Migraines affect about 38 million people every year in the United States and roughly 1 out of 7 people worldwide. However, even though migraines are so prevalent, researchers are learning about their cause. Most people who suffer from migraines are in their most productive working years, between the ages of 35 and 55. This may create a significant financial impact on a family, especially as the World Health Organization ranks migraines as one of the most common sources of disabilities, worldwide.
Worse Than Bad Headaches
Migraine symptoms do come along with a severe headache, but the condition goes far beyond that. Symptoms may also include nausea, dizziness, visual disturbances, numbness in the hands, feet, or face, as well as extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch, and smell. Migraines are classified as a neurological disorder and are considered to be the most common nervous system disorder. Episodes may last from a few hours to several days and are often worsened by physical activity.
Research has been done to find the links between vitamin deficiencies and migraines. The research was completed by taking baseline levels of vitamins such as riboflavin, folate, vitamin D, and CoQ10. Many participants were found to have mild CoQ10, riboflavin, and vitamin D deficiencies.
Studies also found that females were more likely to be deficient in CoQ10 and males were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. Researchers also found that 16 to 51 percent of the study's participants had inadequate levels of vitamins, depending on which vitamins were tested.
An Important Vitamin for Migraines
Magnesium has also been linked to the operation of multiple bodily processes. A magnesium deficiency can promote illnesses such as depression, and influence the production of neurotransmitters.
Researchers believe that those who suffer from migraines can develop magnesium deficiency from poor absorption, low nutritional intake, renal wasting, or increased excretion due to stress. It is recommended for anyone who suffers from migraines to take a magnesium supplement.
Additional studies support that migraines are linked to a deficiency in riboflavin, vitamin D, and CoQ10. Finding these deficiencies as well as positive results with the use of supplementation supports the idea that migraines are a mitochondrial disorder.
Exposure to light exacerbates migraines. Many become sensitive to light during a migraine attack, forcing them to lie down in a dark room. Even blind migraine sufferers have found to be sensitive to light.
Most digital LED light sources emit mainly blue light. Research shows that this light increases migraine pain and activates the trigeminal nerve, which is associated with migraine pain. Studies have shown that people suffering from migraines experience less pain and sensitivity to light when they are exposed to only pure green light.
Vitamin-Rich Diet and Lifestyle
It is important to try to fill your natural diet with as many vitamins and minerals as possible. If you are unable to get everything you need from your diet, supplementation may be necessary. The body metabolizes and absorbs vitamins from food more effectively than from supplements. Vitamins are also available in forms that the body can use when they come through food. Here are some foods that are rich in vitamins that help migraine sufferers.
- Dark leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Wild Alaskan salmon and Herring
- Organic Yogurt
- Beet greens
- Crimini mushrooms
- Pastured eggs
- Grass-fed beef
- Organic pastured chicken
- Rainbow trout
Optimize Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D is difficult to get from the diet, so it is important to get enough safe sun exposure for your body to get all of the vitamin D that it requires. Evidence continues to show that vitamin D plays a large part in disease prevention and optimal health maintenance. Vitamin D affects about 10% of the genes in the human body, as well as receptors that are located throughout the body.