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Dr. Gaila Mackenzie-Strawn
CFMP, DNM, MS, DC ,CTN
On : 19 November, 2012
In : Headaches
Magnesium Relieves Headaches
Almost everyone gets headaches, and headaches are one neurological condition strongly related to low magnesium levels. In one case-control study conducted in an outpatient headache clinic, researchers gave 40 patients intravenous magnesium in a dose of 1 gram. The magnesium infusion resulted in complete elimination of moderate to severe headaches in 80 percent of the patients within 15 minutes.
Pain relief and prevention of recurrent headaches continued for 24 hours in 56 percent of the patients. Types of headaches included acute and chronic migraine headaches, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.
In this study, those who failed to respond to IV magnesium had the highest ionized magnesium blood levels at the beginning of the study, and those who responded best had the lowest ionized magnesium levels.
Those with cluster headaches (characterized by intense pains interspersed with periods of spontaneous remission), which are very difficult to treat by conventional methods, had the lowest ionized magnesium levels of all. Tension headaches were associated with higher baseline magnesium levels, which suggests that the patients would be less likely to respond to the IV.
Of course, most people can’t hook themselves up to an IV and infuse magnesium every time they get a headache. But you can maintain adequate magnesium levels by eating a diet high in the nutrient and by taking supplements. Foods rich in magnesium include:
o Buckwheat flour
o Oat bran
o Corn meal
When blood vessels within the brain rupture, they spill blood across the surface of the brain beneath the arachnoid membrane that covers the whole organ. This is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). When a SAH occurs, people experience the worst headache they have ever had in their lives. It is absolutely excruciating, and many will continue to have headaches even after the condition is treated.
In one study of 108 patients who had a SAH, researchers found that those with the lowest magnesium levels had the worst headaches and required more pain medications. The higher the magnesium levels, the less headache pain they experienced.
However, the benefits of higher magnesium levels extend beyond merely relieving headaches. Researchers have examined several large studies of patients who experienced a subarachnoid hemorrhage and found that those who were treated with magnesium during and after surgery were 46 percent less likely to die or become vegetative or severely neurologically disabled following surgery.
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