Magnesium is known for its therapeutic uses on our bodies. You may have heard of magnesium being used in migraine prevention and its benefits to a migraine sufferer.

But does magnesium help migraines?
Is it very safe to use?
What foods in my diet are a good source of magnesium?
If I use a supplement boost what magnesium supplement would be the best for me and my migraines?

Magnesium Supplements and Migraine Prevention

magnesium-migraine-supplementsWhat is Magnesium? Well, it is an essential mineral that is very important for our bodies natural health and our general well-being. Magnesium can be helpful with things like blood pressure and blood sugar levels, muscle functioning, heart health, bone health, restful sleep, energy production levels and also migraine prevention.

How does Magnesium help with migraines? It is thought that magnesium has an effect on the nervous system and on muscle function and this is why it may help with migraines. Migraine headaches are still an area of research but there have been some positive results from the use of magnesium as a preventative treatment.

Low magnesium is difficult to diagnose as it is in so many areas within our body like our brain, blood and bones. A simple blood test is not always a reliable or accurate test for diagnosing low magnesium levels. So you probably need to look further into your diet and lifestyle symptoms with your healthcare professional. There are many studies that suggest low magnesium is linked to migraines and how these low levels of magnesium can be the cause of increased feelings of tiredness.

It is also known that Magnesium can play a part in “migraine prevention” if taken as a regular supplement. Magnesium supplements may also help reduce the regularity of your migraine headaches.

The suggested daily requirements of magnesium in most men is around 400mg per day and for most women around 300mg per day. A healthcare professional may diagnosis a different amount for you to take depending on your age, your regular dietary intake and your health symptoms.

What Foods are Rich in Magnesium?

Some foods naturally contain magnesium. Unfortunately, not all of us eat well enough to get or to maintain our magnesium levels. You should try to reduce alcohol, processed foods and sugars in your diet as this will help your body’s magnesium intake. The foods listed below are magnesium-rich food and if you included these in your diet they may help you increase the magnesium levels within your body.

  • Green vegetables (broccoli, green beans, asparagus, spinach, kale) Manesium-migraine-diet-foord
  • Fruit (avocado, raspberries, blueberries, banana)
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, black and kidney beans)
  • Seeds and nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds)
  • Wholegrains (whole wheat bread and flours)
  • Seafood (tuna, salmon, mackerel)
  • Tofu and low-fat yogurt
  • Dark chocolate (I think this should be at the top of the list!)

Magnesium – Can it be Bad for Me?

Foods with naturally occurring amounts of magnesium are not harmful. The body will get rid of any excess magnesium from your diet through your urine.

If you are taking magnesium supplements you should never take more than the recommended amounts on the labels unless you have been prescribed this by your healthcare professional.

Taking too much magnesium from supplements can cause you to feel very unwell, and symptoms such as diarrhea and stomach cramps can occur. If you are having loose bowel movements while taking magnesium supplements your body may not be absorbing the magnesium properly. If you decide you want to take a magnesium supplement you should always seek some professional advice and check with your a healthcare professional on the recommended dosage and the supplement duration.

What Magnesium Supplements Are Best for Migraines?

Magnesium is available in a large variety of multivitamins and many mineral supplements. It is also available in some dietary supplements as well. Magnesium can be found in liquids, tablets, capsules and powders. Magnesium can also be found as an oil or cream which is absorbed through the skin.

Magnesium Oxide – is apparently the most frequently used magnesium supplement for the prevention of migraines. For some migraine sufferers, it can alleviate the symptoms of a migraine and is relatively inexpensive. Some suggest that magnesium oxide can be very helpful in the relief of menstrual migraines. But be careful as it can have a laxative effect.

Magnesium Citrate – can be very easily absorbed into the body in large amounts. It is inexpensive and comes in tablets, capsules, ionic liquid or drink mix. But you should take caution if using this form of magnesium as it can cause upset stomach and cause loose bowel movements. It should not be taken for an extended duration of time.

Magnesium Oils – are spray on oils made from magnesium chloride and water that can be applied to the body for pain relief and is absorbed through the skin. The Best time to apply is after a bath.

Magnesium Chloride – is easily absorbed into the body and is available as a liquid or in capsules.

