Headaches affect most people from time to time and can take many forms such as tension headaches, sinus headaches, medication withdrawal headaches, and migraines.
Migraines affect approximately 8% of or 2 million Canadian adults. Migraines predominantly affect women and often result from hormonal fluctuations caused by hormonal imbalances, use of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, and menopause. Additional causes of migraines include environmental exposures, insomnia and lack of sleep, stress and physical tension, food additives, magnesium depletion, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries. Migraines can also be associated with various health issues including food sensitivities, allergies, high blood pressure, sinus inflammation and congestion, and depression.
What is a migraine?
Migraines are severe headaches resulting from biochemical and neurological disturbances that are characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head. Migraine headaches are often accompanied by visual changes (auras), light and sound sensitivity, nausea and vomiting which are often exacerbated by movement and physical exertion.
Headache and Migraine Treatment
The treatment of headaches and migraines involves identifying and removing triggers, identifying food allergies and sensitivities, reducing muscular tension, improving posture, and providing nutrients and herbal medicines to reduce their frequency and intensity.
IV Nutrients for Migraines
- Magnesium: There is evidence that magnesium plays an important role in the pathogenesis of migraines and headaches. IV magnesium is useful as an acute and preventative treatment and works by targeting nerve inflammation, reducing blood vessel spasms, and reducing inflammatory molecules. Magnesium can also suppress serotonin production thereby reducing nausea and vomiting. Magnesium infusions can also significantly reduce pain, swelling, depression and anxiety following concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
- B Vitamins: B vitamins such as Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can reduce levels of homocysteine which contributes to inflammation and cell injury. Vitamin B12 is important for nerve signaling and nervous system health.
- Glutathione: Migraine sufferers often have low levels of glutathione, a potent antioxidant involved in the detoxification process.