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Magnesium and Headaches

Magnesium and Headaches

Magnesium is a major mineral that has a number of different functions in our bodies. From regulating blood pressure, to keeping bones strong, heart rhythm steady, magnesium also supports a healthy immune system and nerve function.

While 50-60% of the magnesium is in our bones, the rest can be found in muscle tissue. As we age, our reserves deplete by approximately one half.

Migraine Sufferers

Significant research has been done linking magnesium deficiencies to chronic migraine sufferers. There is potential that those who suffer from chronic migraines may have increased urinary excretion of the mineral due to a hormonally influenced stress response.

Daily oral magnesium, either through food or supplementation has been shown to be effective in preventing migraines overall, with particular impact on menstrual-related migraines.

Magnesium has been demonstrated to help migraines by releasing pain-reducing hormones and reducing vasoconstriction or constriction of the blood vessels that raise blood pressure.

Dietary Sources

Magnesium is rich in the following food groups:

-Green leafy vegetables such as: spinach, swiss chard, avocadoes, broccoli, Brussel sprouts.

-Beans, peas and soybeans such as: black beans, mung beans, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds.

-Whole grain cereals such as: high fiber cereals, brown/wild rice, whole wheat pastas

Dietary Allowance for Magnesium

Age Women Men
19-30 years 310 mg/day 400 mg/day
31-50 years 320 mg/day 420 mg/day

While supplementation may be necessary for some, caution should be taken to avoid overdoses of this mineral. Doses above 400mg/day may be excessive and can cause: nausea, cramping, diarrhea, stool softening, and potential interactions with heart medications and diuretics.  Supplements in the form of magnesium citrate are often well absorbed.

 

 

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