Magnesium Sulfate – is often sold as Epsom salts and used as a bath soak for relaxation of muscles. It is absorbed through the skin. NOTE: DO NOT USE EPSOM SALTS if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, allergic to sulphur, or a diabetic.

SHARED IDEA:

EPSOM-SALTS-BATH-SKIN

I use Epsom Salts for my health as suggested by my naturopath. Sometimes I use them in a bath or I place some Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) wrapped up into a tissue or gauze cloth bag and then wear it against my skin. I have found this can help me when I have that slightly out of sorts feeling prior to a migraine onset.

You can also use a magnesium spray which is a magnesium oil. You spray it onto your skin and it is then absorbed through the skin, much like taking a bath in the Epsom salts. Magnesium sprays or oils are a great use for tension migraine headaches. Magnesium can be easily sprayed onto your neck and shoulders for relief. I carry a magnesium spray with me while out and about on a day trip. I have found it to be great for relaxing my sore neck and shoulders if I am carrying a backpack around.

Epsom-salts-bath-migraine

What is Magnesium Amino Acid Chelates?

Amino acid chelates are a bit more expensive to buy due to the process of creating them in a lab. They are attached to amino acids which are easier for the body to absorb. These magnesium supplements have a variety of other health benefits as well. Listed below are some of these Amino Acid Chelates:

Magnesium Asparate, Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Lysinate, Magnesium L-Threonate, Magnesium Malate, Magnesium Orotate, Magnesium Taurate.

Always Put Your Safety first?

If you are Pregnant or Breastfeeding – although magnesium is said to be a relatively safe supplement you should always consult with your doctor before you take any supplements during pregnancy and while breastfeeding your child.

If you have a Medical Condition – if you have a medical condition including any of the following ailments like heart disease, kidney disease, you are a diabetic or have an allergy, remember that you should always consult with your doctor prior to taking a supplement of any kind.

If you are taking other Medications – please be careful with any supplements you take, as they can interfere or react with other medications you may be taking at the time. So please remember to always consult with your doctor before proceeding with any dietary supplements.

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  1. Hello fantastic article. As a person who suffers cluster headaches which researchers call the suicide headache due to many people have taken their own life due to the unbearable pain. I had read about magnesium helping and this summer started taking it and also had the piercing done in my inner ear. I skeptical about it working I’ve tried many different ways to control them and I really won’t know if it works due to my cycles usually happen in the spring and fall.
    This is a must read for anyone who suffers migraines cause it just may help.
    Thank you,
    David

    • Thank you so much for your honest feedback.
      I really hope your medical professional can give you some more ideas on how to manage this difficult condition.
      I wish you the best of luck with the magnesium and hope you find some relief soon.

      Mary

  2. Hey Mary, Magnesium so important especially for diabetes. I know because I have it. But I can say that I have thankfully never had a migraine headache.
    I’ve had headaches before but none severe. It’s good to know that magnesium is good for treating migraines.
    I think it’s also good that you mentioned about taking other medications because that’s really important. I know for a fact that if you’re a diabetic and taking Metformin, it actually “robs” you of magnesium so I take 400 mg of magnesium a day!
    Thanks for your article Mary 🙂 Very enlightening!
    ~Rob

  3. Hi Mary. A very informative read on magnesium, my colleague at work suffers a great deal from migraine and has tried all sorts of medicines and supplements to no effect. i like your design of website it looks very neat and easy to read
    The green works very well to read.

  4. This is an interesting article, I wasn’t aware that magnesium can be used to treat migraine. Are there any other supplements that can help? It’s interesting that you’ve found lots of research to back up the use of magnesium, it’s often hard to find as supplements tend to be less well funded in terms of research!

    • I have been using magnesium on and off for a while and it and has had some positive results for myself. Magnesium is an important mineral for our bodies so there has been numerous articles and studies done on it. There are a few other supplements that also have positive effects towards migraine treatments. Keep watching my site as I continue on with my future posts on natural remedies for migraine management.

  5. Hi, I used to suffer multiple migraines per month years back. I wish I had known about magnesium at that time! I now have a spinal cord injury and rarely get migraines. Strange. Great information and thank you!

  6. Hi Ricky, I’m glad I was able to offer you some new and helpful information. Come back soon to find out what other natural remedies are available to help with migraine headaches.

