Migraines are a form of chronic headaches accompanied by a series of intense neurological symptoms. Although it is a common condition, the mechanisms and the reasons of their occurance are not ascertained. Nevertheless, there is a way to relieve symptoms as well as to reduce their incidence.
What are migraines
Migraines can last from 4 to 72 hours and occur in both children and adults. It is a hereditary condition and may be caused due to environmental factors, food triggers or even unspecified causes.
At the beggining, there is a constriction of blood vessels of the brain, followed by enlargement of the vessels, particularly in the front of the brain and therefore increased blood flow. Swelling of the vessels causes at the surrounding nerves to emit chemical signals that trigger pain and inflammation. The result is the appearance of intense headaches.
The etymology of the word migraine derives from two greek words meaning pain on one side of the head. It is characterized by strong and very intense pain and several other symptoms like
- visual and aesthetic illusions
- loss of appetite
- neck pain
No specific cure for migraines has been found. Medication and dietary supplements for migraine have been designed either to reduce the pain or the incidence of migraines. Another useful option is to record a calendar to help identify the trigger factor more easily.
Changes in lifestyle
According to reports ceratin lifestyle changes can help reduce the incidence of migraines, such as:
- avoiding caffeine, smoking and alcohol consumption
- sufficient sleep in the evening
- regular exercise
- good nutrition and sufficient hydration
Food supplements and migraine
5-HTP is produced by the human body and is a serotonin precursor molecule, one of the most important neurotransmitters. According to some studies, migraines are due to insufficient actions of serotonin, as the hormone has the ability to alter vascular permeability. Additiona, 5-HTP supplemental administration at doses 50-100mg can lead to a reduction of the intensity of migraine symptoms as it helps to reduce the diameter of the vessels, thus significantly reducing pain. Caution is needed for people taking antidepressants.
Magnesium is a metal that is involved in many biochemical processes. According to studies, people with migraines have lower levels of magnesium. It appears that magnesium reduces the incidence of migraines while helping treat migraines that have been caused due to premenstrual syndrome in women. It is recommended to take 600 mg daily for 3 to 4 months. Caution is needed for people taking diuretics or muscle relaxants.
Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)
Butterbur helps reduce the incidence of migraines as also their duration. Its action is due to two main substance, petasin and isopetasin, which have a spasmolytic and anti-inflammatory effect. Its use relieves from the symptoms as it reduces the swelling of the vessels in the brain. There is evidence that butterbur can also help prevent the occurrence of migraines. It is recommended to take 50-70 mg for up to 4 months.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
It is a herb that is believed to exert a spasmolytic action. The above property is due to a substance containing (parthenolide) which relaxes the muscles, helps to reduce swelling of brain vessels, thus preventing the onset of inflammation. It significantly reduces (> 50%) the incidence of migraine while also its symptoms. Taking feverfew increases the risk of bleeding, so people taking anticoagulants, pregnant women and nursing women should not take it.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that has a significant effect on the nervous system. Studies suggest that riboflavin helps reduce the incidence of migraine.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Studies have shown that Coenzyme Q10 helps prevent the occurrence of migraines in adults with very severe symptoms. It is a molecule that mediates in cellular energy mechanisms in mitochondria and has a very powerful antioxidant effect. At doses of 150 mg a day, it appeared to prevent the occurrence of migraines and the severity of symptoms. People taking anticoagulants and antihypertensives should take coQ10 without the consensus of their doctor.
According to references, essential oils such as peppermint and lavender can cause relaxation and tranquility, helping to reduce symptoms. Essential oils increase the blood flow to the foreskin and relieve migraine symptoms.
In Vita4you you can find a great variety of dietary supplements for migraine.