Do you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines? The experience is unpleasant and you’d do just about anything to get rid of the pain. The good news is that your headaches could be caused by lack of enough nutrients and vitamins in your body which you can get from the food you eat or by taking supplements. A headache or migraine could be caused by so many things, including stress, diet, hormonal imbalance, or workouts. According to the American Headache Society, getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals could be the key to treating frequent headaches. Reports indicate that every 10 seconds a person in the U.S. complains about excruciating head pain. Research shows that people with vitamin deficiencies are more likely to suffer from frequent headaches and migraines. This post shares six deficiencies that may lead to severe headaches and migraines.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is among the top deficiencies that may lead to frequent agonizing headaches. It’s produced by the kidneys, and we can also get it when basking in the sun, through supplementation or foods. If you don’t get enough of vitamin D from any of these sources, then you’re most likely to experience migraines out of the blue. To ensure you get the daily intake requirement of vitamin D, consume fatty fish and foods fortified with vitamin D like cereals and orange juice, and get enough sunlight.
Magnesium regulates blood pressure, blood sugar levels, nerve, and muscle function. A study by International Clinical Psychopharmacology showed that migraine sufferers had low levels of magnesium and were 35 times more likely to have a headache. Lack of magnesium causes insomnia, cramps, headaches, and muscle tension. That’s why experts recommend that you take magnesium supplements to help treat head pain. Good sources of magnesium include fortified cereals and dairy products, seeds, nuts, green leafy veggies, and legumes.
3. Vitamins B2, B6, B12, and Folic Acid
All vitamins in the B complex family and folic acid play a critical role in preventing headaches. However, vitamin B2 seems to be more beneficial in that it counters a deficiency of mitochondrial energy metabolism which has been associated with migraines. Vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies are also known to cause headaches and other conditions in the body. Homocysteine, an amino acid, is a compound that our bodies produce naturally. If your body produce them excessively, it may cause issues such as headaches. Vitamin B family can reduce the high levels of this amino acid, thereby, helping to manage the migraines. To up your vitamin B and folic acid intake, consume eggs, fruits, whole grains, green veggies, cereals, kidneys, livers, milk, and yogurt. You can also get vitamin B2 supplements if you suffer from severe headaches.
When you exercise or engage in physical activity, it’s normal to sweat. However, if you sweat excessively, you may be lacking sodium, which is known to cause headaches. Salt deficiencies can also be caused by certain medical conditions. To supply your body with the required amount of sodium, you can drink a salty drink or beverages containing electrolytes.
5. Vitamin E
Migraines is one of the symptoms that many women face during their menstrual cycle. To help keep the pain at bay, experts recommend finding foods or supplements rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E reduces the level of arachidonic acid in your body, thus helping to combat menstrual migraines. Some of the rich sources of vitamin E include spinach, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Taking vitamin E one week before and after your periods will offer relief from the frequent headaches.
6. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
For a long time, omega 3 has been used to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clots and lower cholesterol. Getting a frequent supply of omega 3 fatty acids can help alleviate head pain. Use olive oil and fish oil in your diet to improve nutrition as well as reduce migraines. Good omega 3 sources include sardines, salmon, herring, soybeans, green vegetables, and walnuts.
Managing Headaches and Migraines
Knowing what triggers your headache can greatly help with its treatment. The triggers vary from one individual to another and it might help to have a diary where you record the occurrences of your headaches. If your headache starts after eating a specific meal, taking medication or exercising, you can easily establish the root cause and address it more effectively. Headaches are also caused by alcohol intake and changing your lifestyle could be the solution. Try to get enough sleep, find ways to reduce emotional stress, and avoid migraine triggers. Apart from getting prescriptions, ask your doctor to recommend the correct vitamin supplements. If the situation gets worse despite taking vitamins and minerals, a surgical procedure may be an option.
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