Magnesium for migraines
Magnesium is one of the essential minerals our body needs for its proper functioning. It can improve bone health, stabilize blood pressure, and help maintain healthy heart rhythm and nerve function. Symptoms of low magnesium in the body include fatigue, anorexia, nausea, muscle cramps, tingling, and muscle contractions. Is magnesium beneficial for migraines?
Low magnesium values are also associated with headaches and migraines. It is estimated that many people do not get enough magnesium with their diet. One study found that about 75 percent of Americans don’t get enough magnesium. Magnesium and especially magnesium oxide are sometimes used to treat and prevent migraines.
Types of magnesium
Sometimes there are multiple types of magnesium used to treat different conditions. Magnesium is not easily absorbed by the body without being bound to another substance. Therefore, supplements often contain magnesium along with other substances, such as amino acids.
The most common types of magnesium used in supplements
- Magnesium oxide, which contains high levels of magnesium and is generally used in the treatment of migraine.
- Magnesium sulfate, an inorganic form of magnesium, can only be absorbed into the body in a small number of supplements.
- Magnesium carbonate, which has slightly higher magnesium levels and is more likely to cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Magnesium chloride, which is easily absorbed in the body
- Magnesium citrate, which can be absorbed into the body in large quantities; it is often used to stimulate bowel movements.
Magnesium and migraine
Important research has shown that migraine patients often have low magnesium levels. One study found that regular intake of magnesium reduced the frequency of migraine attacks by 41.6 percent. Other research has shown that taking a daily magnesium supplement can be effective in preventing migraines associated with the menstrual period.
Magnesium oxide is the most commonly used form to prevent migraines. You can take it in the form of supplements with a generally recommended dose of about 400 to 500 milligrams per day. Magnesium can be administered intravenously in the form of magnesium sulfate. Since magnesium is a natural element and necessary for our health, it can be a safe migraine treatment. This is especially true when compared to migraine medications with more serious side effects.
Side effects of magnesium
Magnesium is generally considered safe for most people, but taking it can cause some side effects. The most common side effects are abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you experience these, you can try reducing your dosage. Another common side effect of magnesium is that it lowers blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, talk to your doctor before taking magnesium regularly. Taking too much magnesium can cause dangerous accumulation and cause serious side effects such as:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Unsafe low blood pressure
- Slow breathing
Therefore, you should talk to your doctor before you start using magnesium to ask you the most appropriate dose.
Foods containing magnesium
For those who do not want to take supplements, there are also natural methods. Some foods naturally contain magnesium. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and chard are some of the best foods you can eat. One glass contains 38 to 40 percent of the recommended daily magnesium value.
Other foods containing magnesium are:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Fish such as mackerel, tuna
- Low-fat yogurt or kefir
- Black beans and lentils
- Dark chocolate
While supplements provide strong support, it’s best to focus on getting magnesium from your diet, including foods rich in magnesium.
Some people should not take magnesium, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions. These:
- Bleeding disorders as it will slow down blood clotting.
- Diabetes, poorly controlled diabetes can affect the way magnesium is stored in the body.
- Heart palpitations.
- Kidney problems, including kidney failure.
- If you have digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or stomach infection, consult your doctor before taking magnesium.
These conditions can affect how much magnesium the body absorbs. Magnesium can also interact with other medications, including:
- Diuretics or throwing drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- Heart medications
If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before taking magnesium. For pregnant women, taking 350 to 400 milligrams of magnesium oxide in pill form every day is generally considered safe. It is not safe to take magnesium sulfate intravenously, as it is associated with bone thinning in the fetus. When taken in safe dosages, magnesium can effectively prevent migraines for many people. Since magnesium usually has fewer side effects than prescription migraine medication, it may be a more suitable option.
If you experience migraines for the first time, or if your pain increases in severity or frequency, ask your doctor for help. Your doctor can help you determine how much magnesium you should take and which treatment options to consider.