Magnesium: Top of the List for Migraine

We’ve talked about magnesium for migraine a lot here, and we’re not going to stop because it’s something that actually helps a lot of people.

There have been quite the conversations going on here at Headache and Migraine News about magnesium, and I’m going to highlight one comment in a moment.  But first, let me just point out that we’re not the only ones talking about this.

For example, in the journal American Family Physician, a peer reviewed journal from the American Academy of Family Physicians, an article was published this past July on the Therapeutic uses of magnesium.  The summary stated (emphasis mine):

Magnesium is an essential mineral for optimal metabolic function.  Research has shown that the mineral content of magnesium in food sources is declining, and that magnesium depletion has been detected in persons with some chronic diseases.  This has led to an increased awareness of proper magnesium intake and its potential therapeutic role in a number of medical conditions.  Studies have shown the effectiveness of magnesium in eclampsia and preeclampsia, arrhythmia, severe asthma, and migraine.

In The Clinical Journal of Pain, also this summer, Drs Sun-Edelstein and Mauskop wrote an article entitled Foods and supplements in the management of migraine headaches.  In their list of supplements recommended for migraine, they put magnesium at the top of the list.

That means that a magnesium supplement should be one of the first things you’re considering if you have migraine.  Now, check out this comment from Angie, one of our visitors from this month (paragraphs mine):

If you suffer from migraines and haven’t tried Magnesium PLEASE TRY IT!!  I have had migraines since I was 6 years old.  I am now 39.  I have been on countless anti-depressants and anti-seizure type meds as preventatives…some worked – some did not, but all had some major side effects.  If you’ve taken them, you know what I mean.

5 months ago, I started developing "stroke-like" right sided hemiplegia with my migraines and then subsequently "seizure-type" episodes.  They were not strokes, as confirmed by an MRI and they were not seizures per se, as confirmed by an EEG….just all apart of my changing migraines.  After a neurologist told me that I needed psychiatric help when I kept complaining about the side effects from the "newest" seizure med they had me on, I knew I was on my own.

A friend from work told me that her Dr had told her about a Magnesium/Riboflavin (B2) combo that seemed to be helping her, I felt like I had nothing to lose by giving it a try.  IT WORKED!  The Mag Oxide was not overly helpful, but the Mag Citrate made all the difference in the world.

I still get migraines, but they are functional migraines (worse around menses) – no nausea, no need to stay in a dark room, I can go to work, etc.  But the hemiplegic and seizure type zone-out episodes are GONE completely.  And I feel like I have my mind back – the fog that I had experienced while on Topamax and Zonisamide, etc has lifted.  I CAN THINK AGAIN!!!  I am going to try adding the CoQ10 and upping my Mag dose (I’m only doing 400mg) and see if that helps the menstrual headaches anymore.

I always thought vitamin "pushers" were just plain weird (sorry), but here I am telling you it’s working for me!!  Good luck.

Now that’s just one experience of course, but it’s not an isolated one.  Even down to the "ate" type of magnesium which I have recommended here in the past.

If you think it’s "weird" to take supplements for migraine, like Angie once thought, think again.  This is a well researched, tried and true treatment.

Read more about taking magnesium for migraine here, and talk to your doctor.  You can also read more about the also well researched magnesium, riboflavin, feverfew combination supplement MigreLief here.  More about hemiplegic migraine here.  Here’s the post with the ongoing discussion about magnesium and migraine.

References: Therapeutic uses of magnesium and Foods and supplements in the management of migraine headaches

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13 comments… add one
  • pen Oct 27, 2009

    Is there a way to take Magnesium that wont upset my stomach?
    I have IBS and FMS too, so could use it, but I get awful belly ache and upset.

  • Aurora Oct 28, 2009

    I have only started taking magnesium supplement last week. The thing that I noticed, as of this writing, is that I do have the migraine attack, but I am functional, and that is a good thing.

  • James Oct 29, 2009

    Try a different kind of magnesium, pen. You might be surprised at the difference.

    Aurora, it does take time. Like most things for migraine, it’s wise to try for at least 3 months, using a migraine diary, to see what happens. I hope the improvement continues!

  • pen Oct 29, 2009

    what kinds are there please. they are all really hard to swallow as well. i have a swallowing problem with the fibro.
    any suggest a gut friendly smaller pill please….but…I am in the UK

  • Aurora Oct 29, 2009

    Like hell I’ll monitor this mg supplement thing, especially when I got scared 3 weeks ago when the right side of my face sagged that my eyecap was nearly closed.

    Pen, I am taking the chewable magnesium tablets in sort of fruity flavor. I just let it melt in my mouth like candy.

  • James Nov 17, 2009

    You can also get magnesium in powder form that dissolves in a drink, such as this Calm Organic Orange, or liquid magnesium such as this Ionic Magnesium. Just make sure you don’t get something with calcium in it too, by mistake.

  • Aurora Jan 26, 2010

    I am still on Magnesium, James. I still have severe attacks but also mild ones and less vomitting. I am able to walk my dog even while having an attack…I also found this Mg citrate in liquid form. It is what I am taking now.

    Last month, I had 15 days of migraine as against my average of 18. I am not satisfied, but I am at least happy to have more headache-free days.

  • feeno Mar 26, 2011

    I am a chronic patient of migraines, since 16 years. I have been treated by numerous doctors, but the list of medications keep on increasing. I am thinking of trying homeopathic treatment, because the hope of getting better is fast diminishing. However the positive response of patients taking magnesium supplements has given me a slight ray of hope. Hormonal changes also have a strong link to my attacks. Presently I am taking an anti depressant and inderal for prophylactic treatment and zomig for the pain. I live in Australia, and would like to know the appropriate combination of magnesium, as there are so many varieties available in the market. Please guide me in this regard, thanks.

  • fay Mar 26, 2011

    The one thing that seems to be a problem for me is that the magnesium, even in liquid form, doesn’t seem to be absorbed properly (the same is true for other supplements such as melantonin). This leaves me with the treatment option of IV drip (which contains other components of course). The good news for me is that it relaxes me almost immediately; the bad news is how costly the drip is. Based on what I’ve read today I will be trying the MigreLief to see if the herbal quality will absorb properly.

  • suki Aug 8, 2013

    I use Migravent that has magnesium, riboflavin, butterbur and COQ10. I know it’s expensive and I could probably purchase the various ingredients and mix them, but for me it works, at least by negative comparison. I just retired (disability) and am much better able to observe the effects of various treatments and preventives. I took Migravent as a preventive and in that month was ill 60% of the time. The next month I stopped and was ill 77% of the time. Now I’m back on it and we’ll see how August goes. When I say ill I’m using the MIDAS criteria- either 50% or 100% incapacitated for work or play.

  • suki Aug 13, 2013

    I’ve finished researching what I’ll need to replace the Migravent.(They have some extra ingredients that I can do without). If I can stay healthy and organized long enough to switch over to the same ingredients I’ll let you know.
    I also just found out that the magnesium powder I use to augment the magnesium in the migravent contains stevia. I like the powdered magnesium seems to work better. Because the jury is out on stevia I will have to find a replacement magnesium powder.

  • Upadhyay CL Aug 26, 2016

    For migrain take Magnesium Glycinate or magnesium taurate , these two are well absorbed by body, called bioavailable , other forms are have one or the other problems, every make needs 430 mg of magnesium per day , that should be Mg metal equivalent , in short,you need 6 capsules of magnesium Glycinate to get your daily dose of around 400 mg metal equivalent magnesium. Combine with Vit. B complex for migrain treatment, good luck

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