If you’re one the millions who suffer from migraine headaches, you’ll know it’s a pain that no other headache can quite compare to.
Migraine may have a wide variety of symptoms – the most common being a painful, throbbing headache. This may be accompanied by disturbed vision, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, nausea and vomiting.
A migraine attack can last anything from 4 to 72 hours. They can happen at random, which means they have a huge impact on your work, social life and other routines.
Most people deal with their migraines by taking powerful pharmaceutical drugs, which can have terrible side effects – and certainly won’t help treat the cause of the attacks.
But – good news! Research has found that migraines are linked to deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals – two in particular. And by topping up your levels can significantly reduce your chances of an attack.
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Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and magnesium.
You may have heard of them before, but never given them much thought. Let’s find out how you may be able to PREVENT migraines with a few natural supplements!
Riboflavin is one of the B vitamins that plays a major role in growth and development and also the production of red blood cells. Riboflavin is also important for helping the body break down energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Numerous studies have suggested that high doses of riboflavin may reduce the frequency and severity of migraines in both adults and children. It’s also been found that although women experience migraine attacks three times more than men, riboflavin treatment benefits both.
A study that tested the effectiveness of riboflavin in migraine prevention found that the frequency of their headaches was significantly reduced from 4 days out of every month to 2 days out of the month. The severity of their migraines was also reduced.This improvement was recorded after taking the high-dose riboflavin after just 3 months.
You can easily increase your intake of vitamin B2 with supplement. Foods rich in B2 include beef liver, lamb, milk, natural yogurt, mushrooms, almonds and green leafy vegetables.
It’s believed that around half of Americans are deficient in magnesium. This powerful mineral is required for over 300 biochemical processes in the body, including relaxation and muscle function. Those who suffer from migraines appear to be at an even greater risk due to a genetic inability to absorb magnesium and/or their body flushing out excessive amounts of magnesium due to stress or low nutritional intake. Research has shown that migraine sufferers have far lower levels of magnesium than non-sufferers.
A randomized, double-blind study on 150 migraine patients over 12 weeks showed that magnesium supplementation reduced their migraine attacks by 50%. Magnesium is a safe and highly beneficial supplement with little to no side-effects. In fact, everyone requires additional magnesium – whether you have migraines or not!
Magnesium supplements are available in a variety of forms, but not all are absorbed the same way. The form most often recommended for migraine relief is magnesium citrate, as it’s one of the most bioavailable forms.
With your levels of vitamins and minerals topped up, you’ve already slashed your chances of suffering another migraine. But there’s also a herb that helps to reduce your risk of attacks even further.
Feverfew is a plant you may not have heard of, but it’s been used in traditional medicine to treat migraine for hundreds of years. It’s also believed to be effective for rheumatoid arthritis, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites and infertility!
What says migraines studies?
Several clinical studies over the past few decades have found that taking feverfew not only reduces the severity of migraine headaches, but can help prevent them. This is best seen in patients who take feverfew supplements over a period of months. In fact, Canada’s Health Protection Branch has even permitted a manufactured feverfew product by Herbal Laboratories Ltd to claim that their nonprescription drug prevents migraine headaches.
This kind of permission is only granted when there’s sufficient clinical evidence of a product’s efficacy.
Feverfew supplements are available in some health stores and online. Look for a product that’s been standardized to contain 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent parthenolides.
Adult dosage is recommended at around 100–300 milligrams up to four times daily.
There’s one more tip for preventing migraines that can’t be ignored: drink more water! One of the major factors in migraine attacks is dehydration: it causes blood volume to drop, which in turn reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Loss of electrolytes can also cause nerves in the brain to produce more pain signals.
Bottom line? Top up your intake of B2, magnesium,