Magnesium vs. migraine: Does the mineral really help?

Magnesium against migraines Does the mineral really help

At least once a month headache? At the same time, sensitivity to light, light and nausea? Then you are probably one of the 25 Germans who suffer from migraine attacks.

But what are the causes of migraines? This has not yet been clearly established. One possible cause, however, is a magnesium deficiency. Does magnesium help with migraines? How much is to be taken and how do you know if you really have migraines? We have looked at some studies on this.

How magnesium helps against migraines

A magnesium deficiency is associated with the development and development (of pathogenesis) of migraines. Magnesium is responsible for numerous processes in the human organism. A deficiency in the mineral may therefore, among other things,

  • Headache
  • increased irritability and sleep disturbances.

For example, studies since the 1980s have shown that people with migraines have a possible magnesium deficiency during attacks (Ramadan et al. Low brain magnesium in migraine, Trauinger A. et al., Oral magnesium load test in patients with migraine, Mauskop A et al, Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine) Researchers achieved pain relief by administering 1 g of magnesium sulfate. 86 of the patients reported persistent pain relief over 24 hours. Serotonin, which is released in migraines, triggers nausea and vomiting. This can subsequently lead to vascular constrictions. Pre-treatment with magnesium has been shown to reduce vascular narrowing caused by serotonin. Intravenous magnesium showed a significant improvement in migraines (DOI: 10.3390/nu7095388, 10.3344/kjp.2017.30.3.176).

Another study found that regular intake of magnesium reduced migraine attacks by 41.6. In the guideline of the therapy of migraine attack and prophylaxis of migraine, however, magnesium is given a low scientific evidence as a prophylaxis. In 2017, Alexander von Luckner and Franz Riederer concluded in a review that there is “possibly effective evidence for the prevention of migraine with magnesium”. In a further meta-analysis, intravenously given magnesium reduced migraine attacks within 15 – 45, 120 and 24 hours. Taken orally, it has reduced the frequency and intensity. Overall, these studies show that magnesium is effective. However, the evidence is still too low to confirm the prevention of migraine attacks.

How much magnesium in migraines

As a prophylaxis, 300 mg are recommended twice daily. This can help relieve migraines.

Recognising migraines

Migraine can affect you in different ways. Pay attention to the characteristics to determine the headaches accurately. A distinction is made between:

Migraines without aura

(Aura means that you have visual disturbances such as blurring or a half-sided loss of vision. Smell and speech disorders are also included.)

A) At least five headache attacks of 4 – 72 hours duration (untreated or not successfully treated) which have at least two of the following four characteristics:

1. One-sided positioning

2. Pulsating quality

3. Medium or strong intensity (inhibits or prevents daily activities)

4. Difficult by climbing stairs or similar routine physical activities.

B) Headaches experience at least one of the following two symptoms:

1. Phonophobia and photophobia (noise and light sensitivity)

2. Nausea and/or vomiting

Migraines with diagnostic criteria of the aura

A) At least two migraine attacks that meet at least three of the following:

1. One or more fully reversible aura symptoms indicating focal cerebral cortical and/or brain stem function.

2. At least one aura symptom gradually develops over more than four minutes, or two or more symptoms occur one after the other.

3. No aura symptom lasts longer than 60 minutes; if there is more than one aura symptom, the accepted duration is extended proportionally.

4. The headache follows the aura with a free interval of at least 60 minutes (it can also start with the aura at the same time).

B) At least one of the following aura characteristics is a diagnosis of migraines with a typical aura:

1. Side-sided visual disturbances

2. One-sided paresthesia (“tingling”) and/or numbness

3. Unilateral weakness

4. Aphasia or non-classifiable speech disorders

Reference: Headache classification committee of the IHS. Classification and diagnostic criteria for headache disorders, cranial neuralgias and facial pain. Cephalalgia 1988 8: 1-96.

Note: We offer information about magnesium that does not replace a diagnosis, further research on studies or a medical conversation.

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