  7. I used to get headaches similar to migraines. When I had my first child, I got an epidural, which went wrong and caused headaches that radiated from the back of my head to my neck. I could barely sit up without excruciating pain. I lived on ibuprofen and caffeine pills. I  needed help taking care of my son, I was in so much pain. 

    Had I known the magnesium is thought to be able to help migraines, I would have either tried magnesium supplements or ate magnesium-rich foods. I would have even tried rubbing magnesium oils on my neck because those icy-hot packs weren’t cutting it. 

    Great info!

    -B

    • Hi Britney, welcome to my website and I am so glad you enjoyed reading my post. Sometimes its hard to know what to do when your in pain. I have been there too and its difficult to do anything but take the medicines prescribed. But as I have had to deal with migraines for a long time I have had to find ways of dealing with this that are far more comfortable to me and don’t have side effects. I have found that magnesium along with using my acupressure mat (Read more here on acupressure mats) have saved me from dreadful pain a number of times and I have not had to take any prescription medications. I hope you enjoy my site and find other useful ways to manage migraine pain. Blessings Always Mary

  8. This was an incredible article about something I had only ever heard of but didnt know what it was used for.  I used to get a lot of migraines but one day they just went away and now its been a couple years since I have ever had one.

    However you have my curiosity peaked with the diabetes and heart health.  I am very happy that you recommend seeing my doctor first.  Thats exactly what Im going to do and if he says its good then I will be trying it.

    Thank you so much for the info.

    • HI Dale, I’m so happy that you learn’t something new from my post. I have been able to manage my migraines well using magnesium supplements and an acupressure mat. Its interesting how we often hear about herbal remedies but we don’t know what they can do for us. Its also great how some of these natural remedies have numerous effects on different health problems at the same time.

      I initially started taking magnesium for trouble with my sleep, and then I learnt about the good new that it was also helping with my migraines. I hope your doctor can recommend whats best for you. Don’t forget you can also get magnesium through foods naturally as well. Gratitude and blessings always, Mary.

  9. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in your body.

    I take a magnesium supplement every day and one of the most important reasons is for lowering my blood sugars.I have thankfully never had a migraine headache and hopefully never will.

    But magnesium is so important for our bodies that it’s the fourth most important mineral in our body.And like anything else too much or not enough of anything is no good.I agree that foods are the best way to get the magnesium that you require.

    • Hi Rob, I am so glad to hear how magnesium has helped you. I started taking it to help with my sleep and didn’t know that it was also going to also help with my migraines as well. A healthy diet comes first and then supplements if required. Some of our foods are depleted of minerals due to mass food production and the soils being depleted of nutrients so sometimes supplements are needed. I hope you never get a migraine and if you do please come back and read of natural ways you can manage migraine relief. Happy holidays, Mary

  10. Wow I never that magnesium can help through migraine headaches. My mom is suffering from migraine headaches for a very long time now. I think that this can really be the cure she wanted.  Thank you for sharing the foods that are rich in magnesium. Now it is really easy for me to give my mom the magnesium rich foods.

    • Hi Sujandar, I am glad that you read my post and that it is helpful to your mom. I have some other articles that may be of interest to her if she is getting migraines. there is a Post I did on 6 popular herbal remedies that can also help with migraines. She may like this as there are teas that contain these herbs, so they would be esay for you mum to take. Let me know if you have any further queries. Wishing your mum the best of health, Mary

  11. Dear Mary,

    I must say I found your post highly uplifting and educational. Thanks a lot for the informative post.

    Magnesium helps as a preventive treatment for Migraine headaches is a great news.

    There were a lot of discussions whether we need to intake minerals or vitamin supplements. Nowadays it is not possible to gain the required minerals and vitamins via the food we intake. So minerals and vitamins supplements are a must.

    Thanks for the great insights on the importance and benefits of Magnesium. The list of foods you shared, which are rich in Magnesium is very helpful and I shared it with my wife. 

    You not only discussed the problem but provided with the solutions as well which is amazing.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    • Hi there Paul, I am so please that you have found some help here within my post. I am thrilled to be able to help others like myself who have been searching for migraine relief through natural remedies. 

