Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Migraines and Magnesium

Calcium excess, stimulating the cells in the muscular layer of the temporal arteries over the temples, can cause migraine headaches.
A proper balance of magnesium in relation to calcium can prevent these symptoms - Dr. Mark Sircus'

Researchers have been investigating the magnesium migraines connection because of magnesium's role in stabilizing blood vessels walls. Magnesium is also an important mineral when it comes to helping you get to sleep. Regular sleeping patterns are also very important to migraine sufferers.

When faced with a migraine that won't respond to treatment, many headache specialists will give an injection of magnesium. You should be able to get benefits from long term (2-3 months or more) regular magnesium supplements. The magnesium migraines link may make a big difference to many people.

Dr. Sarah DeRossett, American neurologist and headache specialist was quoted in July 2003 in support of magnesium and riboflavin/vitamin B2 for migraine sufferers: "Patients who have migraines have lower blood levels of magnesium than patients who don't have migraines."  

Magnesium migraines treatment is becoming more and more popular with migraine sufferers. You can increase your magnesium levels yourself without injections by applying magnesium to the skin on a daily basis as this amazing mineral is easily absorbed transdermally.

In a study in France, migraine patients were been shown to have significantly lower erythrocyte magnesium levels than controls. The authors of the French study noted that previous studies had shown that migraine patients were shown to benefit from Mg water. 

Patients suffering from migraines were found to be twice as likely to have mitral valve prolapse than controls.  This association between migraines and mitral valve prolapse has been noted in quite a few studies on Pubmed.  This is not surprising, since people with mitral valve prolapse have also been shown to often be low in magnesium and to benefit from Mg supplementation.  

Associations have been noted between anxiety disorders and migraines.  Anxiety disorders also have a close link to magnesium deficiencies. 

The Grand Forks Human Nutrition Center, a part of the USDAs Agricultural Research Service, reports that, studies show that around half of all the people who suffer from migraine headaches have a low amount of ionized magnesium in their blood, suggesting a low magnesium status. The researchers go on to report that supplementation reduces both the duration and total number of migraines, including premenstrual migraine headaches.

A study from Harvard Medical School found that migraine sufferers 'have increased risk of heart attacks and strokes'. Yet other studies have found that magnesium may help to prevent death from heart attacks. People with inadequate magnesium levels are at higher risk for migraine headaches, heart attacks and strokes. Part of the reason for this common link may be that Mg is known for relaxing and dilating blood vessels.

Women often experience menstrual migraines, migraine headaches that start before or during their periods. Perhaps not coincidentally, other studies have noted that right before menstruation is also a time when magnesium levels in women tend to dip.

If you look at the chart below, many of the the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are identical to the conditions linked to migraine headaches. Interestingly, alcohol can deplete magnesium and many of the symptoms of hangovers are the same as the symptoms linked to magnesium deficiency and migraine headaches.

Conditions linked to migraine headaches and magnesium deficiency:

Sensitivity to noise     
Sensitivity to bright light
Mitral valve prolapse                                 
Anxiety disorders                                       
Heart disease                                            
Menstrual Cramps                                      

Extracted from:

Magnesium & Migraine
By Christina Peterson, MD

Two doubleblind studies have shown that magnesium supplementation may reduce the frequency of migraine. In research studies, we have found that magnesium levels affect serotonin receptors, and also have an effect on nitric oxide synthesis and release, as well as on NMDA receptors—all brain structures and chemicals suspected to be important in migraine.

In small studies, both migraine and cluster headache patients have responded acutely to intravenous magnesium. In a larger double-blind controlled study, the treatment group, receiving 600mg of magnesium for a 12 week period, experienced a 41.6% reduction in headaches as compared to only 15.8% reduction in the placebo group.

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