Natural Health Care and Headaches
Nearly a third of migraine sufferers have low intracerebral magnesium, and the levels decrease drastically during an attack, according to a study appearing in the journal, Headache (2002; 42:242-248). Using magnesium to prevent migraines has had mixed results. In research appearing in the journal, Neurology (1998;50(suppl 4):A340) magnesium levels could be increased intravenously, but a daily oral dose of 250 mg. did not increase the magnesium level. Other research, appearing in the journal Clinical Neuroscience (1998; 5:24-27) recommended 600 mg. of magnesium per day in a timed release form. One study, appearing in the journal, Headache (1991; 31:298-301) and another, appearing in the journal, Cephalgia (1996;16257-16263) demonstrate some value in taking magnesium supplements for the prevention of headaches. There are other, less positive studies, but there are issues with the dosage, absorption and the type of magnesium supplements used. Higher doses do seem to be more effective. For many people, however, a high dose of magnesium can cause diarrhea.
Another supplement that may be useful for patients suffering with migraines is riboflavin (B2). Riboflavin is necessary for the formation of ATP (a source of energy for the cell). One study, appearing in the journal Neurology (1998; 50:466-470), a high dose of riboflavin (400 mg per day) significantly reduced the incidence of migraines (by ½ or better) in 59% of the subjects..
CoQ10 is another substance that is involved with cellular energy. One study, appearing in the journal Neurology (2005; 64:713) had subjects take CoQ10. The frequency of migraines was reduced by half or better in about 47% of the subjects.
The natural urge for people reading an article like this is to try the supplements and see if they produce results. Natural health care works best when a comprehensive program is employed. While these studies do show some hope that supplementation may offer some relief for headache sufferers, it would be wise to put together a more complete program. Diet, exercise, lifestyle choices, and hands-on techniques, like chiropractic all be a part of a natural program to eliminate headaches.