Magnesium for Headaches
Magnesium is one of the most important basic nutrients—it powers more than 600 biochemical reactions in the body. Though its main role is to help nerves and muscles relax after they’ve been excited, it also supports heart and bone health, healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and enables the body to produce energy. Being deficient in this mineral can cause problems in all these areas, many of which have been linked to the onset of migraines. That’s why, for many, increasing one’s magnesium intake can be a helpful way to prevent the onset of headaches.
“Twenty-five million Americans suffer from migraines,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, author of The Magnesium Miracle. “Magnesium plays a huge role in so many processes that affect the brain; so not having enough of this mineral may set the stage for a migraine attack.” Here are a few examples of how magnesium works in the body:
- When magnesium is low, it’s unable to counteract the blood-clotting action of calcium. Tiny blood clots are said to clog up brain blood vessels, leading to migraines.
- Low magnesium levels in the brain promote neurotransmitter hyperactivity and nerve excitation that can lead to headaches.
- Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and allows them to dilate, reducing the spasms and constrictions that can cause migraines.
- Magnesium relaxes muscles and prevents the buildup of lactic acid, which, along with muscle tension, can worsen head pain.
- Magnesium is responsible for balancing blood sugar. Without enough of this mineral, low blood-sugar levels can produce excitotoxins, which can impact the brain and cause migraines.
Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?
Figuring out if you are low in magnesium can be a challenge, since nearly 99 percent of it is stored deep in our bones and organs—blood tests are simply not a good gauge. That’s why symptoms such as muscle spasms, sleeplessness, fatigue and headaches are often a better indication of deficiency.
For most people, supplementing is the best way to get enough magnesium. You can’t overdose on this vital mineral; as with vitamin C, the body will excrete any excess. A good index of magnesium levels is whether your bowels are comfortably loose, since constipation is a symptom of cellular magnesium deficiency. Eating foods containing smaller amounts of magnesium, such as some nuts, seeds and beans, is a good practice; but most people are not getting their minimum daily requirement from their diets. This is where Natural Vitality’s Calm comes in. This #1-selling highly absorbable, water-soluble magnesium works quickly and effectively to keep your body working properly and headaches at bay.
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