In the United States, more than 30 million people have one or more migraine headaches per year. Migraines account for 64% of severe headaches in females and 43% of severe headaches in males. If you are one of the 30 million sufferers of migraines, consider consulting with your health care physician to add alternative treatment methods into your treatment plan. Studies have shown that certain vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary changes can have a positive effect on the reduction of migraines.
There are many different food triggers that can contribute to migraines. These include substances such as caffeine, sodium chloride, aspartame and amines. Many researchers are looking at the role of amines as triggers for migraine patients. In one study, tyramine and dopamine, which are amines present in certain foods, were reported to induce severe headaches. The study showed that patients were apt to develop migraines within 24 hours if they ate foods high in amines. If you suffer from migraines, foods to avoid may include: aged cheeses, chocolate, wine, many alcoholic beverages, aged meats such as sausage or salami, canned or smoked fish, banana, avocado, and tomato.
In addition to dietary changes, vitamin and supplement alternatives have been found to be effective in the treatment of migraines. Research has shown that magnesium deficiency may be a common factor among those that suffer with migraines. Increasing magnesium intake to 200mg per day was shown to have a success rate of 80% in helping patients with migraines.
As the precursor of flavin adenine dinucleotide FAD, a coenzyme involved in the electron-transport chain, riboflavin plays a role in mitochondrial energy production. Researchers have suggested that this appears to be impaired in some migraine patients. Riboflavin at a dosage of 5mg three times per day was found effective for migraine prophylaxis.
Two other supplements studied, and found to have a positive effect on migraine reduction were fish oils and Vitamin B12. In one study, fish oils at a dosage of 2-3g per day has been shown to decrease the severity and possible frequency of migraines, as well as decrease inflammation. In another study, twenty patients were given 1mg of Vitamin B12 per day. The result was half the patients were able to reduce attacks from 5 per month to 2.7.
While many doctors will try to push prescription medications for migraines, it may be worth your while to ask about alternatives.