headache and vitamin D up to October 2019, included entries from databases such as EMBASE, MEDLINE, PubMed, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane library.

    Although researchers did not find enough evidence to recommend vitamin D supplementation to every patient with a headache, the current literature indicates that may be beneficial in some patients suffering headaches, mainly migraineurs, to reduce the frequency of headaches, especially in those with vitamin D deficiency, authors said.

    Migraines can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours and may include symptoms like nausea, phonophobia, photophobia, and transient neurological symptoms. In 2016 it was estimated that almost 3 billion people had a headache disorder, and 1.04 billion suffered from migraine.

    Vitamin D can control up to 200 genes connected with many health areas, and can increase intestinal absorption of magnesium when activated.


    B Vitamins Including B6 And B12

    If you suffer from frequent headaches, an amino acid called homocysteine could be partially to blame. This compound is produced naturally within the body. High levels of it can cause many problems one of the most common of which is headaches.

    Vitamin B can reduce homocysteine levels and stave off associated headaches.

    Vitamins in the B family come from a wide range of protein-rich foods, especially meats. They can be found in beef, chicken, fish, pork;and eggs. For those who wish to avoid meat, soybeans can be a suitable substitute.

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    How Does It Work

    Deficiencies of folic acid and Vitamin B12 can cause pernicious anemia. If this condition becomes severe enough, it can trigger migraines, in addition to fatigue, memory loss and irritability.;Certain gene mutations are believed to lead to higher levels of homocysteine production, which can make the body more susceptible to migraine attacks. Researchers have found that Vitamins B6 and B12 work by reducing homocysteine levels.

    Simply put, if youre suffering from migraines, do your best to avoid triggers, and make sure you are getting plenty of these important nutrients in your diet to help prevent migraine attacks:

    • Vitamin B12

    Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Migraines

    Migraines and Vitamin-D Deficiency

    It seems like such a simple answer, but its what researchers suggested when they presented their data to the 58th Annual Scientific of the American Headache Society. They have proposed that vitamin supplements might be the secret to preventing and treating;migraines.

    To support their theory, researchers drew from nutrient measurements taken from the blood of young adults, teens, and children seeking treatment for headaches. Researchers looked at four key nutrients: vitamin D, riboflavin , folate , and CoQ10, an antioxidant that is vital to cell function.

    Researchers found that;nutrient deficiencies were common for those with migraines. They discovered that all four vitamins showed deficiencies. More than two-thirds of those tested showed low vitamin D. About 15% of teens had riboflavin levels below the recommended, and 40% were at levels where doctors recommend supplementation. Nearly two-thirds tested low for folate, and 30% tested below the lower reference limit for CoQ10.

    Although these may seem like promising connections, there are many reasons why we wouldnt want to take this research too seriously yet.

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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.

    Nerve Shock In The Side Of The Body

    This can be felt coming on a few seconds before it hits, and then may hit almost like a mild but deep electric shock before it quickly subsides.

    It adds: It can occur at the side of either hip or on either side of the upper body, along the ribs.

    Worse yet, it can occur consecutively in at least two or three locations, one right after the other.

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    The Link Between Vitamin D And Migraines

    Many young adults, teens and children who get frequent migraines were more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10, than people who dont get migraines, found a recent study. A vitamin D deficiency showed up in 70% of the patients, while 30% had coenzyme Q10 levels at the low range and 15% had riboflavin levels below normal. The boys and men in the study were more likely to have vitamin D deficiencies, while the girls and young women were more likely to be low in coenzyme Q10.

    Though the results are intriguing and offer hope to people who experience serious migraines, its too early to say if taking a vitamin supplement is all you need to do to prevent migraines. The patients in this study who had vitamin deficiencies took a daily vitamin, but they were also taking prescription migraine medications at the same time, so it was not possible for researchers to test if vitamin supplementation on its own would be effective.

    Give Your Body Time To Adjust

    Are You Suffering From Migraines And Headaches? It Might ...

    While intermittent fasting is trending in the diet world, it doesn’t necessarily work better than conventional dieting, according to Harvard Health Publishing. If you tend to develop diet headaches, try to ease your way into the diet to allow your body to adjust rather than going cold turkey immediately.

    Keep a food journal, and see what might trigger headaches or what seems to help prevent them. Cutting out sugar and caffeine in a diet may also contribute to headaches, so be prepared to wean yourself off certain foods slowly to allow your body to adjust.

    Also, be aware of some of the other factors that could be contributing to headaches on your low-calorie diet. Not drinking enough water and dehydration can cause headaches, as can stress, muscle tension, weather changes and sinus problems, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

    In addition to eating several small meals throughout the day with snacks, getting plenty of protein and keeping an eye on your hypoglycemia, you may also want to reduce stress and drink plenty of water, as well as try massages or acupuncture when you’re experiencing headaches.

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