Migraine relief found with 3 valuable nutrients
(NaturalHealth365) Migraine headaches affect about 12 percent of the United States population, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. As any migraine sufferer knows, these uniquely painful headaches can be debilitating – and can last up to three days. Fortunately, a trio of safe (and effective) nutrients can provide migraine relief.
Keep in mind, this is not about alleviating pain once a migraine has set in … it’s better news. You’re about to discover a natural way to avoid getting migraines in the first place.
Editor’s note: If you are experiencing migraine pain (right now) – check out this article published on NaturalHealth365.
First step toward migraine relief: Understanding the characteristics of a migraine
Migraines can feature severe pain – often described as “throbbing,” “crushing” and “piercing” – on one or both sides of the head. Pain can be accompanied by unusual visual disturbances, known as an “aura,” in which patients see flares of light, stars, or bright zigzagging lines across the field of vision.
In addition, blurry vision and blind spots can occur. Plus, other migraine symptoms can include: nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, tingling in feet and hands and pronounced sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraines are more common in women, and in people between the ages of 30 and 39. They also tend to run in families. The jury is still out on the exact cause of migraines, but many researchers say imbalances in serotonin – the “feel-good” neurotransmitter – play a significant role in many cases.
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Factors that can trigger migraines include stress, sleep disturbances, and specific foods and beverages – particularly drinks containing caffeine, red wine, aged meats and cheese, and chocolate. Sun glare, bright lights and even heavy perfumes or odors may also bring on a migraine.
Now, for the ‘better news:’ Reduce migraine frequency with riboflavin
Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B-2, is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin essential for proper functioning of the digestive tract, skin and blood cells. Interest in riboflavin as a migraine preventive centers around the fact that some researchers have theorized that a deficit of mitochondrial energy can trigger migraines – and riboflavin plays a major role in converting food to energy.
Riboflavin also may help improve cognitive mood and function and relieve depression.
Riboflavin’s reputation for helping prevent migraines received a boost with recent research. In a randomized controlled trial published in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology, patients were divided into two groups, with one group receiving 400 mg a day of riboflavin for three months, and one receiving placebo.
15 percent of the placebo group experienced a “response” – defined by researchers as migraine frequency being reduced by 50 percent. However, an impressive 59 percent of the riboflavin group saw their migraine frequency cut in half – meaning that response to riboflavin represented a fourfold improvement over placebo.
The researchers noted that riboflavin featured excellent tolerability, and offered high efficacy at low cost. However, it may be necessary to take the vitamin consistently for three months in order for improvement to occur.
You can increase your dietary intake of riboflavin – and possibly ward off migraines – with organic green leafy vegetables, broccoli and whole grains.
Riboflavin is also available as a supplement – but experts say that dosages as high as those used in the study should be prescribed by a physician. Talk to your integrative healthcare provider to see if riboflavin supplementation can work for you.
Another winner: Ward off migraines with magnesium
Studies have shown that up to 75 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough of the essential mineral magnesium, so it’s not surprising that many migraine sufferers have low levels. As magnesium shortfalls can bring about changes – such as cerebral arterial vasopasm – that can trigger migraines, researchers wondered if magnesium supplementation could be helpful for prevention.
In a study conducted by researchers at the Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology at the Munich-Harlaching Clinic in Munich, Germany, 81 adult migraine patients who suffered from an average of 3.6 migraines a month were divided randomly into two groups. One group was given 600 mg of magnesium daily for 12 weeks, while the other was given placebo.
In weeks 9 through 12, the attack frequency decreased by 41.6 percent in the magnesium group – and by only 15.8 percent in the placebo group. The use of migraine medications also decreased in the magnesium group.
The only adverse effects reported were mild diarrhea and gastric irritation. The researchers concluded that “magnesium appears to be effective in migraine prevention.” As with riboflavin, however, it can take up to three months for magnesium to reduce migraine frequency.
Magnesium oxide is the supplementary form most used for migraine prevention. Natural health experts usually recommend dosages of 400 to 500 mg a day. You can also ramp up your magnesium intake with organic green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds and black beans.
Last, but not least: Eliminate the threat of migraines with CoQ10
Coenzyme Q10, a vitamin-like substance that helps convert food into energy, also appears to have the power to reduce migraine frequency. In one study, patients who had migraines two to eight times a month were given either placebo or 100 mg of CoQ10 three times a day.
Researchers found that 47.6 percent of those who took CoQ10 had a 50 percent reduction in their migraine frequency, while only 14.4 percent of the placebo group experienced that level of improvement.
You can increase your dietary intake of CoQ10 by eating oily fish such as wild-caught salmon, organic whole grains, dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
So, hopefully, these natural options provide a positive change in your life. Migraines happen for a variety of reasons. Bottom line: eliminating toxicity in your life; reducing stress – whenever possible and fortifying your life with high quality nutrition is an intelligent approach to feeling better.
Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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