If you suffer from migraines, you know how extremely debilitating they can be. Migraines cause severe recurring and severe stabbing pain, combined with visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell, and tingling or numbness in the face.

Migraine attacks typically last between 4 and 72 hours, and are in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses. Did you know that these severe headaches could be related to this vitamin deficiency?

Common causes of severe headaches

Genetics and environmental factors are believed to play a role in causing severe headaches , such as migraines. Several things can trigger a migraine attack, including:

1. Hormonal changes

Fluctuations in estrogens in women (and men) can trigger headaches. This occurs before or during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

2. Food

Foods that are salty (not sea salt, but highly refined) and processed foods are believed to be the cause of migraines, along with skipping meals or fasting.

3. Drinks

Alcohol, specifically high phenolic red wine, along with high caffeine beverages can trigger migraines.

4. Stress

Stress at work or at home can trigger migraines, especially when you are living in a stressful situation or if you are unable to control stress.

5. Sensory stimuli

Bright lights, glare from the sun, loud sounds, or unusual smells such as strong perfume, paint thinner, or secondhand smoke can trigger migraines in some people (those believed to have multiple chemical sensitivities).

6. Changes in sleep patterns

Lack of sleep or even sleeping too much can cause migraines, as well as jet lag. This is associated with a lack of grounding or grounding (a lack of direct skin-to-skin connection to Earth).

7. Physical factors

Intense physical exertion that includes exercise, manual labor or physical activity can trigger migraines, usually due to muscle tension that is believed to be related to a lack of calcium and / or magnesium in the diet.

8. Environmental changes

A change in weather or a change in barometric pressure can trigger a migraine, headaches, and even some other joint pain and intestinal discomfort.

10. Medications

The contraceptive oral and vasodilators may aggravate migraines.

A preponderance of evidence suggests that migraine, particularly migraine with aura, is associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, and that this risk may be further increased in the context of the use of combined estrogen and progesterone contraceptives. 

Severe headaches and vitamin deficiencies

Another factor that has been recently investigated and that is a trigger for severe headaches is vitamin deficiency . In a study involving 52 people diagnosed with migraines, participants were randomly assigned to receive vitamin supplements or a placebo for six months.

The study concluded that vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid supplements reduced migraines twice over the six-month period. Previous studies have also found that vitamin B2 (riboflavin) can help prevent migraine attacks.

Another study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to migraines. The researchers found that 42% of patients with chronic migraines were deficient in vitamin D. They concluded that the longer a patient suffered from chronic migraines, the more likely they were to be deficient in vitamin D.

How does it work?

Folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiencies can cause pernicious anemia. If this condition becomes severe enough, it can trigger migraines, as well as fatigue, memory loss, and irritability.

Certain genetic mutations are believed to lead to higher levels of homocysteine ​​production, which can make the body more susceptible to migraine attacks. Researchers have found that vitamins B6 and B12 work by reducing homocysteine ​​levels.

Vitamins to fight migraines

In summary, do not stop incorporating these vitamins, either through diet or through supplements that provide good sources of vitamins.

  • B12 vitamin.
  • Vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B2.
  • Folic acid.
  • Vitamin D.

Bottom line, if you do suffer from migraines, do your best to avoid triggers and make sure to get plenty of these important nutrients in your diet to help prevent migraine attacks.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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