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
What 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 an 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)
- 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.
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.
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.