Magnesium and Headaches
Magnesium is a micronutrient that allows your body to function at optimal levels. And if the body doesn’t have enough magnesium, it can cause problems. But, can low magnesium cause headaches? And, more importantly, does magnesium help migraines?
The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, but research suggests a link between magnesium and migraines, or, more specifically, magnesium deficiency, which can also cause muscle contractions, nausea, numbness, a loss of appetite and fatigue.
Studies show that magnesium deficiency headaches may be due to difficulty with neurotransmitter release and vasoconstriction. It’s also possible that people suffering from migraines may have lower serum levels than those who don’t have recurring, painful headaches.
So, does magnesium help with migraines? In that same study, research proved there was a modest reduction in migraines in patients who were given up to 600 mg of magnesium per day. The review stated that the best way to get the recommended magnesium dosage was with 300 mg twice daily.
Another study revealed that magnesium could reduce the frequency of migraines by over 41 percent.
Magnesium and Menstrual Migraines
Menstrual migraines typically occur around the beginning of your cycle. Many patients find the throbbing, intense pain, nausea, and other troublesome conditions associated with menstrual migraines challenging to correct, which is why it’s ideal to prevent the migraines before they begin.
Plenty of research links the onset of these migraines to magnesium deficiency, which is why it’s helpful to start taking magnesium by the 15th day of your menstrual cycle. One study indicates that 360 mg of magnesium a day starting on the 15th day reduced the number of days with a headache.
If you are taking a magnesium supplement for migraine prevention, you might also experience other benefits. The Nutritional Magnesium Association states that magnesium supplements can reduce other PMS symptoms, such as mood swings, depression, irritability, anxiety, breast tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, poor sleep quality, and sugar cravings.
Researchers conclude that magnesium has an effect on estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. When hormones are stabilized, serotonin is increased and patients’ moods are improved; so taking a magnesium supplement to prevent migraines can promote overall well-being.
Magnesium and Headaches During Pregnancy
Migraines are quite common for women to experience at some point during their pregnancy. The most difficult part of handling this pain is that many of the typically-recommended medications are not safe for pregnant women; you won’t be able to take ibuprofen or typical prescription drugs while you are pregnant. Even the European Headache Federation School of Advanced Studies cites that many medications can cause harm to the unborn baby.
This raises the question of, can magnesium help headaches during pregnancy? It’s a natural substance and, as long as it’s taken properly, is completely safe for women to take while they’re pregnant.
Because of hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, it’s normal for women to experience more migraine headaches; however, there are many ways to deal with this ailment or prevent it from occurring.
If you are suffering from headaches caused by magnesium deficiency, try adding more of this macronutrient to your daily intake through your diet and supplements. When determining how much to take, keep in mind that your prenatal vitamin probably already contains some magnesium; deduct this from your daily intake to ensure you aren’t taking too much. If you aren’t sure what the best magnesium supplement for migraines is during pregnancy, consult with your healthcare provider.
What Is The Best Magnesium Supplement To Take For Migraines?
Is magnesium good for headaches? It can be, but it matters what kind you take. There are several types of magnesium for migraines to choose from.
When determining the best magnesium supplement for migraines, consider the most popular types:
Absorption: many pills and powders are poorly absorbed. Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, recommends a liquid form of magnesium chloride may offer the best absorption.
Versatility: Liquid magnesium offers versatility not captured with a pill or a powder. Not only can you adjust the dose easily, but liquid magnesium products can be used orally, topically and in a foot soak.
Backed by Research: Not all dietary supplement companies are the same. Look for a product line that is backed by research and clinical evidence.
Quality: Look for a magnesium brand that is properly manufactured. Your dietary supplement company should have professional staff dedicated to the adherence of all quality standards of the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices which stipulate that manufacturers must evaluate the identity, purity, quality, strength, and composition of their dietary ingredients and dietary supplements to help guarantee that our products are safe and accurately labeled
Customer Service: Buying a magnesium supplement is just the beginning of establishing a daily intake routine. Be sure to select a magnesium backed by powerful education and sound customer service practices to support you on your journey to health.
How Much Magnesium Should I Take for Migraine Prevention?
While studies have tested a wide range of magnesium dosages to find out whether or not it helps prevent migraines, there is no definitive recommended amount. The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs), according to the NIH, for daily magnesium intake is between 350 and 400 mg for most adults.
And, while some studies report results at daily dosage of up to 600 mg, taking more than the recommended dose can result in more of a laxative effect than you desire.
To avoid any side effects from occurring, be sure to consult your doctor before taking magnesium supplements as part of a regimen to prevent migraines.
Side Effects And Risks
Some people find that the magnesium supplement for headaches can cause a laxative effect, especially if the magnesium isn’t properly absorbed by the body. When you take a liquid magnesium supplement, you can enjoy a better absorption rate, thereby lowering any adverse gastrointestinal side effects.
There’s also the option to choose a topical magnesium cream, but it’s important to first test it on a small area first to ensure there is no skin irritation.
What Are The Side Effects of Too Much Magnesium?
Like with any dietary supplement, one of the most important questions about magnesium is what happens when too much is taken. While the element is generally well-tolerated by most healthy adults, there are some possible magnesium supplement side effects which are often related to its laxative effects. Fortunately, ReMag Magnesium Solution was formulated and has been proven to bypass the laxative effect.
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean - there are several contraindications to magnesium supplementation -
- Kidney failure. With kidney failure, there is an inability to clear magnesium from the kidneys.
- Myasthenia gravis. The intravenous administration could accentuate muscle relaxation and collapse the respiratory muscles.
- Excessively slow heart rate. Slow heart rates can be made even slower, as magnesium relaxes the heart. Slow heart rates often require an artificial pacemaker.
- Bowel obstruction. The main route of elimination of oral magnesium is through the bowel.
While most of these conditions are unlikely, it’s always wise to speak with a healthcare practitioner before taking any supplements, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking other medications.