Vitamins and Supplements
Deficiencies in vital nutrients from unhealthy diets; excessive alcohol, caffeine, or sugar intake; poor absorption; stress; or long-term intake of certain medications can contribute to headaches and other neurological conditions. Vitamins and mineral supplements that can help relieve migraines include the following:
–Magnesium: This mineral is essential to many cell and bodily functions from immunity and nerves, to bone and muscles. It prevents production of inflammatory chemicals and acts as a natural anticonvulsant and tranquilizer. Only 1% of the body’s magnesium is found in the serum, so testing for magnesium deficiency is not straightforward. It is common to be deficient in magnesium (up to half of migraine sufferers are deficient) and supplementation can be effective in the prevention of migraines. Whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, avocados, and legumes or supplementation of 400mg to 800mg daily of magnesium is recommended, but some people do not absorb magnesium well through diet or get diarrhea from taking oral pills. The Manhattan Center offers IV magnesium to relieve acute migraine attacks and for supplementation. Some people need a few infusions to achieve normal magnesium levels while a few may need monthly infusions.
–CoQ10: This nutrient is necessary for production of energy and is a common deficiency in migraine sufferers. It is an antioxidant that stimulates the immune system and protects the nerves. The body makes less CoQ10 as it ages and excess exercise can also affect levels negatively. Recommended dosage is 100mg a day.
–Vitamins B12: This vitamin plays a role in formation of red blood cells, production of neurotransmitters and energy, and lowers homocysteine levels. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include depression, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, irritability, and memory loss. Recommended
dosage is 400 to 1,000 mg daily, taken twice a day as part of a B-complex supplement. If you have a mutation of the gene MTHFR, it is necessary to take a methylated form of B12, methylcobalamin.
–Vitamin D: Deficiency in this vitamin is associated with a wide variety of diseases and conditions. While the normal range of vitamin D is from 30 to 100mg ng/ml, we recommend levels at least in the middle of this range. Take in the form of vitamin D3 with high-quality fats such as olive oil, flax seeds, or avocado for better absorption. Existing levels will direct the dose of supplementation necessary to achieve optimal levels a