Migraines can take over our daily lives and leave us reeling from the pain, and you’ve probably tried several things to treat them. What about treating them before they even happen? There are many ways to prevent migraines, but many scientists believe that magnesium may be the key to blocking signals in the brain that lead to migraines.
We sat down with Dr. Sara Crystal, MD, Cove Medical Director & Neurologist, to discuss why magnesium is so important for migraine prevention.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for many functions in the body. It regulates bone, muscle and nerve function, as well as the cardiovascular system.
So what exactly is the correlation between magnesium and migraines?
About 50% of migraine sufferers are deficient in magnesium. Black patients, in particular, tend to be more magnesium deficient than other patients. A 2021 study found a correlation between low magnesium intake, whether through diet or supplements, and migraine.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a magnesium deficiency is the cause of your migraines, but it does show its importance.
“Magnesium has been shown to be effective in preventing migraine in several studies, and is therefore recommended for migraine prevention, sometimes in conjunction with prescription medications,” Dr. Crystal says.
IV magnesium has also been found to be effective at aborting acute attacks. In one study, people presenting to the emergency department with migraine were randomized to receive either IV magnesium, or typical IV treatments. Magnesium was more effective and provided longer-lasting relief.
“In our headache center, we often use IV magnesium, for both preventive and acute treatment of long-lasting migraine episodes,” Dr. Crystal adds.
Are you magnesium deficient?
If you are wondering if you are magnesium deficient, there a few ways you can tell. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include