Magnesium: An All Natural Migraine Preventative Supplement
Magnesium is a PROVEN migraine preventative supplement. Studies have shown that by taking magnesium daily, it can reduce migraine attacks by over 40% per month. That’s almost half of your migraine attacks GONE! Which means, more MIGRAINE FREE DAYS.
Magnesium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that our bodies need in order to function optimally. Low magnesium has been linked to increased headaches and migraines.
But maybe you’re thinking, well my magnesium is normal on my lab test, so why would I need to take a magnesium supplement? This is a common misconception of magnesium.
Did you know that lab tests only account for 2% of magnesium in your body? There is still another 98% of magnesium unaccounted for. Part of that missing puzzle piece is the magnesium in your brain, which is nearly impossible to test for. Basically, many people have low magnesium and have no idea, which could be causing an increase in migraine and headache days. This directly affects your quality of life, so it is imperative that this is addressed.
So how do you take magnesium for migraine prevention?
It is recommended to take between 400-600 of magnesium daily for migraine prevention. You can take an extra dose when you have a migraine. This helps to replenish the magnesium loss during an attack and it can help to calm your brain down.
***Always make sure to consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your daily routine.
7 Reasons to add Magnesium to Your Migraine Toolkit
More Migraine FREE Days
There are numerous studies and clinical trials that show how magnesium can decrease the number of migraine days per month. In one particular study, the participants took 600mg of magnesium daily and in weeks 9-12, their frequency of migraine decreased by 41.6%. This is incredible news!! Magnesium is an all natural way to prevent migraines and has the potential to almost cut the amount of migraine attacks in half.
Also to note, it wasn't until weeks 9-12 that magnesium really started working at an optimal level. That is why it is imperative to keep taking magnesium daily for 3 months (12 weeks) before deciding if it is working well for you or not. A great way to keep track of this is to use a Migraine Diary.
2. Different Types of Magnesium
Did you know that there is more than one type of magnesium? Most doctors, when advising you to take magnesium will tell you to take magnesium oxide. It is the cheapest one and causes diarrhea when taken at high doses. So, it may not be the best pick for everyone.
If you are having diarrhea from magnesium, then your body is not absorbing it. You want to pick the form that is the most tolerated by you. Thankfully, there are different kinds of magnesium that you can take.
When adding on a new supplement, always make sure you try the supplement for at least 3 months before you decide if it is not working. Another thing to consider when choosing which magnesium to take is the quality of the supplement. I cannot stress this enough. Quality matters. The reason the quality of the supplement is so important is because to make supplements cheaper, the companies fill them with fillers and don’t care about the quality of the supplement. These fillers can actually trigger migraine attacks and if the quality of the supplement isn’t good, then the supplement will not even get absorbed well into your body.
I personally buy Pure Encapsulations for any and all supplements that I can. They are gluten free, vegan capsules, non GMO, and have no fillers. They use the highest ingredients, so that your body actually absorbs the supplements and you aren’t just throwing money away.
3. Magnesium Can Help with Other Symptoms
I recommend trying a magnesium that compliments your other symptoms. This means that if you have anxiety, then pick the type of magnesium that has been shown to reduce anxiety.
Take a look at the different types of magnesium and the other symptoms that they can help with.
4. Magnesium Can Help Regulate Hormones and Helps with Menstrual Migraine
A lot of women have menstrual migraines. This means that they experience migraine attacks before, during, and/or after their period. This is caused by a decrease in estrogen during this time of a women's cycle, therefore triggering frequent migraine attacks.
If you experience menstrual migraine, you can help to raise your threshold and decrease migraine attacks related to this by taking magnesium as a migraine preventative supplement.
Another great advantage to taking magnesium for menstrual migraine is that magnesium can help to reduce other menstrual symptoms like cramping.
5. Migraine Brain Loves Magnesium
The migraine brain loves magnesium. This is because during an attack, the body excretes and uses up so much magnesium. This could be the cause of many people with migraine having low magnesium levels. So, when a migraine attack occurs, you can take an extra dose of magnesium. This will not only calm your brain down, but it will replenish the “used” up magnesium that the body excreted during the attack.
Also, when you are stressed, the body uses up and excretes magnesium as well. This could potentially be decreasing your migraine threshold and therefore be causing a migraine attack. Not to mention, when you are faced with a migraine, you may become stressed and this in itself will cause the body to excrete magnesium.
Essentially, in order to keep our migraine brain happy and at ease, it is imperative that we keep our magnesium levels normal. In order to do this, you can take 400-609 mg of magnesium daily as a preventative . You know that when you are hit with a migraine attack, your body will use up this “extra” magnesium. Also, by keeping your magnesium levels normal, you are raising your migraine threshold. So, when you are hit with stress, you have extra magnesium on board so that you are able to keep your magnesium levels normal, which in turn will keep your brain happy and not trigger a migraine attack.
6. Almost No Side Effects
And I haven't even gotten to the best part yet! Magnesium has almost NO SIDE EFFECTS, when compared to other migraine preventative medications. The only side effect is diarrhea, but with so many different types of magnesium (listed above) it can be easy to find one that you tolerate well.
If you are prone to diarrhea, first try switching what type of magnesium you are taking and always take magnesium with food. Another thing you can do is to start slow. Start by taking 200mg, if you tolerate that for a few days, then increase to 300mg, and keep following this same pattern until you reach a dose of magnesium that works best for you.
7. Many foods that contain Magnesium
There are so many ways you can get magnesium into your diet by focusing on foods rich in magnesium.
Check out this list:
Nuts: Almonds, cashews, peanuts
Seeds: pumpkin, flaxseed
Legumes: Black beans, edamame, lima beans
Dark, green leafy vegetables: Spinach
Whole wheat bread
Dairy: Plain yogurt, milk, soy milk
Beans: Kidney, black beans
Fish: Salmon, halibut
Some of these foods listed may be potential “migraine triggers,” but that is why there is always supplementation. Also, most people in general, have low magnesium levels and do not consume enough magnesium in their diet alone. Another great reason for consuming magnesium supplements. As mentioned above, my favorite supplement brand is Pure Encapsulations. Definitely go check them out!