If you have considered adding supplements to your migraine prevention toolkit, then magnesium might be a great option for you! Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral found in the body and is a safe, natural option for a migraine preventative that does not require a prescription. Below is more information about this supplement, as well as some things to keep in mind when considering adding it into your diet.
Magnesium supplements have been found to be most effective in relieving symptoms of migraine with aura. It is believed that magnesium prevents the wave of brain signaling, called cortical spreading depression, which is what produces the visual and sensory changes known as aura. Daily oral supplementation of magnesium has also been shown to prevent hormonal migraines, especially in those with premenstrual migraines.
Types of Magnesium
- Magnesium oxide: this is the type most commonly taken to prevent migraine, usually in pill form at a dose of 400-600 mg per day. Taking this alongside calcium can impact your body’s ability to absorb the magnesium so if you are supplementing with both, consider taking them at different times of the day.
- Magnesium citrate: this type of magnesium is more easily absorbed into the body and can be taken in liquid form. It is primarily used to treat constipation and can cause diarrhea and stomach upset if taken in large doses.
- Magnesium sulfate: this type of magnesium is given intravenously and is an inorganic form of magnesium. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should check with their doctor before starting this type of magnesium as it can cause complications with fetal bone development.
Foods High In Magnesium
- Legumes: black beans, edamame
- Vegetables: avocado, spinach, kale
- Nuts: cashews, peanuts, almonds
- Whole grains: oatmeal, whole wheat
When taken correctly, magnesium can be a safe alternative treatment option for people with migraines. It has a lower potential for adverse side effects than some traditional medical treatments and prescriptions. People with a history of aura may find the use of magnesium oxide particularly helpful. Anyone considering taking magnesium supplements should speak with their doctor first, as they may interact with a person’s medication or make symptoms of an existing condition worse.