The Role of Magnesium in Migraine Prevention and Relief

The Role of Magnesium in Migraine Prevention and Relief


As someone who has personally experienced migraine attacks, I understand the need for effective prevention and relief strategies. One such strategy is the use of magnesium, a mineral that plays a crucial role in overall health and has shown promising results in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. In this article, we will explore the benefits of magnesium for migraine prevention, different forms available, and how to incorporate it into your migraine management routine.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in numerous bodily functions. It is required for the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and enzymes, and plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Many people, including those who experience migraine attacks, may have low levels of magnesium in their bodies, leading to an increased susceptibility to migraine attacks.

Benefits of Magnesium for Migraine Prevention

Research studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks, as well as improving migraine symptoms. One study published in the journal “Headache” found that participants who took magnesium supplements experienced a significant reduction in the number of migraine days per month compared to those who took a placebo. Another study published in “Cephalalgia” reported that magnesium supplementation led to a decrease in the intensity and duration of migraine attacks. These findings suggest that magnesium can be a valuable addition to migraine prevention strategies.

Different Forms of Magnesium for Migraine Prevention

Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium oxide is a commonly used form of magnesium for migraine prevention. It is readily available and affordable. However, it has a lower absorption rate compared to other forms of magnesium, which means higher doses may be required to achieve the desired effect. It is recommended to start with a low dose (such as 400-500mg per day) and gradually increase if needed. Possible side effects of magnesium oxide include diarrhea and stomach discomfort.

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is a more easily absorbed form of magnesium compared to magnesium oxide. It is available in both pill and powder form. The recommended dosage for migraine prevention is around 200-400mg per day. Magnesium citrate is often preferred by individuals who have difficulty absorbing magnesium oxide or experience gastrointestinal issues with other forms of magnesium. For example, if you find that magnesium oxide causes digestive discomfort, switching to magnesium citrate may be beneficial.

Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is a highly bioavailable form of magnesium that is well-tolerated by most individuals. It is less likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects compared to magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate. The recommended dosage for migraine prevention is typically around 200-400mg per day. Magnesium glycinate may be a suitable option for individuals who are concerned about potential side effects or have a history of digestive problems. As an example, if you have experienced gastrointestinal issues with other forms of magnesium, trying magnesium glycinate may provide relief while still reaping the benefits of magnesium.

How to Incorporate Magnesium Into a Migraine Prevention Regimen

Dietary Sources of Magnesium

In addition to supplements, it is possible to increase your magnesium intake through dietary sources. Foods rich in magnesium include leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and kale), nuts and seeds (such as almonds and pumpkin seeds), whole grains, and legumes. The recommended daily intake of magnesium for adults is around 400-420mg for men and 310-320mg for women. By incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet, you can naturally boost your magnesium levels and support migraine prevention. For example, try adding a handful of almonds to your daily snack or including leafy green vegetables in your meals.

Supplements for Magnesium Intake

If dietary sources are not sufficient, supplements can be used to ensure an adequate magnesium intake. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements, especially if you are taking other medications. The recommended dosage and timing of magnesium supplements may vary depending on individual needs and existing medical conditions. Your healthcare provider can help determine the optimal dosage for your specific situation and recommend the best supplementation routine. For instance, they may suggest taking magnesium supplements with meals to enhance absorption.

Using Magnesium for Acute Migraine Relief

Magnesium can also be used for acute migraine relief. It has been found to help alleviate migraine symptoms such as pain and sensitivity to light and sound. In severe cases, intravenous magnesium administration may be necessary. This involves the administration of magnesium directly into the bloodstream for rapid relief of migraine symptoms. Intravenous magnesium should only be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional and is typically reserved for severe migraine attacks. Oral magnesium supplements can be taken for mild to moderate migraine attacks. Again, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider for guidance on the appropriate dosage and timing of magnesium intake for acute relief.

Monitoring the Effectiveness of Magnesium for Migraine Management

It is important to monitor the effectiveness of magnesium for migraine management. Keeping a migraine diary can help track the frequency and severity of migraine attacks, as well as any changes in patterns after starting magnesium supplementation. By noting down the date, time, duration, and intensity of your migraine attacks, along with any other symptoms or triggers, you can identify patterns and assess the impact of magnesium on your migraine attacks. It is also crucial to discuss the usage of magnesium with your healthcare provider, sharing your migraine diary and any changes in symptoms. This will allow for adjustments in magnesium dosage or form if needed, ensuring that you are receiving the maximum benefits of magnesium in your migraine prevention and relief efforts.


Magnesium plays a crucial role in migraine prevention and relief. By incorporating magnesium into your migraine management routine, you may experience a reduction in migraine frequency and severity. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best form and dosage of magnesium for your individual needs. Together with your healthcare provider, you can develop an effective strategy to manage your migraine attacks and improve your quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can taking magnesium cure migraine attacks completely?

No, magnesium is not a definitive cure for migraine attacks. It can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks, but individual results may vary.

2. Can I take magnesium supplements if I am already on other medications?

It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements, including magnesium, especially if you are taking other medications. Your healthcare provider can assess potential interactions and provide personalized recommendations.

3. Are there any risks or side effects associated with magnesium supplementation?

Magnesium supplements are generally safe for most individuals when taken as directed. However, high doses of magnesium may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea and stomach discomfort. It is important to follow recommended dosages and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

4. Can I get enough magnesium through diet alone?

It is possible to obtain magnesium through a balanced diet that includes magnesium-rich foods. However, individual dietary preferences and absorption rates can vary. Supplements may be necessary to reach optimal magnesium levels for migraine prevention.

5. How long does it take for magnesium supplements to start working?

The time it takes for magnesium supplements to start working can vary between individuals. It is recommended to give it at least 2 to 3 months to evaluate the effectiveness for migraine prevention.

6. Are there any lifestyle factors that can affect magnesium levels in the body?

Several lifestyle factors can influence magnesium levels in the body. These include excessive alcohol consumption, certain medical conditions (such as diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders), and certain medications (such as diuretics and proton pump inhibitors). It is important to consider these factors when assessing magnesium needs.

7. Can children take magnesium supplements for migraine prevention?

It is best to consult with a pediatrician before giving magnesium supplements to children for migraine prevention. The appropriate dosage and form may vary based on the child’s age, weight, and overall health.

8. Can magnesium be used as a standalone treatment for migraine attacks?

Magnesium is often used as part of a comprehensive migraine management plan, which may include other preventive medications, lifestyle modifications, and acute headache medications. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment approach.

9. Is there a specific time of day that is best for taking magnesium supplements?

The optimal timing for taking magnesium supplements may vary between individuals. Some people prefer taking them with meals to enhance absorption, while others find it more convenient to take them before bed. Experiment with different timings and observe how your body responds.

10. Are there any contraindications for magnesium supplementation?

While magnesium supplements are generally safe for most individuals, there may be contraindications for certain individuals with specific medical conditions, such as kidney problems or heart block. Consult with a healthcare provider if you have any underlying medical conditions before starting magnesium supplementation.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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