magnesium for migraine

Magnesium for Migraines

Magnesium is an essential mineral, becoming more popular for the wide role it plays in the function of the human body. The various uses and benefits of this amazing mineral seem to grow continuously and while people are becoming familiar with its well-known benefits like cramp prevention, anxiety reduction and improved energy, few know it can also help prevent and treat migraines.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are the worst kind as anyone who suffers from them will tell you. What causes these migraine headaches is not entirely understood and the severity of a migraine from one individual to another varies considerably. There are many known triggers such as stress, alcohol, loud noise, bright lights and strong smells. With the intensity of migraines varing between people so does the trigger. For these reasons migraine headaches are notoriously difficult to prevent and treat.

There are two types of migraine, with aura and without aura. Migraines with aura have a set of side effects that accompany the headache such as blind spots, coloured spots, zigzag lines and even temporary blindness leading up to headache hitting. The most common form of migraine at 75%, is a migraine without aura and this has none of the symptoms and the headache simply kicks in.

Magnesium for Migraines

While finding ways to effectively treat migraines are constantly being researched, equal research is being undertaken into the prevention of and lessening the severity of the headaches. One such area of research has been into supplements, with studies showing that an increased intake of magnesium reduces or comes close to preventing migraines in over 40% of sufferers. People suffering from mirgraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium than those with adequate levels. Typical triggers of migraines are stress, poor sleep or mineral deficiency related which can all be signs of low levels of magnesium.

A general recommended daily dose of supplemental magnesium is between 200-400mg. When suffering from a potential magnesium defiency symtpom like a migraine, larger doses may be required. You can check out our magnesium dose calcuator and consider the higher end of your recommended dose when trying to prevent and treat mirgraines. Just note this calculator refers to daily magnesium intake, including food and supplements.

How Magnesium Works for Treating Migraines 

It is understood that magnesium in the brain may control some of the signaling, known as cortical spreading depression and prevent the symptoms of aura from occurring.  While research continues into this migraine prevention other types of migraine headache are also being found to benefit or be reduced through the use of magnesium. Menstrual related migraines are also reduced with a daily magnesium supplement.

In most cases, migraine prevention or reduction of severity can be aided with a magnesium supplement. It is a natural element essential for our health and regarded as an extremely safe treatment option for most people, espeically when compared to migraine medication which can come with a host of severe side effects.

When it comes to preventing migraines, one of the most simple things you can do is regularly get plenty magnesium in your daily diet. Most people will need to add some magnesium rich foods into their diet to get the majority of their magnesium, and may require an additional supplement if suffering from migraines or live a lifestyle with high magnesium requirements.. Consider tracking your food for a few days on any popular tracking app and see if you’re getting adequate levels of magnesium and supplement accordingly using a quality magnesium supplement.

The research into the use of magnesium in the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches is becoming stronger, and because the supplement is relatively safe and affordable it is well worth considering as a first measure of treatment and prevention. However, as with all supplements, especially when dealing with headaches it is recommended that professional medical advice be sought.

Magnesium Information

For more everything you need to know about magnesium and magnesium supplements, check out our comprehensive information page here.

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Ron Goedeke

Author

Ron Goedeke MD, BSc Hons MBChB, FNZCAM

Dr Ron Goedeke, specialises in alternative and functional medicine. He is a foundation member of the New Zealand college of Appearance medicine and has been a member of the American Academy of Anti-aging medicine since 1999. With over 20 years of experience in the anti-aging field, Dr Ron Goedeke is recognized as one of New Zealand’s leaders in this new and growing field of medicine.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read on this website.

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