For the body to function properly, it relies on several vitamins and minerals. Magnesium is a mineral that supports nerve function, heart rhythm, blood pressure regulation, and bone health. Studies suggest that magnesium deficiency, which affects nearly 75% of Americans, can cause muscle cramps, nausea, low appetite, fatigue, and other symptoms. Some studies also suggest that magnesium oxide, one of several types of this mineral, may help decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines. Does this mean that every person who suffers migraines can benefit from taking magnesium oxide supplements? Here, we take a look at this possibility.

Magnesium and Migraines

Multiple bodies of research have demonstrated a link between migraines and low levels of magnesium. In one study, participants who took magnesium regularly experienced a 41% drop in the frequency of migraine headaches. The mineral has also been shown to decrease menstrual-related migraines.

Because magnesium is a natural product, supplements are available without a prescription. However, it is important to understand that even natural products can have side effects and may not be right for every person. Magnesium is generally considered safe but can cause unpleasant side effects. These may include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Magnesium may also lower blood pressure which, for those with naturally low blood pressure, can be concerning.

In addition to side effects related to dosing, more serious side effects can occur if magnesium builds up in the body. These include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Severely low blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat

People with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, bleeding disorders, or kidney or heart problems should not take magnesium. Magnesium is also not appropriate for people taking heart medications, muscle relaxants, antibiotics, or diuretics.  You should always consult with your doctor before taking any new medication or supplement.

Proven Treatments for Migraines

Migraines can affect people in a variety of ways. No case is exactly the same. For some, conservative use of medications or injections is sufficient for managing migraines. For some, alternative therapies such as acupuncture or biofeedback work well. Dr. Lowenstein has been active in the research of migraines and the development of proven protocols. For patients interested in long-term relief from chronic migraine headaches, migraine surgery may make the most sense.

We are proud to provide proven migraine treatment to patients in the Santa Barbara area. To learn more about migraine surgery, call 805.969.9004.

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