Higher Serum B12 Levels May Decrease Odds of Migraine Attacks

When you’re in the middle of a migraine attack, it can feel like there is no way out. Not only does everything from your toes to your hair hurt, but it’s also impossible to even think about leaving the house. As migraineurs know, migraines can develop out of the blue and at the least opportune times.

I know how frustrating dealing with migraines can be, especially if you don’t understand why they’re occurring.  It’s crucial to figure out your triggers and what may be contributing to an attack. Consider outside environmental factors, your diet, how much sleep you’re getting, and if you are under any stress. 

If you still aren’t sure what the culprit may be, it’s time to turn more inward. Two of the known causes of migraine attacks in both men and women are vitamin deficiencies and hormone imbalances.

Today, migraine is considered a neurological disorder that manifests in a variety of ways. For some, hidden sugars are to blame, while others may be lacking essential nutrients, like vitamin B12. A recent study published in Headache found that increasing B12 levels led to an 80 percent decrease in migraine attacks. My blog post today will take a closer look at the role of B12 levels and how a homocysteine test may provide you with answers.

Benefits of B12

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is vital to your overall health and wellness; but unfortunately, your body cannot produce it on its own. Most of us get enough B12 through the foods we eat, like animal fats and proteins, but some people need to take an oral supplement or injection. Some of the benefits of B12 include:

●       Helps with red blood cell formation

●       Supports bone health

●       Reduces risk of macular degeneration

●       Improves mood

●       Protects neurons

●       Provides a boost of energy

●       Improves cardiovascular health

●       Supports the nervous system

The following are signs of a Vitamin B12 deficiency:

●       Dizziness

●       Weakness

●       Tiredness

●       Pale skin

●       Tingling in the hands, feet, arms, or legs

Why a Homocysteine Test May Be the Answer

People with a B12 deficiency have higher homocysteine levels, a naturally occurring amino acid in the body. Homocysteine is produced during methylation, the body’s biochemical process that transfers atoms from one substance to another. This is vital, as optimal methylation is responsible for regulating the cardiovascular, reproductive, detoxification, and – you guessed it – neurological systems.

A surprising 60 percent of Americans have a genetic mutation that challenges the methylation process. The good news?  A homocysteine test is straightforward and can:

●       Determine if there’s a deficiency in Vitamin B12, B6, or folic acid

●       Diagnose homocystinuria

●       Screen for heart disease

If there are elevated homocysteine levels, it could mean you’re deficient in B12, which may be contributing to your migraine attacks.

Think Outside the Box: New Approaches to Managing Migraine Symptoms

Patients in the study mentioned earlier experienced fewer migraine attacks after increasing serum B12 levels. Although more work is needed to continue connecting the dots between increased homocysteine levels, B12 deficiencies, and migraine attacks, the future is promising.

It’s easy to get stuck in the cycle of trying to figure out what’s ‘wrong’ by throwing every hack we can think of at our system. From cutting out certain foods to taking CBD and trying green light therapy, there are plenty of treatment paths to discover. But if you’re experiencing any of those symptoms along with migraine, increasing your B12 levels may be a great place to start.

Sources:

Neurology Advisor – Greater Serum B12 Level Accompanied by 80% Decrease in Odds of Migraine

Food for the Brain – Methylation and Homocysteine

Healthline – 9 Health Benefits of Vitamin B12