When you have an excruciating headache accompanied by nausea and extreme sensitivity to light and sounds, it’s not just any headache–it’s probably a migraine. Over 1 in 11 Americans get migraines. They tend to affect people between the ages of 15 and 55, and more women than men.
Although medical professionals don’t know why certain people get migraines, there are some things they do know. When a migraine occurs, the blood vessels constrict, decreasing the amount of blood flow to the brain, which can cause the visual issues. Later, the blood vessels enlarge, causing the severe headache.
Certain factors can trigger migraines, including:
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Certain foods, such as chocolate, peanut butter, onions, dairy products, and meats containing nitrates (hot dogs, salami, and so on)
- Skipping meals
- Changes in hormones
- Not enough sleep
Migraines also tend to be genetic. If you’re prone to migraines, ask family members if they’ve ever experienced severe headaches to see if genetic factors play a role in your headaches. Then then try to reduce the triggers mentioned above.
You may also notice warnings signs of an oncoming migraine, such as a visual aura. An aura may show up in a number of ways including blind spots, bright flash or spots, zig zags or a crackled appearance in your field of view.
Some people also have a prodromal phase that precedes a migraine. For a day or two before the onset of a migraine, they may feel extremely thirsty, tired or depressed. They also may crave sweet treats, experience bursts of energy or feel very happy.
Tips for reducing migraines
Unfortunately, a cure for migraines doesn’t exist yet, but there are tips you can use to help reduce their frequency and severity. First are lifestyle changes that may help both your migraines and improve your overall health. These include:
- Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes
- Getting enough sleep
- Increasing daily exercise
- Reducing stress and employing relaxation techniques
- Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables while reducing the amount of processed and fast food
Natural relief – magnesium for migraines
Natural supplements may also help reduce the frequency of migraines. Of these, magnesium citrate is one that is both readily available and affordable.
Magnesium is needed to help grow and maintain healthy bones. It also helps your nerves, muscles, and other parts of your body function properly. Additionally, by helping your muscles relax, magnesium citrate may play a role in minimizing the severity of migraines.
Magnesium is found naturally in certain foods, such as kiwis, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, raisins, and sweet potatoes. However, if you don’t eat many of these foods, it’s possible that you could be magnesium deficient. A magnesium deficiency could contribute to migraine issues.
The recommended daily amount of magnesium that we need is about 300 mg a day, but many of us barely make it to 200 mg. Taking magnesium supplements could help alleviate this situation.
In one study the frequency of migraines were reduced by 41.6% by those participants who took magnesium (600 mg), as compared to 15.8% in those who took the placebo.
Your magnesium levels also affect your ability to get restful sleep, excess fatigue, lack of appetite, noise sensitivity – all mitigating factors in migraine prophylaxis (migraine prevention) and management.
Therefore, for magnesium to work optimally, you should ensure that you get adequate calcium as well. The recommended starting dose for magnesium supplements is 400-500 mg/day, divided by dose. We recommend the professional grade of magnesium citrate offered here. One note: A common side effect of adding extra magnesium to your diet is increased bowel movements. For some people this may improve regularity, for others this might be problematic. As with all supplements it’s recommended to consult a medical professional before starting any new health regimen.
Prescribed medications also exist that can help prevent the onset of migraines and reduce their severity when they occur. Consult your doctor to determine the risks and benefits of prescription medications.
Recognizing the signs of an impending migraine, adopting a healthier lifestyle, and incorporating natural supplements such as magnesium citrate are safe, holistic treatments that can lead to major migraine relief.
Consider giving our magnesium for migraines tip a try… because feeling great is the best medicine of all!