If you suffer from migraines, you will know that it is not the same as a tension, sinus or any other kind of headache. Migraines are extremely painful headaches that are often accompanied by various other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or visual disturbances. There is no cure for migraines as they can be triggered by many different factors, such as certain foods, drinks, light, noise, stress, too much or too little sleep, certain odors, changes in weather or barometric pressure or certain medications to name a few. However, recent research has shown a link between migraine sufferers and magnesium deficiency. As such, further studies have shown that taking magnesium can significantly prevent the onset of yet another migraine.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine headache is a throbbing headache, which usually begins at one side of your head and spreads to the other with the most intense pain concentrated around the temples. For some, the pain is only on one side of the head. Other symptoms may occur during or before the onset of a migraine headache. For example, you may feel dizzy, light-headed, vertigo, visual disturbances, numbness or tingling in parts of your body, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to noise, movement and light.
A migraine can be caused by a host of different triggers, which change the blood flow in the brain. At first the blood vessels constrict which reduces blood flow to the brain, causing visual disturbances, weakness, numbness, difficulty speaking or tingling in one area of your body. Next, the blood vessels dilate increasing the blood flow to the brain and causing your extreme headache.
Magnesium and Migraines
People who suffer from migraines often have lower levels of magnesium and have low levels of brain magnesium during a migraine attack. Several placebo-controlled studies show that magnesium can reduce the frequency of migraines in those who do have a magnesium deficiency, especially in women who have hormone related migraines. These studies show that it may take up to four months before the positive effects of taking the correct dosage of magnesium for your body become evident. The exact role that magnesium plays in migraine prevention isn’t yet known. However, it is known that a magnesium deficiency allows for unrestrained levels of serotonin. Serotonin increases vascular spasms, which decrease the flow of oxygen and blood to your brain- the first stage of your migraine. Therefore, the taking of magnesium aims to prevent this from occurring. There have also been studies that prove that magnesium can shorten the duration of a migraine, as well as lower the amount of medication needed for some migraine sufferers.
It is important to consult your doctor before taking a magnesium supplement as it can interact with other antibiotics, causing adverse side effects. A possible side effect of magnesium is diarrhea, however, simply adjusting your dosage or stopping taking the mineral will cure this side effect. There are many different magnesium supplements on the market, so it is important that you take a good quality one to experience its benefits of migraine prevention.