If you suffer from headaches and migraines, you know how debilitating they can be. They can be caused by many things such as hangovers, loud noises, work, stress, etc. Headaches and migraines seem like minor ailments, but when you experience them frequently, they can really put a damper on your day.
When you feel like you’ve tried what seems like everything, it may be time to reanalyze your diet. Many foods contain vitamins that are needed to keep your mind running properly. When you aren’t eating enough of those foods, you could be suffering from one or more vitamin deficiencies.
Magnesium deficiency causes the brain to become irritated and kick start a headache. When there are changes in blood vessels, blood flow, and oxygen into the brain, headaches can occur.
These changes typically are trigged by serotonin which circulates your blood. When you suffer from a magnesium deficiency, serotonin will flow too quickly and constrict your blood vessels which will release pain-producing chemicals.
Our body loses magnesium quickly, so it’s important that our diets are filled with foods containing it.
2. Vitamin D
We typically associate vitamin D with keeping our bones healthy and yes, that is true. However, not getting enough of it may open up the doors wide open to headaches and migraines.
A study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice found that having a Vitamin D deficiency is related to migraines. Researchers found that 42% of patients who suffered from chronic migraines had a Vitamin D deficiency. The longer a person suffered from migraines, the more likely they were to become Vitamin D deficient.
It cannot be said for certain whether or not having a vitamin D deficiency is to completely blame for migraines due to the inconsistency of research findings. However, those who have the proper amounts of the vitamin saw a decrease in the severity and the amount of headaches they had because of its ability to reduce inflammation.
3. Vitamin C
According to “Trigger Point Therapy for Headaches & Migraines: Your Self-Treatment Workbook for Pain Relief” by Valerie DeLaune, vitamin C deficiency may play a part in contributing to migraine headaches. Vitamin C is what makes your blood capillaries stronger.
Insufficient amounts can affect blood flow to the brain. It also synthesizes two of your essential neurotransmitters (norepinephrine and serotonin). When those levels are off, it can affect the way we process our stress, which can then lead to stress-related headaches.
To get a sufficient amount of Vitamin C into your diet, take a look at the foods listed below.
Just like vitamin C, B6 is also responsible for synthesizing neurotransmitters, which has an effect on the brain’s pain receptors. When you’re body has a B6 deficiency, it will reduce the amount of vitamin B12 that your body is able to store and absorb.
This can cause headache symptoms to worsen. If you’re someone who frequently drinks alcohol, be aware that this will drop your B6 levels. As a result, you may become sensitive to the food additive monosodium glutamate which can cause headaches.
A 2009 study with 52 migraine sufferers examined the effectiveness of B6, B12 and folic acid for 6 months. It was found that those taking the vitamins had less severe and fewer headaches.
Vitamin B-12 contains a rare metal called cobalt that is crucial to keep the nervous system functioning properly and helping with red blood cell production. While many people consume the proper amounts of B-12 through a fairly healthy diet, there are some who suffer from conditions that require B-12 in supplement form due to not being able to absorb the vitamin properly or having a deficiency.
If you find that you have become B-12 deficient, you may notice fatigue as well as an increase in the number of headaches you have as well as the severity of them. In addition, you are more likely to suffer from pernicious anemia which can also result in more migraines.
6. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is made naturally in your body. It’s a vitamin-like substance that is found in every cell of your body that is used to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance. Its job is to convert sugars and fat cells into energy. There have been numerous studies that have found that Q10 is linked to migraines to a certain degree. Also, be aware that many drugs such as birth control, hormone replacements, antacids, and diabetes drugs deplete this nutrient.
Although there aren’t many large studies that have a strong link between Q10 and migraines, there are a few that have shown to reduce the number of migraines. A smaller study of 31 people who suffer from migraines found that 19 of them reported that their migraines had been cut in half.
Another study of 42 participants compared Q10 to a placebo. The findings were that Q10 was three times more likely than the placebo to reduce the number of migraines.
Remember that although there are scientific findings to prove that some of these deficiencies are partly to blame for your migraine headaches, you should still consult with a nutritionist to find out exactly what deficiencies you have so you can take the correct supplements.