      Unfortunately due to mass food production our foods do not contain enough of the vital nutrients and vitamins that our bodies require, so supplements are a great way for us to top up on what we are missing, and help us when we aren’t feeling at our best. 

      I hope that you and your wife have a happy and healthy holiday season and if you have any further questions please let me know. I am always happy to help. blessings and gratitude, Mary

  12. Hi Mary,

    Great article of Magnesium miracle! 

    Magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in our body. It is a necessary micro-nutrient in Vitamin-D activation and helps in biochemical conversion of Vitamin-D2/D3 to 25-hydroxy-Vitamin-D3.

    Migraine can be life killing. My husband and mother-in-law have them. I have seen other people terribly suffering from them. My husband got cured and not sure how. But he did not use any Mg-therapy. We eat lots of veggies, nuts etc. which has magnesium.

    I am wondering with all these vegetables, nuts, fruits, fish does not take care of Magnesium! 

    I am curious abou MgCl2. It is hygroscopic as far as I remember. 

    It is an article which will be loved by migraine sufferers. 

    • Hi There Anusuya, I am pleased to see that you have enjoyed my post and understand the importance of minerals in the diet. 

      Some people do not get enough of these minerals so need to take supplements to help their health. Magnesium is used in many areas of the body. Magnesium in the blood is not an accurate way to see if magnesium is deficient in other areas of the body like the brain or the bones. It has been found that people low in magnesium are at higher risk of suffering from migraines.

      I am glad to hear that you husband no longer suffers from migraines and that he is well. It must be a wonderful relief for him not to have to deal with the pain of migraines anymore. wishing you the best of health always, Mary.

  13. Wow, who knew that magnesium affects migraines? I was wondering something, though. If a person eats all the magnesium rich foods you listed in the article and still get migraines, should they take a supplement too? I wonder because sometimes people have trouble absorbing some nutrients. Is there a way to help the body use the magnesium it’s taking in? Thanks!

    • HI Dee, thanks for reading my post. Magnesium is a fantastic health supplement for a number of things including migraines. 

      Some people have had great success with taking magnesium for their migraines relief. The key is to find your migraine cause or the “migraine trigger”. This would be the first thing to do, as there are a variety of reasons you may get migraines and although supplements can help and prevent some migraines, there can be other reasons migraines occur. If you are getting migraines it is important to see your medical professional to rule out any other underlying conditions.

      Magnesium Food is a good start on the way to making a difference, but you may like to also take a supplement if you feel you are not sleeping well and  the magnesium supplement that seems to have the best reputation amongst migraine sufferers is magnesium chelate. (Magnesium Asparate, Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Lysinate, Magnesium L-Threonate, Magnesium Malate, Magnesium Orotate, Magnesium Taurate.) 

      Some people are sensitive to light and this can cause them pain and discomfort and bring on migraines, others have food sensitivities and this too can cause their migraines. The best thing to do is to start a migraine diary recording when and where you get a migraine headache, the intensity and what you did to provide relief. I can suggest using an app like migraine buddy as its easy to use and its free, or buy a journal and start recording migraine episodes, and symptoms. I hope this helps you. If you have further questions I would be more than happy to answer more questions. Wishing you lots of health this coming holiday season. Mary

  14. A colleague of mine swears by her magnesium supplements to help with the debilitating migraine headaches to which she is prone.  I tend to use leg cramp tablets for the leg cramps I get when I overdo walking over hill and dale.  I do notice that if I eat the magnesium foods you recommend, I do tend to get fewer incidents of leg cramps and it’s good to know that I can eat as much as I want of them without ill effects.  When I go light on these foods, I do get the cramps more often.

    There are so many different kinds of magnesium compounds and each one seems to help fine-tune different body systems.  I imagine that it might be easy to overdo it if you tried to take a little of this, a little of that and a little of the other.

    • HI Netta, Thanks for reading my post. the body needs magnesium on a daily basis and supplements help us to get what food is missing. Foods are mass produced and the soils minerals can be depleted, but the great thing is that supplements are available to help us if needed. You can always talk to a health care professional or your local health store regarding what magnesium may be best for you. I know that many people I talk with that suffer from migraines have had great success with magnesium chelates. I started taking magnesium to help my sleep and discovered that it was also helping reduce my migraine occurrences which was fantastic.  Blessings and gratitude, Mary

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