Migraines need no introduction. If you've ever suffered a migraine, I'm sure the question you're asking is, 'what can I do to prevent THAT from happening again?' 

The single best way to prevent migraines is to identify your triggers. Once you identify your trigger, it is easier to focus in on support. While hormones, seasonal changes/allergies and food sensitivities tend to be the biggest culprits, migraine triggers can include the following:

  • Fluctuations in hormones  (during pregnancy, before and during a period, and menopause)
  • Bright lights or loud noises
  • Stress, physical or emotional.
  • Intense crying
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Smoking or exposure smoke
  • Drastic changes in heat, humidity or altitude
  • Skipping meals can cause blood sugar changes that can trigger migraines
  • Over 150 studies have looked into the connection between food allergies and migraines. Some of the top migraine-inducing foods include wheat, cow’s milk, grain cereals, sugar, yeast, corn, citrus, eggs, aged or smoked cheeses, caffeine, alcohol and chocolate
  • Certain food additives, such as aspartame and MSG

When possible, avoid your trigger. However, as much as we might like to avoid fluctuations in hormones, there are some triggers that are far less under our control. That's when we turn to supportive supplements.

In general,  some supportive supplements include: 

Butterbur –  Research using a specific extract from the butterbur root found that participants who took it over 16 weeks reduced the number and severity of migraine headaches as well as the length of time they last. Butterbur extract seems to reduce the number of migraine headaches by almost half. Doses of at least 75 mg twice daily or 50mg three times daily seem to be necessary for best results. A specific form of butterbur, Petadolex, can be used at onset or as needed.

Feverfew is the most frequently used herb for long term migraine prevention.  Continuous use of feverfew may reduce the severity, duration and frequency of migraine headaches. Some studies reviewed used combinations of feverfew with other natural supplements such as magnesium, vitamin B2 and white willow, a plant from which aspirin is derived.  It may take up to 3 months to see full results with feverfew.

CoQ10 is produced by the body and plays an important role in energy production.  Previous studies have shown that migraines may be caused, at least in part, by an impairment of energy production that could presumably be improved by CoQ10 supplementation.  Coenzyme Q10, can reduce damage to cells caused by the environment and other factors and contributes to a cell’s energy production.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - Several studies suggest people who get migraines may reduce how often they get migraines and how long the migraines last by taking riboflavin. One double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that taking 400 mg of riboflavin a day cut the number of migraine attacks in half.

Magnesium – migraine sufferers have been found to have lower levels of magnesium compared with healthy people.  Magnesium is an essential mineral and may play a role in the prevention of numerous ailments including fatigue, heart disease and headaches. Magnesium can reduce migraine symptoms by 50% for about half of those suffering. Typical doses are 300 to 500mg. Avoid magnesium oxide as this form mainly acts as a laxative. There are two magnesium products I really like - MegaFood's whole-food Magnesium tablets and Vital Choice's Mellow Mag drink mix.

One formula that has worked quite well for a number of clients is Neuro Comfort by Douglas Labs. This formula combines magnesium, CoQ10 and Vitamin B2.

This information is not intended as personal medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.