Vitamin D Deficiency May Be Responsible for Migraines

Some research suggests that vitamin D reduces the frequency of migraines. Increasing your intake of this nutrient may help you experience fewer attacks and improve your overall well-being.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps you absorb and metabolize minerals like phosphorus and calcium. It’s also a hormone precursor performing numerous functions in the body including:

Metabolizing glucose (sugar)
Forming blood cells
Renewing bone tissue
Balancing hormones (a big deal for most migraineurs)

We can get a good amount of our vitamin D by spending some time in the sunlight; however, we can also get it from some foods, or by taking a quality supplement. Sadly, most people don’t get enough of this nutrient.  Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you may think, especially among senior women.

What Are Migraine Headaches?

Pulsating, one-sided headaches are the most common complaints associated with migraines, but this condition causes other debilitating symptoms as well. Migraine headaches are neurological disorders that can cause:

Extreme sensitivity to light, smell, touch, or sound
Visual disturbances (aura)
Dizziness
Nausea or vomiting
Muscle tension
Numbness in the face, hands, or feet

It’s a chronic condition and can get worse over time. Migraines have a traumatic effect on the whole body, so migraineurs are more likely to be affected by other conditions like depression, anxiety, asthma, cardiovascular disorders, epilepsy, insomnia, motion sickness, nightmares, and nosebleeds.

Inadequate nutrition is a leading cause of migraine attacks, so it makes sense that vitamin deficiency would be linked to the condition.

The Link Between Vitamin D and Migraines

Low vitamin D levels are connected to both migraine and non-migraine headaches. One recent study found that 40% of migraineurs have low vitamin D levels. Further, those with vitamin D deficiencies developed migraines earlier in life than those with adequate levels.

More research is needed to fully understand how the “Sunshine Vitamin” affects these painful neurological conditions; however, researchers believe it can serve either as a primary treatment or, at least, an effective additional therapy for migraines.

With adequate exposure to sunlight and regular consumption of vitamin D-rich foods, most people don’t need to take a dietary supplement; however, many migraineurs are so deficient all three are needed.  Your levels will be different from everyone else’s, so start with your dietary intake first.

Best Foods with Vitamin D

If possible, it’s best if you can get your nutrients from whole natural foods rather than through dietary supplements. Sunshine and a proper diet can get you most, if not all, of your vitamin D.

Some of the best foods are:

Vitamin D-fortified items like orange juice and oatmeal
Fatty, oily fish like sardines, salmon, and tuna
Beef liver
Egg yolk

Many of these foods are also possible triggers, so be sure to eliminate that possibility first.

Consider starting a food diary to keep track of what you eat at every meal. This will allow you to get a better idea of which foods help you to experience fewer migraine attacks.

Migraines are correlated with certain nutrient deficiencies, especially vitamin D, coenzyme Q10, and riboflavin (vitamin B2). However, nutrient deficiencies are not the only causes of migraines. Inadequate sleep, chronic stress, genetic factors, hormone imbalance, and dehydration also contribute.  Remember, finding a healing regimen is going to require patience, investigation, and experimentation.

Improving your vitamin Dintake is a good, safe, and natural way for you to start making changes now.  If it will help reduce your risk of experiencing migraine attacks, it’s worth trying, isn’t it?

 

Sources

Health Guides – Could Vitamin D Cure Migraines?

Vitamin D Council – New study finds low vitamin D levels may be related to migraines

Pain News Network – Migraines Linked to Low Levels of Vitamin D

PubMed – The relationship between serum levels of vitamin D and migraine

PubMed – Vitamin D: Is it a primary hormone targeting the migraine headache or just as adjunct therapy?

Medicine Net – Medical Definition of Vitamin D