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The pain can last from four hours to three days, and if untreated, can be severe enough to hamper daily activities. Based on symptoms, migraine is classified into two types:

  • Common migraine: If you have a migraine with aura, you may see things such as stars or zigzag lines or have a temporary blind spot about 30 minutes before the headache starts. Even if you don't experience an aura, you may have other warning signs in the period before the headaches starts, such as a craving for sweets, thirst, sleepiness, or depression.
  • Classic migraine is migraine without aura. 

The Causes of Migraine

A few facts about migraine:

  • Women are three times more likely to have migraines than men.
  • Migraines may run in families
  • Some women may have fewer migraines when they are pregnant

Migraine headaches tend to first appear between the ages of 10 and 45. The exact cause of migraine is still not well understood, but the problem is considered to be neurological (related to the nervous system). Brain chemicals, blood vessels, and nerves of the brain appear to be involved.

Experts believe migraines may be related to mutations in genes that affect certain areas of the brain. Migraine is more common among people who have epilepsy, depression, asthma, anxiety, stroke, and some other neurologic and hereditary disorders. [1]

A migraine can be triggered by a number of factors. Alcohol, stress and anxiety, certain odours or perfumes, loud noises or bright lights, and smoking can trigger a migraine. Migraine attacks may also be triggered by changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle or due to the use of birth control pills. [2] Certain foods also act as migraine triggers, as do changes in sleep patterns, missed meals, and exercise or other physical stress.

Magnesium-migraine Connection

Researchers believe that there is a magnesium-migraine connection because of magnesium’s role in stabilizing blood vessel walls. Regular sleeping patterns are very important to migraine sufferers and magnesium is an important mineral when it comes to helping you get sleep. Magnesium plays a vital role in multiple physiologic processes and deficiency of magnesium can be seen in many chronic medical illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, preeclampsia, eclampsia, sickle cell disease, and chronic alcoholism. [3]

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include premenstrual syndrome, leg muscle cramps, coldness of extremities, weakness, anorexia, nausea, digestive disorders, lack of coordination, and confusion. Magnesium also helps in protein synthesis and helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function.

It was first suggested over 70 years ago that a deficiency in magnesium could cause headaches. A lot of the things that cause the body to run short of magnesium also either trigger migraines or lower your resistance to disease.

In 1989, a pathbreaking study by Ramadan et al showed that migraine sufferers have low brain magnesium during migraine attacks [4] Published in ‘Headache, The Journal of Head and Face Pain, October 1989, the study established that low brain magnesium is an important factor in the mechanism of the migraine attack.

Mauskop et al emphasized the importance of serum ionized magnesium measurements in determining the magnesium state of Migraine patients and magnesium supplementation in patients with low ionized magnesium level. [5,6] Further research has shown that a deficiency of magnesium may play a particularly important role in menstrual migraine.[7]

Magnesium Supplementation

In a German study, Andreas Peikert (Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Munich-Harlaching Clinic) and his colleagues evaluated the effect oral magnesium supplementation has on migraine patients. 81 patients aged 18–65 years with migraine, with an attack frequency of 3.6 per month, were examined.

After 4 weeks they received 600 mg of oral magnesium daily for 12 weeks or placebo. By weeks 9–12, the attack frequency was reduced by 41.6% in the magnesium group and by 15.8% in the placebo group. The number of days with migraine and the drug consumption per patient also decreased significantly in the magnesium group. Duration and intensity of the attacks also tended to decrease compared to placebo. [8]

Another study done by Facchinetti in Italy found that magnesium supplementation is helpful in managing menstrual migraine. [9]

Getting more Magnesium

Migraines - Magnesium Supplements for Migraine Headaches

If you suffer from regular migraines, chances are you might be having low serum magnesium. Include plenty of magnesium-rich foods like wheat germ, beans, soy products, whole grains, seafood and dark green leafy vegetables to your diet.

You should also add some good oral magnesium supplements like Mag365. Another way to get magnesium is through topical solutions like Magnesium Rub. Transdermal magnesium therapy is ideal for those suffering from a severe lack of magnesium. Mag365 not only has a high bioavailability, it is also gentle on your stomach. For best results, take on an empty stomach ideally a half hour before bed. Take magnesium for at least 60-90 days to see a more meaningful difference.


  2. Read more:
  3. Laires MJ, Monteiro CP, Bicho M. Role of cellular magnesium in health and human disease. Front Biosci. 2004; 1:262–276.
  4. Ramadan NM, Halvorson H, Vande-Linde A. Low brain magnesium in migraine. Headache. 1989; 29:590–593.
  5. Trauinger A, Pfund Z, Koszegi T, et al. Oral magnesium load test in patients with migraine. Headache. 2002; 42: 114–119.
  6. Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Clin Neurosci. 1998; 5:24–27.
  7. Mauskop A, Altura BT, Altura BM. Serum ionized magnesium in serum ionized calcium/ionized magnesium ratios
  8. Peikert A, Wilimzig C, Kohne-Volland R. Prophylaxis of migraine with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multicenter, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalalgia. 1996;16:257–263.
  9. Facchinetti F, Sances G, Borella P, et al. Magnesium prophylaxis of menstrual migraine: effects on intracellular magnesium. Headache. 1991;31:298–301.

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