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The Magnesium Dosage for Headaches

by
author image John Levy
John Levy has been a writer since 2007, contributing to the "The Guardian" and "Waitrose Magazine." He has also worked as a human nutrition researcher at Edinburgh University and Nutrition Consulting. Levy holds a Master of Science in sports and exercise nutrition.
The Magnesium Dosage for Headaches
Headaches can be caused by magnesium deficiency. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Bad habits, such as grinding your teeth and eating cheese or chocolates, can trigger headaches according to National Institutes of Health online medical encyclopedia Medline Plus. A headache is pain and discomfort in the head and may extend to your neck, shoulders and scalp. There are varieties of headache subtypes with different symptoms. MayoClinic.com says the most common is the tension headache, which can last from 30 minutes to a week. The standard treatment is aspirin or ibuprofen and plenty of rest. More severe headaches are migraines and cluster headaches. Standard treatment does not work for severe headaches, and magnesium is a promising treatment option.

Magnesium

Magnesium is vital to all of the organs, particularly the heart, kidneys and muscles. According to Medline Plus, researchers estimate that the average person's body consists of about 25 g of magnesium. Magnesium is available in food sources such as whole grain, green vegetables and nuts. The University of Maryland Medical Center says most people in the U.S. do not get enough magnesium from food sources. Magnesium is available as a supplement, check with your doctor before using them.

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Migraine Headaches & Dosage

Migraines are severely painful headaches and often include nausea, dizziness and visual disturbances, such as sensitivity to light. There is no cure for migraines, and they are recurrent. You can use supplements such as magnesium to reduce pain when they occur or reduce the frequency of migraine episodes. University of Maryland Medical Center says people with migraines often have lower levels of magnesium than people that do not have migraines. UMMC recommends 200 to 600 mg of magnesium per day. Consult your doctor before considering use.

Migraines & Magnesium Research

UMMC reports a study in which people who took magnesium had a 41 percent reduction in the frequency of migraines, compared to 15 percent in those who took placebo. Side effects include diarrhea and lower blood pressure. Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B-2, can help treat migraines when used in combination with magnesium. However, its effectiveness has not been studied clinically and further studies are needed. Check with your doctor before self-treating your migraines.

Cluster Headaches Dosage & Research

Cluster headache is a rare condition and one of the most painful conditions a human can experience; it is significantly more severe than a migraine. It is not life-threatening and the pain can be managed with treatment. A doctor's screening is compulsory for this method of treatment. "Headache" published research in 1995 by renowned neurologist Alexander Mauskop and colleagues, who studied the effects of intravenous administration of magnesium on patients with low serum ionized magnesium levels. Mauskop found that 41 percent of patients receiving intravenous magnesium for cluster headaches obtained significant relief. The dosage administered in the trial was 1 g of magnesium sulfate.

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