What vitamin deficiency causes migraines? It’s no secret that migraines can be crippling. While the exact causes are not fully understood, research has shown that certain vitamin deficiencies can play a role in the development of migraines.
In this article, we will discuss what vitamin deficiency causes migraines and how to treat a vitamin deficiency to help prevent it.
What is a Vitamin Deficiency?
Vitamins are found in various foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats. In addition, there are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs, including vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate).
When the body does not get enough of these essential nutrients, it can lead to a deficiency. Symptoms of vitamin deficiency can vary depending on the specific vitamin involved but may include fatigue, weakness, impaired immune function, and problems with the skin, hair, and nails. In severe cases, a deficiency can lead to more serious health problems, such as anemia and nerve damage.
What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Migraines?
A lack of magnesium can cause migraines. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including those that regulate neurotransmitters, muscle function, and blood sugar levels. It’s also necessary for the production of energy in the body. Therefore, a magnesium deficiency can lead to several problems, including severe headaches.
Chris Kozmor, RN and M.Ed., director of the Shore Medical Center Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center, hypothesizes that low magnesium levels may contribute to migraines. Therefore, Kozmor advises including plenty of magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, avocados, and almonds in a well-balanced diet to avoid those intense headaches.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps, fatigue, irritability, and headaches. If you think you might be deficient in magnesium, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test. You can also take magnesium supplements to improve your levels.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to severe headaches, particularly in women. Low levels of vitamin D have been found in women with migraines who also have low levels of calcium and magnesium. While more research is needed to confirm the link between a vitamin D deficiency and migraines, getting enough of this nutrient may help prevent or reduce the severity of it.
You can also get this nutrient from certain foods, such as fatty fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cereals. You can also supplement if you’re not getting enough vitamin D from your diet. The National Institutes of Health recommends 600 IU of vitamin D for adults ages 19 to 70. Adults 71 and older need 800 IU.
Vitamin B2 Deficiency
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is an important nutrient that helps the body convert food into energy. It is found in many foods, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. Riboflavin is thought to help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches by decreasing inflammation and promoting healthy blood vessels.
According to the National Institute of Health, most people should consume each of the various B vitamins. They’re vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. If you think you may be deficient in this nutrient, talk to your doctor. They can order a blood test to check your levels and recommend supplementation or diet changes.
How to Treat a Vitamin Deficiency
Treatment for vitamin deficiency typically involves addressing the underlying cause and increasing the intake of the specific vitamins that are lacking. For example, in cases where poor diet is the cause, this may involve changing one’s diet to include more foods rich in the necessary vitamins. It may also involve taking vitamin supplements to make up for any deficiencies.
If inadequate absorption of nutrients from food is the cause of the deficiency, treatment may involve addressing the underlying issue, such as a digestive disorder or other medical condition. In some cases, medication may be necessary to improve the absorption of vitamins from food.
In cases where debilitating headaches are caused by vitamin deficiency, treatment may involve increasing the intake of specific vitamins that effectively reduce their frequency and severity. For example, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) can effectively reduce the frequency of migraines or headaches in some individuals. Other vitamins that may be beneficial for treating it include vitamin B6, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10.
What vitamin deficiency causes migraines? There are multiple vitamin deficiencies that can lead to more frequent migraines or headaches. If you think you may be lacking in any of these vitamins, be sure to talk to your doctor so they can help you get on the path to improving your health.
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