Before you get too excited that allopathic medicine is linking magnesium to migraine and heart disease, I have to disclose that I’m making that link. Allopathic medicine is merely pointing out the association and doesn’t know why they are linked. Since both of these conditions may actually be due to magnesium deficiency, I took a closer look.
This recent study uses extensive databases of people whose health profile is followed over time to determine disease associations. I guess it’s a cheap way to do a study – just pull data and write a paper. But to what end? This is the latest one to catch my eye. A previous study connected Restless Legs and Heart Disease, which I also linked to magnesium deficiency.
The researchers found that the risk for vascular disease was highest during the first year after migraine diagnosis, with an eightfold increased risk for stroke and a twofold increased risk for heart attack, venous thromboembolism, and atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. I do know that many people with atrial fibrillation are magnesium deficient because when they take high doses of magnesium, their symptoms abate.
They also said that the absolute risks were small, but the associations persisted over time and were stronger in patients with migraine aura and in women compared with men. With this knowledge they didn’t know whether to recommend reduction of migraines or simply aggressively lower heart disease risk factors. True to form, both options basically mean prescribing more medication to people at risk.
I’ve written a lot about heart disease in my blogs but not much about migraine headaches. The following biochemical events involving low magnesium have been identified in migraine sufferers and may set the stage for a migraine attack. (Magnesium Miracle 2017)
- In non-menopausal women, estrogen rises before the period, causing a shift of blood magnesium into bone and muscle. As a result, magnesium levels in the brain are lowered.
- When magnesium is low, it is unable to do its job to counteract the clotting action of calcium on the blood. Tiny blood clots are said to clog up brain blood vessels, leading to migraines. Several other substances that help create blood clots are increased when magnesium is too low.
- Similarly magnesium inhibits excess platelet aggregation, preventing the formation of tiny clots that can block blood vessels and cause pain.
- Low brain magnesium promotes neurotransmitter hyperactivity and nerve excitation that can lead to headaches.
- Several conditions that trigger migraines are also associated with magnesium deficiency, including pregnancy, alcohol intake, diuretic drugs, stress, and menstruation.
- Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and allows them to dilate, reducing the spasms and constrictions that can cause migraines.
- Magnesium regulates the action of brain neurotransmitters and inflammatory substances, which may play a role in migraines when unbalanced.
- Magnesium relaxes muscles and prevents the buildup of lactic acid, which, along with muscle tension, can worsen head pain.
- Food allergies can trigger migraines. You can do your own experiment to identify food allergies that may trigger migraines by following an elimination diet for 3 weeks and then testing foods individually such as: gluten, milk, sugar, yeast, corn, citrus and eggs.
In The Magnesium Miracle I mention the groundbreaking work of Dr. Alexander Mauskop:
By 2012, Dr. Mauskop had sufficient clinical success and had published enough about treating migraine with magnesium to title his paper “Why All Migraine Patients Should Be Treated with Magnesium.” Dr. Mauskop enthused that “all migraine sufferers should receive a therapeutic trial of magnesium supplementation.” As he explains, “A multitude of studies have proven the presence of magnesium deficiency in migraine patients.”
But none of this magnesium research seems to affect the allopathic treatment of migraines. As it stands, there are currently 84 drugs used to suppress migraine symptoms – none offer a cure. I found the list on WebMD and the drugs include some pretty powerful medications such as the much-abused opioids. Each of these drugs will deplete magnesium.
The treatment for heart disease risk factors includes statins, blood pressure medications for BP over 130/80, blood sugar medications, and blood thinners. All these medications will also lower magnesium and in doing so bring heart failure one step closer to unsuspecting patients.
So, while I see the association of these two magnesium deficiency diseases, allopathic medicine just sees symptoms that it wants to suppress with earlier and earlier drug intervention. It’s a crying shame that medicine has blinded itself to the root cause of so much illness that the public needlessly suffers.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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