Over twice as many women as men suffer from headaches and migraines, due to the fluctuations of female reproductive hormones. The frequency of the problem varies from woman to woman, but those who experience migraines regularly may want to explore the option of regular medication to reduce them. Magnesium is one of the most successful and safest natural supplements for migraines - read on to find out more about how it works, and how you can consume it.
Why Is Magnesium Good for Headaches?
Studies have shown that those who have a lower quantity of magnesium in the body have a higher chance of experiencing a migraine. During a clinical trial supplements of magnesium were administered to participants, and it was found that migraine pain disappeared in 86.6% of cases. Additionally, symptoms relating to aura were 100% removed in all cases.
What Does Magnesium Do in the Body?
The precise mechanisms concerning how it works are continually being investigated, but scientists believe magnesium might have three particular effects in the brain:
Preventing blood vessels from narrowing - which is thought to be a cause of migraine.
Inhibiting the brain signals which cause the visual and sensory aspects of migraine.
Limiting the transmission of pain messages in the brain.
It is also known to be more effective in the treatment of migraines that correspond with the reproductive cycle and therefore hormones, but the reason for this is not yet entirely understood.
How Can I Consume Magnesium for Migraines?
For those who experience regular migraines, magnesium supplements can be a favorable option. These are easy to find in many health shops and supermarkets, and are usually not expensive.
Other good sources of magnesium include:
- Green, leafy vegetables
Does Magnesium Have Any Side Effects?
Magnesium is generally considered safe for consumption; however, like any medication it can have negative consequences if the recommended dosage is exceeded. Known side effects of magnesium are:
- Magnesium toxicity in rare cases
- Stomach cramps
Magnesium is processed by the kidneys and excess amounts are generally expelled via urine; however, sometimes the body cannot manage a high quantity of magnesium well, which can result in the above problems. The recommended intake of magnesium is 350mg per day in both women and men from the age of nine.
Many women are unaware of the valuable links between magnesium and migraines; however, if you are unfortunate enough to experience them on a regular basis, an increase of magnesium intake could prove significantly beneficial. It is advisable to gain advice from a health professional about your condition, but it might be that a daily magnesium supplement makes a big difference to the frequency and severity of your migraines.
Learn more about hormonal headaches or migraines.
- American Headache Society. (2013). Magnesium. Retrieved June 15, 2017, from https://americanheadachesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Magnesium.pdf
- The Migraine Trust. (n.d). Supplements and herbs. Retrieved June 15, 2017, from https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/treatments/supplements-and-herbs/
- Demirkaya, S. et al. (2001). Efficacy of intravenous magnesium sulfate in the treatment of acute migraine attacks. Headache, 41(2):171-7. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11251702
- National Institutes of Health. (2016). Magnesium. Retrieved June 15, 2017, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/