By:Minakshi Pandey, Assistant Professor, IEC College Of Pharmacy, Greater Noida
The most common type of vascular headache is migraine. Migraine headaches are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision. Women are more likely than men to have migraine headaches. When headaches occur three or more times a month, preventive treatment is usually recommended. Drug therapy, biofeedback training, stress reduction, and elimination of certain foods from the diet are the most common methods of preventing and controlling migraine and other vascular headaches. One of the most commonly used drug for the relief of migraine symptoms is Sumatriptan. Other drugs used to prevent migraine include methysergide maleate, which counteracts blood vessel constriction; propranolol hydrochloride, which reduces the frequency and severity of migraine headaches; ergotamine tartrate, a vasoconstrictor that helps counteract the painful dilation stage of the headache; amitriptyline, an antidepressant; valproic acid, an anticonvulsant; and verapamil, a calcium channel blocker. The paper shows that, at present, migraine attacks are managed with pain-killers, herbal medications, and alternative therapies. But research continues to discover more effective, safer and readily available modes to control migraines.
In recent years there has been a growing interest and demand from the public for ‘natural’ treatments such as vitamins and supplements in trying to control migraine headaches. A variety of natural supplements, vitamins and herbal preparations have been promoted as having efficacy (being helpful) for migraine prophylaxis (prevention).
Among the most commonly recommended vitamins and supplements are magnesium, riboflavin, and Coenzyme Q10, while the most common herbal preparations are feverfew and butterbur.
Each of these compounds has a theoretical mechanism or reason for the effect on migraine, and has had at least one placebo-controlled trial that has demonstrated efficacy.
Magnesium is more natural option for migraine prophylaxis. Studies have shown that migraineurs have low brain magnesium during migraine attacks and may also suffer from magnesium deficiency.Adult human bodies contain about 24 grams of magnesium. Magnesium plays a vital role in multiple physiologic processes and therefore it is a vital component in a healthy diet. It is more absorbed through the empty gastrointestinal tract. Magnesium also appears to facilitate calcium absorption.
Spices, nuts, cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea, and vegetables are rich sources of magnesium. Leafy vegetables, as well as grains and nuts, generally have higher magnesium content than meats and dairy products.
No adverse effects have been associated with taking magnesium as a naturally occurring substance in foods. However, primary manifestation of excessive ingestion of magnesium from non-food sources is diarrhea, which is reversible and thus stops when you stop taking the magnesium.

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