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Your Migraine May Come From Vitamin Deficiency, Study Finds

Your Migraine May Come From Vitamin Deficiency, Study Finds

Only people who have had a migraine know how excruciating they can be. Having had migraines for many years, I can relate to fellow migraine sufferers! You try to monitor the weather, or what you eat, drink and smell to ward off any potential pain. You have tried every painkiller out there, and probably have only found that a couple of them work, some of the time. You know what it is like to have the slightest bit of light to cause you agony.

Migraines can appear in many forms; some people experience less pain and more light sensitivity, some get very dizzy and cannot see well, while others have intense pain and nausea, and usually throw up after they attempt to eat or drink anything, including migraine medication. Either way, migraines are not a pleasant experience, and people who get them are always on the lookout for new findings of potential causes and cures. Scientists have recently discovered that vitamin deficiency is one of the causes for migraines, which may alleviate chronic migraines for some people when catered to. Here is what you need to know:

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Vitamin Deficiencies that Cause Migraines

In the most recent study, scientists found that children, teenagers and young adults who suffered from migraines were all lacking in either vitamin D, riboflavin or coenzyme Q10. Vitamin deficiencies can cause a number of ailments, including nerve damage from a lack of vitamin B12, so it is no surprise that migraines could be caused by a lack of these vitamins. Many people don’t get enough vitamin D, and in this study, they reported that mostly boys and young men with migraines did not have enough of this vitamin. Girls and young women were mostly found lacking coenzyme Q10, a substance that produces energy and promotes cell growth. Since scientists and doctors do not have all the answers for the cause of migraines, there are still many questions about this, and other studies too, but it is always worth their while for migraine sufferers to find a potential “cure.”

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What To Do:

Before taking any supplements, it is important to talk to your doctor. Even though vitamins are natural, they can still cause reactions to other medication you may be taking, so make an appointment to talk about this study with your doctor. You can also request a blood test to look for these and other vitamin deficiencies. Once you get your test results, you can decide on how to proceed. Make sure you ask your doctor what the actual numbers are on the blood test because sometimes doctors will tell you that your numbers are normal, but normal can be a matter of opinion. If you are in the normal range, but on the low side, you can ask your doctor if taking these vitamin supplements for a while will hurt. If your doctor gives you the green light, try taking more of what you are deficient in and see if it results in lesser migraines.

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What To Do If It Doesn’t Work:

Since migraines can be caused by many different factors, it is wise to keep an eye on other potential causes of migraines. While the vitamin supplements can help, they may not completely take away your pain because your migraines can come from more than one source. They can be caused by:

  • Weather changes
  • Growth hormones in beef
  • Dairy products
  • Caffeine
  • MSG
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Alcohol
  • Nitrates
  • Scents and many more

When trying the vitamin supplements, keep a journal and track everything you eat and drink, weather changes, sleep patterns, stress levels, and anything else you think may be contributing to your migraines. Keep this for at least a month, and you can bring it to your doctor to discuss treatment options.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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