Migraines are painful headaches that can last for hours or even days at a time. They are usually the result of triggers, which vary from one person to another. Certain herbs, vitamins, and nutrients can help prevent and/or reduce the severity of migraines.
Causes of Migraines
A migraine is a headache that is more severe than regular headaches. When a migraine occurs, it usually lasts at least 4 hours and up to 72 hours
in some cases. It consists of pain and throbbing, sometimes on one side of the head, and sometimes on both sides. A migraine might also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
The causes of migraines aren't fully understood. Several factors can increase the likelihood of their occurrence. Women are much more likely than men to experience them. Having a family history of migraines also increases the probability of someone being subject to them.
When a migraine occurs, it is usually the result of a trigger. These triggers differ among individuals. Hormonal changes
during menstruation and pregnancy are one of the most common migraine triggers. Other potential triggers include stress, changes in sleep, and sensory stimuli such as bright lights, strong smells, or secondhand smoke. Some foods and ingredients can be triggers, such as alcohol, caffeine, aspartame, aged cheeses, and processed foods.
Supplements to Prevent Migraines
When it comes to treating migraines, there are two approaches. Acute treatments are used to treat a migraine once it occurs, and preventative treatments are also used to stop migraines or at least reduce their severity
. The supplements discussed below are primarily recommended for the prevention of migraines, although some have been shown to reduce their severity.
(CoQ10) has been able to help combat migraine attacks. Multiple studies have shown a correlation between daily CoQ10 supplementation and a reduction in the frequency and severity of migraines. The benefits are likely due to CoQ10's antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to reduce the production of enzymes that cause inflammation during migraine attacks.
Feverfew is an herb that has been shown to reduce the severity
of migraine symptoms. Studies have shown that regular consumption of this herb can lead to a reduction in migraine symptoms by about 25%.
is an important mineral that can contribute to preventing migraines, as well as reducing the severity of acute symptoms. Magnesium works against migraines by reducing pro-inflammatory signaling, and by preventing the excess activation of brain cell receptors that are linked to migraine pain. This mineral could be especially helpful for reducing migraines in women experiencing premenstrual syndrome.
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, has been shown in at least one study to reduce the frequency of migraines, at least in those who experience them regularly
. Taking riboflavin daily is necessary to see these benefits eventually take hold.
Vitamin D can work against migraines in a couple different ways. Deficiency in this vitamin is linked to migraines, so supplementing with vitamin D
could reduce migraines in those who are deficient. Vitamin D can also help the body absorb magnesium and combat inflammation. Vitamin D could help reduce the severity, frequency, and duration of migraines.
Migraines are painful and stressful. Next to identifying the triggers and of migraines so you can avoid them, taking steps to mitigate them is critical. The above supplements could be valuable in preventing migraines and reducing their severity. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any of these supplements for the first time, and be sure to ask him or her for their own suggestions.