Have migraines? Check your vitamin levels.

Diet & Nutrition

If you have regular migraines, consider asking your doctor to test if you are low on any vitamins. Research has suggested that certain vitamin deficiencies are more common in people who have migraine headaches.

Migraines are severe, throbbing headaches that usually occur on one side of the head. The pain gets worse with movement and often comes with other symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and smells). Food cravings and sleepiness often come before a migraine and about 25% of people with migraine experience aura – a type of vision problem that can vary from person to person and serve as a warning sign that a migraine is on its way.

Migraines and Vitamin Deficiency

In a recent study performed by researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, a high percentage of children, teens and young adults with migraines had vitamin deficiencies – specifically vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Girls were more likely to have CoQ10 deficiencies while boy were more likely to be vitamin D deficient. In adult women, researchers found that those who had migraines at regular intervals were more likely to be deficient in CoQ10 and riboflavin than women who had infrequent migraine episodes.

A previous study suggest a link between migraines and magnesium. Levels of magnesium in the body are difficult to measure because only a little circulated in the blood. The rest is stored in bone and tissue cells. The researchers suggested that magnesium supplementation could benefit people with migraines.

Talk to your doctor about whether taking supplements for these or other vitamins and minerals is advised for you.

Worst Headache Ever

If you are having your “worst headache ever” it could be your first migraine – or something much more dangerous. Don’t hesitate – call 9-1-1 or head to the nearest emergency room.

Even if you are a regular migraine sufferer, ask yourself these questions any time you get a sudden and severe headache:

  • Is this worse than your other headaches?
  • Are your symptoms different than usual?
  • Did this headache wake you from my sleep or happen first thing in the morning?
  • Did you recently hit your head?
  • Do you have symptoms like dizziness, slurred speech or loss of balance?
  • Do you have a stiff neck, fever or are you vomiting?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, call 9-1-1.

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