Migraines and headaches can be quite painful. Can magnesium supplementation ease some of the pain associated with headaches?
Did you know that magnesium, a necessary vitamin involved in more than 300 bodily functions, can also be used to treat headaches? Magnesium can help treat tension headaches and migraines since it helps muscles relax. These conditions can also get worse if your body doesn’t have enough magnesium.
Magnesium plays a role in our body’s stress response system; thus, having less magnesium in our bones (where it is stored after entering the body) can make us less able to handle stress, which can lead to headaches.
Read on to learn more about magnesium and how it might help to control headaches.
How Do Headaches Occur?
It is important to see your doctor if you frequently get headaches or chronic head pain because headaches can be a sign of several underlying medical disorders.
There are multiple different headache varieties, each with a different underlying cause:
- Tension headaches
- Recurring headaches
- Hormone headaches, such as those associated with birth control pills or HRT
- Headaches from painkillers caused by withdrawal after using too much
- Alcohol-related hangovers
- Head injury-related headaches
- Viral illnesses, such as the flu and colds
- Sleep apnea
According to a review published in International Scholarly Research Notices, headaches are the fourteenth most common condition for Americans visiting their primary care physician. Most people say they won’t contact the doctor for a headache, and about 1.5% of visits to a general practitioner are for headaches. According to another article in the Headache Journal, 4% of people get chronic daily headaches.
What Does Magnesium Have to Do With Headaches?
Headaches are one of the indications of magnesium insufficiency, according to Roxana Ehsani, a registered dietitian nutritionist and national media representative for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
According to her, most people don’t get enough magnesium each day, and some may be more vulnerable to magnesium losses than others. For instance, athletes sweat off more minerals than just salt. They may have lower magnesium levels than others, and they also lose some magnesium.
According to studies, low magnesium levels have been linked to an increased risk of migraines; therefore, taking a magnesium supplement may help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. You might also try increasing the amount of magnesium-rich foods in your diet, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds like almonds and pumpkin seeds, as well as dark chocolate, whole grains, and dark leafy greens.
According to an analysis published in the Nutrients journal in 2020, tension headaches and migraines—which account for 90% of headache cases treated in general practices—can be caused by a lack of magnesium. According to the analysis, magnesium supplements may provide a pain-relieving alternative for vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly, who may struggle with the adverse effects of conventional headache treatments.
Magnesium shortage has been linked to multiple key factors contributing to migraines’ development, according to another review published in the journal Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. According to the review, magnesium can be utilized as an acute therapy option if necessary and is a safe and well-tolerated choice for treating migraines and other types of headaches.
Are Magnesium Supplements Safe?
Magnesium supplements are generally safe, though some people may experience diarrhea from excessive dosages. For healthy individuals, consuming too much dietary magnesium usually doesn’t cause any issues because any excess will be digested by the kidneys and eliminated in the urine.
Always check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements if you are expecting, nursing, taking medication, or have any other health issues. Various people will require different amounts of this mineral.
Because 99% of the magnesium in our bodies is stored within our cells, many cases of magnesium insufficiency go undetected, according to a review in Open Heart. Additionally, it claims that the majority of the population is at risk of magnesium insufficiency due to our dependency on refined and processed meals, the prevalence of chronic diseases, and a decrease in the amount of magnesium in our food crops.
Given this, taking a magnesium supplement could aid in lowering the prevalence of magnesium insufficiency in communities.
Consult your doctor before beginning a magnesium supplement regimen if you take any regular medications or have chronic medical concerns. Pharmaceutical classes interact with them, including bisphosphonates, tetracyclines, quinolones, furosemide, and proton pump inhibitors.