Magnesium is a vital mineral that is essential for proper functioning of a body. It improves bone health, maintains healthy heart rhythm, nerve function, and stabilizes blood pressure. Common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, fatigue, muscle cramping, nausea, muscle contractions, and tingling.
Low magnesium also induces migraines and headaches. It’s estimated that millions don’t get sufficient magnesium through their daily diets. In one study carried out in 2006, it was found that 78 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium in their diets. Do you know, magnesium dioxide is widely used by doctors to prevent and treat migraines.
Types of magnesium
There are different types of magnesium, which can be used to treat different conditions. This mineral doesn’t get easily absorbed in the body without binding with some other substance. Due to this property, supplements often combine magnesium with other substances, such as amino acids.
Most supplements in the market may contain the following types of magnesium in them:
- Magnesium sulfate-An inorganic form of magnesium, and only small amount can be absorbed by the body.
- Magnesium oxide-It has high magnesium levels and is mostly used to treat migraines and headaches.
- Magnesium carbonate-It’s high magnesium levels can cause gastrointestinal upset.
- Magnesium chloride-It’s easily absorbed by the body.
- Magnesium citrate-It’s easily absorbed by the body and can induce bowel movements.
Magnesium and migraines
Research shows that people with migraines have much lower magnesium levels than those without them. In one study in 2003, it was found that regular intake of magnesium helped in reducing frequency of migraine attacks by 54.2 percent. In another research carried out in late 90s, it was found that daily intake of magnesium is effective in tacking menstrual migraines.
Mostly magnesium dioxide is used to treat migraines. It can be taken in pill form, and dosage ranges from 450-550 milligrams a day. Magnesium, in the form of magnesium sulfate, can also be administered intravenously.
Being a completely natural element, and so vital for our health, it can be a good migraine treatment. This is especially true when compared to migraine medications that can be very expensive in the long run. They also come with so many side effects.
Though magnesium intake is generally considered safe for most people, but its regular intake through supplements may lead to some side effects. The most common ones include vomiting, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms, try lowering intake for some relief.
Another side effect of magnesium is reduced blood pressure. If you’re already a person with low blood pressure, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking this supplement on a regular basis.
Taking excessive magnesium can lead to life-threatening buildup, and may result in many side effects, such as:
- unsafe low blood pressure
- irregular heartbeat
- slowed breathing
Therefore, its important to discuss this your doctor before you start taking magnesium on daily basis. You doctor will suggest you the ideal dosage.
Foods rich in magnesium
If you don’t want to take magnesium supplements, switch to some magnesium rich foods.
Many dark leafy greens such as chard and spinach contain lots of magnesium. Just one cup may contain between 3-45 percent of daily recommended value of magnesium.
Other foods that contain decent amounts of magnesium include:
- seeds, like pumpkin or squash seeds
- low-fat yogurt or kefir
- mackerel, tuna, and Pollock fish
- black beans and lentils
- dark chocolate
Though supplements ensure a powerful boost, it’s best to get your required magnesium through natural means by incorporating many magnesium-dense foods.
Some people cannot take magnesium, especially those with some pre-existing medical issues. This includes those who have:
- diabetes, as poorly controlled diabetes will affect the way magnesium is stored in the body
- bleeding disorders, as it can slow down blood clotting
- heart blocks
- kidney issues, including renal failure
People with digestive conditions such as stomach infection or inflammatory bowel disease should seek their doctor’s advice before taking magnesium. These conditions affect the body’s magnesium absorption rate.
Magnesium can sometimes interact with other medications, including:
- diuretics or water pills
- heart medications
- muscle relaxants
Pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking any magnesium supplement. However, dosage of 340-450mg is considered safe for them. Avoid taking magnesium intravenously, as it can lead to bone thinning in fetus.
If you take magnesium in safe doses, preferably through natural means, it can help prevent migraines and headaches. Since it has fewer side effects than common prescription medicines, it is a more suitable option to naturally heal your migraine.
If your migraine has increases in frequency or severity, quickly seek advice from your doctor. They can help you determine the precise amount of magnesium you can take and what other treatment options you have.