Headache disorders are one of the most common nervous system disorders. There are many different types of headaches. From sinus pressure to full-blown migraines, these headaches interfere with your life and cause excruciating pain.
Many patients turn to pain medication and other prescription drugs to relieve their headaches. But there are healthy lifestyle changes that can result in fewer headaches. One of them is getting enough vitamins in your diet.
What do vitamin D and headaches have in common? You mean more vitamins to combat the headaches! Here are 8 nutrient and vitamin deficiencies that can cause a pounding headache.
Magnesium is an important mineral. It maintains blood sugar levels, regulates muscle and nerve function, and regulates blood pressure. This study shows that taking magnesium supplements can treat and prevent migraines.
Why does magnesium work so well for migraine relief? Magnesium is a muscle and nerve relaxer, helping relieve an existing migraine and working to prevent future migraines.
This is why magnesium deficiency can also cause cramps, muscle tension, widespread pain, and even insomnia.
In addition to magnesium supplements, you can get magnesium through food sources such as nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables, milk, cereal, and yogurt.
Before taking a magnesium supplement, it’s important you get blood work done to ensure you’re magnesium deficient. Most people have plenty of magnesium; however, only a few struggle absorbing magnesium.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a hormone produced by the kidneys. Vitamin D is the vitamin we absorb from the sun’s rays, but we can also get vitamin D through a healthy diet and by taking supplements.
There are studies that suggest vitamin D deficiency may cause migraines. However, the link between vitamin D and migraines is unclear.
As well as safe sun exposure, you can get vitamin D by taking a supplement and eating a rich diet full of dairy products, fatty fish, cereal, and orange juice.
However, be careful you’re not ingesting too much vitamin D. The side effects vary between nausea and kidney failure.
3. Vitamin B2
There are eight B vitamins in total, and a deficiency in all can cause migraines. However, none are more prevalent than vitamin B2 deficiency.
A deficiency in vitamin B2 (also called Riboflavin) counters mitochondrial energy metabolism. Mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to headaches because it causes dysfunction on a full-body scale, such as within the neurons.
In addition, mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to other disorders such as depression.
You can either take a vitamin B2 supplement or eat more foods containing this vitamin. Examples include eggs, lean meats, green vegetables, milk, and cereal.
Migraine sufferers, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women, should take more B2.
4. The Rest of the B Vitamins
B2 is the most important vitamin to combat migraines. But all B vitamins play a role in migraine treatment and prevention. That’s because B vitamins benefit the nervous system.
When the nerve cells in the brain are stimulated, it causes electrical activity that results in pain.
These vitamins can calm the nervous system, resulting in decreased activity.
The rest of the B vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folate, and biotin. You can take these vitamins individually or as a B complex.
Sure, water is neither a vitamin nor a mineral. But dehydration is one of the most important migraine triggers.
When your body doesn’t have enough water, it takes water stored in the brain. As a result, the brain contracts and shrinks. This causes a pounding headache.
The perfect example is when you’re hungover. A long night of drinking depletes water from your system, causing that pounding headache we all recognize.
What’s the best solution? Drink water! Most people need about eight ounces of water daily. However, everyone has different needs. The best course of action is to replace your soft drinks with water.
If you’re severely dehydrated, such as after you drink alcohol, opt for electrolyte-dominant drinks such as coconut water. Electrolytes replenish your mineral loss and hydrate the body. You also lose electrolytes when you’re dehydrated.
Too much sodium is bad for the body, causing bloating and even increased blood pressure. But too little sodium can cause headaches.
Sodium is also essential for our health. We need it for our kidney and muscle function. Sodium also balances our fluids and sends nerve impulses.
Most people develop sodium deficiencies if they exercise a lot or have specific medical conditions.
But does this mean you can pack on the salt on all of your food? Not so fast. We only require a small amount of sodium. Only use a little bit of salt for your meals.
Drinking electrolyte beverages also help replenish your sodium and keeps you hydrated.
Do you get enough sleep? If insomnia strikes you one night, you can suffer from an intense headache. That’s because your body creates more proteins when you’re awake, decreasing your pain threshold.
Is there a vitamin that helps you sleep? Melatonin. Melatonin is actually a hormone produced in the pineal gland and controls your sleep-wake cycle.
The best way to take melatonin is by taking a melatonin supplement. Unlike other sleeping medications, melatonin is safe for most people.
8. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) generates energy in our cells and also protects our body from oxidative damage. Taking a CoQ10 supplement has promising results in the prevention of migraines.
Speak with your doctor before taking a CoQ10 supplement. That’s because CoQ10 may interact with other medications and even other supplements.
Vitamin D and Headaches: Take Supplements to Combat Your Migraines
Do you suffer from migraines? You don’t have to take painkillers when your head starts pounding. Vitamin D and headaches, as well as various other vitamins, can treat and prevent different kinds of headaches.
Are you interested in treating your headaches with supplements? Shop our store today!