When is a headache more than just a set of throbbing temples and pain? When that headache is a migraine headache, then there is more than just a nasty and blunt pain from the neck up. Migraine sufferers know that these headaches are a special kind of awful, visual auras, nausea, fatigue and disorientation can all accompany the crippling plain that comes along with a migraine.
Recent research has shown that migraines can, in part, be as a result of a nutritional deficiency and one that can be easily remedied.
What Is a Migraine
It is estimated that more than 300 million people across the world suffer from intermittent migraines; about 6 percent of all males and more than twice as many females get these horrible headaches from time to time.
Migraines are a severe type of headache that can last from several hours to several days, often precipitated by an “aura” or a change in vision. These auras might include the perception of geometric shapes, a sense that one’s vision has been broken into pieces, blurriness and spots or dots, especially on one side of the visual field, more precisely on the side that the migraine is occurring. These auras are further accompanied by the feeling of dizziness and confusion or nausea and fatigue. Often, the aura is a sign of the worst to come, which is the blindingly awful headache that the migraine experience culminates in.
Migraine and Nutritional Deficiencies – the Connection
Although the underlying cause of a migraine and headaches has yet to be pinpointed and is thought to be different from person to person, research has shown that many migraine sufferers also have something else in common, which is a nutritional deficiency in one or more essential vitamins.
The Migraine-B Vitamin Connection
Migraine headaches might have a number of causes and those causes vary from person to person. However, research studies aimed to determine whether nutritional factors might play a role in migraine development and have shown that B vitamins can play a significant role in migraine headaches.
According to a research published in the journal CNS and Neurological Disorders Drug Targets by scientists from the Human Genome Center at the University Sains Malaysia, folic acid, known as vitamin B9, and vitamins B6 and B12 can play a role in migraine triggering and suppression. According to the study, deficiencies in these vitamins can trigger migraines.
Deficiency of vitamin B12 is one of the 5 essential nutrients that you might be missing from your diet.
Further research published back in 2009 and led by a research team from Australia’s Griffith University showed that folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 can reduce the severity and frequency of migraines among a sample of migraine sufferers.
Another study from Iran published in October 2015’s Electro Physician journal showed that deficiency in vitamin B2 could be related to migraines. With all that said, the data points to a tie between B vitamins and migraines, namely that vitamin B deficiency, especially folic acid, B2, B6 and B12 vitamin can lead to a migraine suffering. Here are the warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency and how to fix it.
The Migraine-D Vitamin Connection
Deficiency in vitamin D is more common than one might thing. In fact, it is so common that the American Journal of Clinical NutritionIt named it a worldwide problem which is recognized as a pandemic.
What makes vitamin D unique in comparison to other vitamins is that your body can make its own vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, whereas you would need to get the other vitamins from the foods you eat. In today’s world, where so many people spend most of their time indoors, exposure to and absorption of naturally occurring vitamin D can be sorely lacking.
Research indicated that a lack of vitamin D can also cause migraines. A study conducted by researchers from Turkey’s Bozok University, published in October 2014 edition of the International Journal of Clinical Practice suggested that individuals with low serum vitamin D levels were more prone to suffer from migraines than people with normal serum vitamin D levels.
This is what the researchers found:
- Serum vitamin D levels were significantly lower in patients with migraines compared to the control group.
- In a multiple model analysis, vitamin D was found to be associated with migraines.
The researchers concluded:
“Based on the present findings, we may suggest that decreased serum vitamin D levels were associated with migraine.”
Comprehensive Migraine Treatment – Look for the Migraine Triggers
It is important for you to understand that treating migraines by using a simple remedy might not be the best possible solution. While using supplements such as vitamin B and vitamin D might be useful, this is still an approach which is similar to using medications. In most cases, you can get a longer lasting relief by identifying the root cause of your migraines, which you also need to identify and avoid the triggers of the migraine.
Just as there are a number of theories on the actual mechanics of the migraine pain, there are a wide range of potential triggers and what triggers a migraine for you might not trigger it for someone else. So, rather than just popping some vitamin B or D supplements, you might want to reconsider a more comprehensive energy.
Let’s talk about some of the most common triggers.
Common Migraine Triggers
Food and Drink
Food and drink can play a key role in bringing on a migraine. Preservatives in processed foods, caffeine, tannins in red wine and black tea, excessive sodium intake, smoked foods and aged cheese can all be the triggers of a migraine. Many people who eat convenience foods find themselves suffering from migraines without being able to pinpoint a specific trigger.
Many women experience migraines in time with their monthly menstrual cycles, leading to a pattern of misery related to the ups and downs of progesterone and estrogen associated with menstruating. Some of these women find total relief after menopause has set it, while others continue to struggle with migraine pain even after that important change in their life.
Somewhere around 60 percent of all diseases are in some way attributed to stress. Stress can be another major trigger for migraines; a new job, increased workload at work, or even marrying or having a child are all considered stressful events, among others, and can all serve as migraine triggers.
A lot of migraine sufferers insist that their migraine related pain is brought on primarily by sensory triggers, in particular, visual ones.
Bright or flickering lights, a rapid change from darkness to brightness and even exposure to sunlight can all help to trigger a migraine headache. Sometimes, loud or repetitive sounds can also serve as a trigger, or even strong smells such as perfume or chemical scents or smells related to rotten food, which gives off a disgusting smell.