Can Magnesium Really Ease Migraines?
Light is piercing. A whisper feels like a scream. You see halos and auras. Every smell nauseates you. If you move too quickly, you’re certain your head will explode. You just need to lay still in a pitch black, cool silent room.
But, alas, time waits for no man, woman or migraine. Life goes on and you’re swept painfully along with it. Whether you experience migraines several times a month or once in a lifetime, it’s too many.
Migraines can take you out of the life and work you want to do. And although there are more than 20 medications prescribed for migraines, you’re hesitant to embrace pharmaceuticals, especially because of the side effects that may be associated with them. Side effects for some of the more commonly prescribed migraine medications include:
- Drowsiness / Sleepiness / Fatigue
- Difficulty Thinking / Concentrating / Focusing
Surely nature has provided a remedy? Right?
Natural Migraine Therapy
Of course, nature has some solutions to offer! Keep in mind, your migraines and body makeup are unique. What works for some may not work for all. And before you begin a new supplement or course of treatment, you should discuss it, along with you other medications, supplements and health conditions with your health care provide to ensure safety and overall well-being.
That being said, there are numerous easy and natural therapies for migraines. Let’s take a closer look at magnesium.
Magnesium and Migraines
Magnesium is an essential nutrient. This means the body cannot produce it, so it must be consumed, either via food or supplements. Magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, so when I say “essential,” I mean it! And unfortunately, most people do not consume enough magnesium in their diet. Most multivitamins also fall short of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium (400 mg for men, 310 mg for women).
While consuming too little magnesium may be par for the course, it’s normal to not show outward signs of a magnesium deficiency. (The body is quite adept at regulating and drawing from stored magnesium resources in order to operate functionally – if not optimally.)
Numerous studies have shown magnesium deficiencies among migraine sufferers. Here’s the really encouraging news though: magnesium helps.
Prevention of Migraines
Study results published in 2015 established a substantial reduction in the occurrence and severity of migraines among chronic sufferers. A group of 130 participants was divided into two groups in a double-blind study. Half were given a proprietary supplement that included magnesium. The remainder were given placebos.
Over a three-month treatment period, those given magnesium reported a more substantial drop in the number of headache days per month (dropped by almost two days a month instead of the one-day drop experienced by placebo group). Additionally, this group saw a significant decline in the severity of the symptoms and the impact that migraines had on their daily lives.
Stopping the Migraine
When a person is in the clutches of a migraine, sometimes emergency intervention is necessary. A study conducted on 70 patients who went to the emergency room (ER) for medical treatment of a migraine tested the efficacy of a common drug used to halt migraines and compared it to using magnesium as the treatment option.
Half the participants were infused with the standard treatment (dexamethasone/metoclopramide, also referred to as DM) while the other half was given an infusion of magnesium sulfate (MS). The average of all sufferers had a baseline pain level of eight.
After the infusions, both groups were evaluated at 20 minutes, one hour and two hours. The results were astounding.
- 20 minutes: DM recipients averaged a pain level of 7.4; MS recipients averaged a 5.2
- 1 hour: DM averaged a 6; MS averaged a 2.3
- 2 hours: DM averaged a 2.5; MS averaged a 1.3
The magnesium dropped the pain faster and more significantly than the standard treatment.
Sources of Magnesium
As always, natural food sources of a nutrient are best. Good sources of magnesium include
- Dark chocolate
- Tea and coffee
- Leafy green vegetables
- Nuts and grains
- Lentils and black beans
- Certain fishes, including pollock, mackerel and tuna
If you need a little extra help in getting sufficient levels of magnesium into your diet to prevent or stop migraines, a magnesium supplement may help. Use subscribe and save to ensure you never run out of magnesium, while also receiving a discount!