Nearly 38 million people in the United States suffer from migraines per year. Approximately 25 % of households in the United States have a member of their family who experiences migraine headaches.
Even though migraines are the third most common illness in the world, researchers go on investigation the causes and reasons of migraines. In fact, people between 35 – 55 years old are the most common ones who suffer from migraines.
Migraines greatly affect family, employers and the community. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), migraines are the 19th common cause for disability all over the world.
MIGRAINES DO NOT REPRESENT ONLY SEVERE HEADACHES
Even though migraines are characterized by debilitating and severe headaches, they are more serious than the headaches. Migraines represent a neurological disorder, represented by severe headaches. It is also considered to be the most common neurological disorder.
Women are more likely to suffer from migraines due to hormonal imbalances, and are characterized by moderate to severe headaches, occurring at one side of the head only. The headaches could last from a few hours to three days, which often get worse by physical activity.
Some of the most common symptoms that accompany migraines are nausea, fever, vomiting, sweating, dizziness, visual disturbances, face and leg numbness, sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell. There are several types of migraine headaches, so a person may experience symptoms of many headaches. They include:
• Basilar type
• With aura
• Without aura
• Status migrainous
CAUSES OF MIGRAINES
There are various theories about the causes of migraines. Some of them are:
• Dysfunction or mutation of certain genes
• A disorder of the nervous system originating in the brain stem
• A disruption of energies circulating all over the body
• A neurological disorder
• Excessive increase of blood flow in the brain
• Vascular construction in the brain
• Changes of serotonin, a brain chemical
IS IT RELATED TO LACK OF VITAMINS?
Migraines are named on the basis of the symptoms they cause. A group of researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center carries out a study in order to find out the connection between migraines and vitamin deficiency.
Numerous past studies have shown a connection between children and adult migraines with lack of vitamins. Nevertheless, there have been also other studies which rejected this connection.
The group of researchers, led by Dr. Suzanne Hagler, examined more than 7.400 participants. They took folate, vitamin C, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10. A great number of children, teenagers and adults, have shown mild lack of coenzyme Q10, vitamin D and riboflavin.
In addition, the findings have also shown that girls and women were likely to experience lack of coenzyme Q10, whereas boys were likely to experience lack of vitamin D. Moreover, they have found a connection between cardiovascular diseases and mortality and migraines.
Participants, who experienced chronic migraines, have higher risk of lack of coenzyme Q 10 and riboflavin than those who suffered from episodic migraines. Most of the participants in the study were prescribed supplements and preventive therapy in order to find out if supplements could prevent migraines.
According to the findings, 16 % – 51 % of the participants had low levels of vitamins, which were determined by the National Academy of Science Dietary Reference Intake. The levels were determined to prevent diseases, not to enhance health.
COMMON MIGRAINE TRIGGERS TO AVOID
We should understand that the treating of migraines with one remedy is not always effective. Except taking supplements, like vitamin D, there is an allopathic approach, which is similar to taking medications.
It is important to find out the real cause of the migraine pain. As there are numerous mechanisms to prevent pain, there are also certain triggers, which increase the migraine pain. Here are some of the most common migraine triggers:
• Drink and food
• Hunger or dehydration
• Changes in the sleeping pattern
• Physical exertion
• Weather changes, altitude changes and seasonal changes.
ANOTHER ESSENTIAL VITAMIN FOR PEOPLE WHO SUFFER FROM MIGRAINES
It was not the only study to make a connection between the migraine headaches and lack of vitamins. A 2012-study has shown a significant relationship between many body process and magnesium. However, less than 2 % of magnesium levels can be measured. The other part is stored in the cells and the bones.
Magnesium deficiency may be the main cause of numerous health issues, including: platelet aggression, depression, serotonin receptor function as well affect use and production of neurotransmitters.
According to the researchers, people, who suffer from migraines, might develop lack of magnesium from various reasons, including: renal wasting, poor absorption, and increased excretion as a result of reduced nutritional intake or stress. Despite the reasons, the studies have shown that migraine sufferers may develop lack of magnesium.
However, since testing of lack of magnesium cannot be easily accomplished and since magnesium administration is safe and available, the researchers recommend empiric treatment with an oral supplement. Numerous researchers link the use of chronic medications to kidney and liver damage. The treatment and prevention of diseases have to start with a nutritional strategy.
According to the Association of Migraine Disorders, the supplementation with magnesium, riboflavin and coenzyme Q 10 should be taken for better results.
Suzy Cohen, a pharmacist from America, thinks that nutrition is related to migraine headaches. Hagler, the lead author of the study, stated that people who suffer from migraines are more likely to lack some of these vitamins that the other population.
Other studies also supported this finding, which has shown that migraine sufferers may develop lack of vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q 10. The positive effects of supplementation and the lack of vitamin D and coenzyme Q 10 support the view that migraines represent a mitochondrial disorder.
SWITCH OFF THE BLUE LIGHT
If you suffer from migraine headaches, you are aware that exposure to sun makes them worse. A great number of people become photosensitive when they experience migraine and are forced to stay in a dark room in order to sooth the pain.
The Harvard Medical Study has found out that blind people, who suffer from migraines, but still have the melanin receptors, are also sensitive to light. According to the researches, the blue light of many LED light sources and digital devices increases the migraine pain and turns on the trigeminal nerve that is related to the migraine pain.
The Journal Brain from the Harvard Medical School published a study, which has found out that migraine sufferers could experience reduced pain and photosensitivity of they were exposed to green light. The participants in the study were exposed to green, blue, red and amber light and were asked about their reactions.
The findings of the study have shown that bright lights increased the migraine pain, except the bright green light. In addition, more than 20 % of the participants told that they experienced reduce migraine pain when they were exposed to green light.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES AND VITAMIN-RICH DIET
Even though you may be taking supplements, it is essential to include vitamins in your diet, too. The body is able to absorb and metabolize the vitamins more easily and efficiently than supplements.
When it comes to diet, it is important to look for organic, non-genetically modified products in order to lower the exposure to toxins and stressors.
• Dark leafy greens
• Wild Alaskan salmon
• Grass-fed or organic yoghurt
• Beet greens
• Pasteurized eggs
• Crimini mushrooms
Coenzyme Q10-rich foods:
• Sesame seeds
• Rainbow trout
• Pasteurized chicken
• Grass-fed beef
HOW TO INCREASE VITAMIN D LEVELS?
In order to get the necessary amount of vitamin D, you should expose yourself to sun.
THE ROLE OF VITAMIN D IN THE PREVENTION OF DISEASES
Numerous studies have shown that vitamin D has great impact on preventing health issues and maintain the overall health. The body consists of over 30.000 genes, which are affected by vitamin D. In addition, there are vitamin D receptors all over the body.
A recent study has shown that the optimal levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of cancer by 60 %. Moreover, the optimal levels of vitamin D may also prevent 16 types of cancer, including: lung, prostate, pancreatic, ovarian and skin cancer.