Supplements for Migraine
xMigraine is quite a common type of headache and can be quite debilitating. Many patients rely on quite strong medications when they feel the migraine start with the hope it will not develop. As an osteopath, I am interested in the idea of prevention. We work with patients biomechanically, looking at the neck and ribcage and all the structures around such as the clavicle, jaw and throat. We also sometimes advise patients on supplements that are available that may help their symptoms - here are some of the more common ones!
Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium) - 0.5 mg daily to be taken with a meal. It may prevent constriction of blood vessels by inhibiting platelet serotonin release whilst also maintaining serotonin levels. There have been mixed reports on its effectiveness and its safety with long-term use is not known.
5-HPT (5-Hydroxytryptophan) - 50-100 mg three times daily to be taken with a meal. It increases serotonin levels which may decrease symptoms such as pain, headache, insomnia, and depression. This should not be taken if you are on anti-depressant medication.
Omega 3 (EPA & DHA) - 1000 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 700 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily Research into omega 3 fatty acids have shown significant health benefits in a number of areas including heart and brain function, and the management of blood pressure and cholesterol. Fish oil is very good as an anti inflammatory.
Calcium and Vitamin D - 800 mg Calcium and 400 IU vitamin D daily. May have an effect on arterial smooth muscle tone. These should not be taken if you have problems with your kidneys or hyperparathyroidism.
Riboflavin - 400 mg daily. Also known as vitamin B2, Riboflavin plays an important role in how our bodies gets energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. As a result of this, it may correct metabolism dysfunction.
Vitamin B6 - one good multivitamin tablet daily. May help break down histamine and help the body to utilise serotonin and dopamine properly. These neurotransmitters are necessary for normal nerve cell communication.
Magnesium - 400 mg daily. Magnesium helps maintain blood vessel tone and prevents overexcitibility of neurones. Reduce dose if diarrhoea occurs and gradually increase to 400 mg. If you suffer with Menstrual Migraine then supplementing your diet for one week prior to menstruation may prevent migraine from occurring.
Obviously you should discuss taking supplements with a healthcare professional before starting to take them as there are side effects to most supplements and there may be a reasons why you should not take a particular supplement. Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication for anxiety or depression should seek advice from their GP before experimenting with supplements for migraine relief.