A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling.
Warning symptoms known as aura may occur before or with the headache. These can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg.
Medications can help prevent some migraines and make them less painful. Talk to your doctor about different migraine treatment options if you can’t find relief. The right medicines, combined with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes, may help.
Migraines often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraines may progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome, though you may not experience all stages.
These auras may be accompanied by feelings of dizziness and confusion or nausea and fatigue. Often the aura is a sign of the worst to come: the blindingly awful headache that the migraine experience culminates in.
Migraine and Nutritional Deficiencies
Although the underlying cause of migraine headaches has yet to be pinpointed and is thought to be different from person to person, research has shown that many migraine sufferers also have something else in common: a nutritional deficiency in one or more essential vitamins.
The Migraine-B Vitamin Connection
Migraine headaches may have many causes, and those causes vary from individual to individual. However, research studies aimed at determining whether nutritional factors may play a role in migraine development have shown that B vitamins may play a significant role in migraine headaches.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the 5 essential nutrients you may be missing from your diet.
Further research published in 2009 showed that folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 can reduce the severity and frequency of migraines among a sample of migraine sufferers.
Another study from Iran published in October 2015showed that vitamin B2 deficiency could be related to migraine.
All told, the data points to a tie between B vitamins and migraines, namely that B vitamin deficiency especially folic acid, B2, B6 and B12 can lead to migraine suffering.
The Migraine-D Vitamin Connection
Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you may think. In fact, it is so common that The American Journal of Clinical NutritionIt called it a worldwide problem which is recognized as a pandemic.
What makes vitamin D unique compared to other vitamins is that your body can make its own vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight, whereas you need to get other vitamins from the foods you eat. In today’s world where so many people spend the bulk of their time indoors, exposure to and absorption of naturally occurring vitamin D can be sorely lacking.
I’ve already mentioned the common causes for lack of vitamin D and how this deficiency affects your health. A research indicates that lack of vitamin D may also cause migraines.
Here is what the researchers found:
Serum vitamin D levels were significantly lower in patients with migraines compared to the control group.
In a multiple model analysis, vitamin D were found to be associated with migraines.
The researchers concluded:
“Based on the present findings, we may suggest that decreased serum vitamin D levels were associated with migraine.”
Comprehensive Migraine Treatment – Look for the Migraine Triggers
It is important for you to understand that treating migraines by using a simple remedy may not be the best approach. While using supplements like B and D vitamins can be useful, this is still an approach which is similar to using medications. In many cases you can get a longer lasting relief by identifying the root cause of your migraines – you need to identify and avoid the triggers of the migraine.
Common Migraine Triggers
Did you know that at least 60% of all diseases can be in some way attributed to stress?
Stress can be another major trigger for migraines; a new job, increased workload at an existing job, or even marrying or having a child are all considered stressful events, and can all serve as migraine triggers.
- Sensory triggers
A lot of migraine sufferers insist that their migraine-related pain is brought on primarily by sensory triggers, especially visual ones.
Bright or flickering lights, a rapid change from darkness to brightness, and even exposure to sunlight can all trigger a migraine headache. Sometimes loud or repetitive sounds can also serve as a trigger, or even strong smells such as perfume or chemical scents.
- Food and Drink
Food and drink can be a big culprit in bringing on a migraine. Preservatives in processed foods, caffeine, tannins in red wine and black tea, excessive sodium intake, smoked foods and aged cheeses can all act as triggers for migraine.
Many people who eat convenience foods find themselves suffering from migraines without being able to pinpoint a specific trigger.