According to a 2019 study by the National Institute of Hygiene, migraine affects up to 8 million people in Poland and it can be assumed that it is the most common neurological disorder in our society. In other developed countries, it is estimated that up to 16% of the population suffer from migraine headaches.
According to the PZH research from 2019, the problem of migraine pain affects women twice as often as men
Before the onset of migraine pain, symptoms such as depressed mood, drowsiness, sensory hypersensitivity, difficulty concentrating, and lack of appetite may occur, which in themselves cause difficulties in normal functioning.
The exact mechanism of migraine formation is not fully understood, but it is assumed that the basis is changes in the excitability of the central nervous system, spontaneous depolarization of neurons and malfunctioning of the mitochondria. It is possible that this is due to the increased amount of glutamate (a neurotransmitter) in the nerve synapses, which has a stimulating effect and disturbs the balance of the cell interior. One of the functions of magnesium in the nervous system is to block the glutamatergic receptor, so administration of magnesium can have a positive effect in reducing pain and the duration of a migraine attack. Magnesium is also a key metabolic factor needed for the smooth functioning of mitochondria, and at the same time reduces the permeability of cell membranes, reducing the possibility of spontaneous depolarization of neurons.
According to research from 2012, up to half of people suffering from migraine headaches are deficient in magnesium and supplementation with this element can bring measurable benefits. However, routine blood tests will unfortunately not tell you the level of magnesium in your body due to the fact that only 0.5-1% of the total amount of magnesium is found in the blood.
Magnesium can be an effective means of preventing migraine and improving quality of life.
As early as the 1980s, magnesium was proposed as one of the treatment options for migraine headaches or as an adjunct to pharmacological treatment. According to several studies, the administration of magnesium reduced the number of migraine days by 22-43%. Although we currently have a whole range of more advanced treatment strategies available, this simple and effective "preventive supplement" is also worth paying attention to.
It is also worth paying attention to the diet, because some food products can exacerbate migraine headaches, among those that should be eliminated are: wine, alcohol, sulphates (used to preserve fruit), products rich in histamine, aspartame, glutamine or products rich in nitrates (beetroot, spinach, radish, lettuce, spring vegetables, fertilized vegetables, meat and cold cuts with E250).
- Dolati S, Rikhtegar R, Mehdizadeh A, Yousefi M. The Role of Magnesium in Pathophysiology and Migraine Treatment. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2020 Aug; 196 (2): 375-383.
- Kirkland A, Sarlo G, Holton K. The Role of Magnesium in Neurological Disorders. Nutrients. 2018 Jun; 10 (6): 730.
- The social significance of migraine from the perspective of public health and the health care system. Prepared by the Department of Economic and System Analyzes of the National Institute of Public Health - National Institute of Hygiene under the direction of A.C Czerw. Warsaw 2021
- Mauskop A, Varughese J. Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. J Neural Transm. 2012 May; 119 (5): 575-9. doi: 10.1007 / s00702-012-0790-2.