Magnesium Deficiency & Migraines

If you’re having intense headaches that last for hours or days, it’s nearly impossible to do all the things you need to do. There are many causes attributed to migraines. But a simple place to start troubleshooting is with your magnesium levels. Magnesium, primarily found in fruits, vegetables, and other foods, is a key component of a healthy life and may work to prevent migraines. Low magnesium levels can be remedied, often with simple tips that you can try on your own.

What is Magnesium Deficiency?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, magnesium deficiency happens when the quantity of magnesium in your blood is lower than what is considered normal. Its medical name is hypomagnesemia and may affect up to 20% of the general population. Magnesium deficiency can lead to many physical and mental health issues, but it can be treated with a better diet, vitamin supplements, and other therapy.

What is a Migraine?

Everyone gets headaches occasionally, but when the pain is debilitating and lasts for hours or days, you may have something far worse – a migraine. This is a headache resulting in intense throbbing discomfort or a pulsing feeling, normally on one side of your head. If you have a migraine, you may feel nauseous and be extremely sensitive to light and sound. It’s not unusual for a migraine to restrict daily life.

Types of Migraine

There are several kinds of migraine to watch for, with many treatable symptoms with medicine like ketamine. Migraine types include:

  • Migraine with aura, where you get a warning the headache is about to happen.
  • Migraine without aura.
  • Chronic migraine which affects about 2% of the U.S. population.
  • Migraine with brainstem aura.
  • Vestibular migraine.
  • Abdominal migraine.
  • Hemiplegic migraine.
  • Menstrual migraine.
  • Cyclical vomiting syndrome.
  • Medication overuse headache.
  • Other headache disorders caused by tension or exercise, for instance.

Facts About Migraines

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports some interesting facts about migraine headaches:

  • 10% of the world’s population gets migraine headaches regardless of age or gender.
  • Migraine headaches happen most often in people between 20 and 50 years old.
  • Women are three times as likely to get a migraine compared to men.
  • About 17% of women and 5% of men say they get migraine symptoms.

Scripps Health says a migraine is the same as a sinus headache or a severe tension headache.

Is There a Link Between Magnesium Deficiency & Migraines?

It’s not unusual for magnesium deficiency and migraines to be intimately related. One of the main causes of a migraine headache is consuming certain foods like aged cheeses and over-processed foods, many of which have lower magnesium levels. If you have low magnesium levels, you could have blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and nerve function problems.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency & migraines

  • Lack of appetite 
  • Throwing up
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness in joints and limbs
  • Personality or behavioral troubles
  • Bowel trouble
  • Moodiness
  • Loss of vision
  • Pins and needles sensations
  • Throbbing or pulsating pain
  • Confusion
  • Physical exhaustion

Healthy sources of magnesium

Low magnesium levels can sometimes be addressed with IV vitamin therapy or other treatment, but the best option may be healthy eating habits. Reliable sources of magnesium include:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dry, roasted almonds
  • Spinach, avocados, black beans, potatoes, rice, broccoli, carrots
  • Soy milk
  • Edamame
  • Dark chocolate
  • Peanut butter
  • Whole wheat bread and grains
  • Yogurt
  • Fortified breakfast cereals

How to manage a migraine

Managing the pain and discomfort from a migraine doesn’t always involve medicine or other therapy. There are some things you can try on your own to minimize the pain:

  • Find a calm setting with little or no lights.
  • Apply hot or cold compresses to your forehead, neck, face, or shoulder.
  • Consume certain beverages with high caffeine levels, but only occasionally.
  • Get a good nights’ sleep by setting a sleep schedule, relaxing before bedtime, minimizing distractions, and keeping your room dark and comfortably warm or cool.

Closing Thoughts

Migraines are one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. The causes are wide-ranging, and many causes are likely yet to be uncovered. For those searching for answers, low-magnesium may be a good place to start. Often a full regiment of self-care is required to completely master migraines. Incorporating a magnesium rich diet or taking magnesium supplements may help you get a foothold in addressing the issue. But for the less clear root causes, there’s ketamine therapy. Ketamine interacts with the central nervous systems neurotransmitters and NMDA pain receptors to counteract chronic pain and to generate new neural growth that, in some cases, may lead to remission. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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