What is the connection between magnesium and migraine headaches? There are many theories as to how magnesium might be involved in migraine headaches. It seems that magnesium can bind to certain receptor sites in the brain. This is a well-known fact. These receptor sites are usually excitatory in nature, and magnesium binding seems to calm them.
Magnesium deficiency in the brain can cause everything from apathy and psychosis in psychiatric disorders to seizures. Magnesium deficiency can lead to migraines in up to 85%. The blood levels of magnesium are not the same as those in the brain’s fluid. Don’t be surprised if your doctor tries to push you away.
How did you become magnesium deficient in the first place? Although we don’t know the exact reason why migraineurs are more magnesium deficient than the rest of us, there are some things that could be to blame. Inadequate magnesium intake is the most common reason. This can be easily fixed by eating a healthy diet, and taking a multivitamin. Low magnesium can also be caused by other conditions, such as diabetes or alcoholism. Both of these conditions cause more magnesium to be excreted through the kidneys.
Many people are confused about which magnesium type to take for migraines. Some forms of magnesium are not well tolerated, and can cause stomach issues. Magnesium citrate is the most well-tolerated form at the moment. This magnesium citrate seems to reduce the common side effect of diarrhea, which is about 10% of the time.
Experts agree that the daily intake of magnesium should not exceed 400mg for migraineurs. Studies done in the late 1980’s showed a significant reduction of headaches at this level. Recent research has shown that migraine frequency and pain can be reduced by taking 800mg of magnesium per day. Magnesium seems to be effective for migraine and barometric pressure headache. One study found that women suffering from migraines during menstruation have lower magnesium levels. It’s no wonder that headaches are so severe.
Remember to give magnesium at least 90 days before you feel the full benefits. It takes the brain so long to make changes. Supplements of magnesium can also be helpful, and these are found in whole grains, green vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Supplements of magnesium should not be taken for prolonged periods without consuming calcium. Magnesium can pull calcium from the bones over time, so it is important to balance your intake with calcium.