Headaches are common and even natural to experience from time to time. Your head might start to ache temporarily when you don't get enough sleep, forget to stay hydrated, or are dealing with a stressful situation. Occasional headaches might even be good according to some studies. They can help alert you to when you need to slow down and stop running on overdrive. Your body might be triggering a "forced rest" to help prevent bigger health problems.
A migraine is more than just a headache though. They're often chronic and unrelenting. When you're experiencing a migraine everything hurts. A forced rest is an understatement. When it comes to migraines, it can feel more like forced torture.
Migraines cause severe, throbbing pain that can last for up to 72 hours. They can also be accompanied by nausea, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light and sound. Therapies like preventative botox, acupuncture, and mild pain medication are often recommended to help with the intensity.
But, if you suffer from chronic migraines and have already tried other therapies without ongoing relief, you might actually have a vitamin deficiency.
Research presented at the American Headache Society found that people who experience migraines were also more likely to have a mild to severe deficiency in vitamin D, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10. Dr. Suzanne Hagler, a headache medicine fellow in the neurology division of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, found that 51% of the 7,420 people she tested in her trial were deficient in coenzyme Q10, 31% had low levels of vitamin D, and 16% had below average levels of riboflavin in their blood.
Her research also found that women were more likely to be deficient in coenzyme Q10 than men, men were likely to be deficient in vitamin D than women, and that people deficient in both coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin were more likely to suffer from chronic migraines. Other studies have noted that women are also more likely to suffer from migraines than men.
Vitamins Getty images
A 2012 study found that treating migraine patients with coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin was successful. Another found that using vitamin D supplementation also had positive results, but the medical community isn't totally convinced. The problem according to Dr. Hagler is that many of the studies using vitamin therapies didn't test for deficiencies before hand. The effectiveness of vitamin supplementation on migraines isn't completely clear yet.
Still, many doctors like Dr.Wade Cooper, director of the Headache and Neuropathic Pain Relief Clinic, are treating migraine sufferers successfully with vitamin and nutrition supplements. To find out if vitamin therapy might work for you it's best to have a blood test done that can check for specific deficiencies. If you do test positive for any vitamin or mineral deficiencies it's best to work with a doctor on a supplementation plan.
The most effective, all natural treatment for migraines according to the experts?
Lower your stress levels, make sure you're sleeping enough, identify and avoid your triggers. Caffeine, wine, perfumes, food allergies, and even certain sounds can all lead to migraines. Triggers for migraines are unique to each person experiencing them, but you'll usually notice a pattern.
To help manage your stress levels try adding these 9 items to your life. If you're having trouble sleeping, here are 10 tips and tricks to helps you get a better night's rest.