Magnesium is so vital for our body to ensure proper functioning. It stabilizes your blood pressure, improves bone health, and helps maintain a healthy nerve function and heart rhythm. Some symptoms that show you’re being low on magnesium include loss of appetite, fatigue, muscle cramping, nausea, muscle contractions, and tingling.
Did you know low level of magnesium in body triggers migraines and headaches? It’s estimated that millions of people around the world don’t get enough magnesium through their diets. In one study carried out in 2007, it was found that 78 percent Americans are low on magnesium. Magnesium, specifically magnesium oxide is mostly used to prevent and treat migraines and headaches.
There are different types of magnesium that are sometimes used to treat variety of conditions. It’s not absorbed easily by the body without first being bound to another substance. For this reason, in supplement form magnesium is combined with many other substances, such as amino acids.
Mostly the magnesium used in various supplements include:
- Magnesium sulfate (an inorganic form of magnesium) only small amounts of it can be absorbed into the body.
- Magnesium oxide (has high levels of magnesium) It is mostly used to treat migraines.
- Magnesium chloride, it’s easily absorbed in the body.
- Magnesium carbonate (has higher levels of magnesium). It’s regular use can cause gastrointestinal upset.
- Magnesium citrate is easily absorbed into the body and is mostly used to induce easy bowel movements.
Magnesium and its effects on migraines
Significant research has been done on this topic and most of it has shown that all those who have migraines also have lower magnesium levels than people without them. In fact, one study found that with regular magnesium intake migraine attack frequency reduced by 43.7 percent. Not a bad result! Other research shows that when you increase your magnesium intake it can also help in preventing menstrual migraines.
Usually magnesium oxide is used for treating recurring migraine attacks. It’s available in pill form, with recommended dosage in the range of 400-500mg a day. It can also be administered intravenously in the form of magnesium sulfate.
Being a natural element, magnesium is vital for our health and is definitely a safe way to heal migraine. It’s definitely a much more cost effective and safe option when compared to various migraine medications which come with so many side effects.
Generally, magnesium is considered safe for most people, but sometimes it can results in few side effects. The most common ones are vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhea. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, lower your dosage immediately for relief.
Another magnesium side effect is lowered blood pressure. If you’re already experiencing a low blood pressure, discuss this with your doctor before taking magnesium on daily basis.
I would suggest moderate magnesium intake because too much of it may even lead to dangerous build up, resulting in side effects, such as:
- Slowed breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Unsafe low blood pressure
Therefore, it’s best to discuss this with your doctor before you start taking magnesium. Your doctor will suggest you about safe magnesium dosage.
Foods rich in magnesium
All those who want to avoid supplements can include foods rich in magnesium.
Dark leafy greens like chard and spinach offer highest amount of magnesium and get absorbed quickly in the body. Just one cup has 39-45 percent of recommended daily value of magnesium.
Others foods rich in magnesium include:
- Squash and pumpkin seeds
- Lentils and black beans
- Tuna, mackerel, and Pollock fish
- Low-fat yogurt or kefir
- Dark chocolate
While most supplements may offer a powerful boost, best approach is to fill magnesium gap in your diet by including magnesium-rich foods.
You should avoid magnesium if you’ve some pre-existing conditions. This includes people suffering from:
- Diabetes (poorly controlled diabetic condition has a big impact on how well magnesium is stored in the body)
- Bleeding disorders (this can slow down clotting)
- Kidney issues (including kidney failure)
- Heart blockage
People with digestive issues such as stomach infection or inflammatory bowel disease, should consult their doctor before taking magnesium. These conditions can restrict the absorption of magnesium the body.
Magnesium also interacts with other medications, including:
- Water pills or diuretics
- Heart medications
- Muscle relaxants
Pregnant women should consult doctor before taking magnesium to handle migraines. For them, it’s generally safe to take 300-400mg of magnesium oxide in pills form every day. Avoid taking magnesium sulfate intravenously because it’s associated with bone thinning in the fetus.
If taken in safe doses, magnesium can easily prevent migraines for many people. Since magnesium has exhibited fewer side effects than usual migraine medicine, it appears to be a more suitable option that you can take for years.
If you’re down with migraine attacks, seek advice from your doctor. They can help determine the amount of magnesium you should consume daily and what other options to consider. In my opinion, it’s best to get your magnesium from natural sources. There are no side effects or worry about overdoses.