In the Netherlands, many people use migraine medication. And that's not surprising, since many people suffer from migraines. The symptoms of migraines can make everyday life difficult.
Migraines can cause throbbing pain, sensitivity to light or sound, and nausea. Natural remedies against this ailment are therefore more than welcome, which is confirmed by the current developments within the supplement industry .
Prescription Medication or Natural Migraine Medication?
Several prescription-only drugs can treat migraines. However, they can also lead to unwanted side effects. The good news is that there are natural migraine medications available that you can use.
For example, certain nutritional supplements reduce the frequency or severity of migraines. This form of medication for migraine usually does not result in side effects, which is logically very nice.
That is why in this article we take a closer look at several forms of natural migraine medication and explain them in more detail. But before we start with that, we first describe what migraine is.
What exactly is a migraine?
It is therefore advisable to take into account several common migraine complaints. Your migraine symptoms may include a combination of the following:
- Pain on one side of your head
- A throbbing feeling in your head
- Sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises
- Blurred vision or visual changes
- Nausea and vomiting
Much is still unclear about the exact cause of migraines. It most likely has at least a genetic component. Environmental factors also play a role. For example, the following factors can cause or worsen migraines:
- Certain foods
- Hormonal changes, such as the drop in estrogen that occurs just before or after a woman's menstrual period
In rare cases, migraines can be a symptom of a brain tumor. You should therefore always consult a doctor if you regularly experience headaches or migraines.
What types of natural migraine medications are there?
As described earlier in this article, there are many types of migraine medications available in the Netherlands. Since these can lead to side effects, we focus on natural migraine medications. Several supplements can be grouped among these natural migraine remedies.
However, none of the nutritional supplements described below will work for everyone. This is partly because everyone's migraines are different and have unique triggers.
Still, several studies support the effectiveness of the supplements listed below against migraines.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Research has yet to show how or why vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, helps prevent migraines. It may affect the way cells metabolize energy.
A study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research concluded that riboflavin may play a positive role in reducing the frequency and duration of migraine attacks without causing serious side effects. Supplements that contain this vitamin can therefore possibly be seen as migraine medication.
While research evidence is limited, many researchers are optimistic about vitamin B2's potential for treating migraines. This is also confirmed by the many people who benefit from supplementation of this vitamin in their fight against migraine.
Magnesium as migraine medication
According to the American Migraine Foundation, magnesium may help prevent migraines in some people. They believe it is especially effective for migraines related to menstruation and associated with visual changes. These findings could thus be grouped among the many benefits of magnesium.
A review of some studies on the effectiveness of magnesium for migraine prevention indicates that migraine attacks have been linked to magnesium deficiency in some people. The researchers found that magnesium supplementation can help reduce acute migraine attacks.
In short, this mineral can most likely be linked to migraine medications that people benefit from.
Scientists have recently started investigating the relationship between vitamin D and migraines. At least one study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. In that study, participants were given 50,000 IU of vitamin D per week.
Before you decide to start supplementing with vitamin D, first consult a medical specialist. That person can find out how much of this vitamin you need.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance that supports important functions in our bodies, such as helping to generate energy in cells and protecting cells from oxidative damage. In addition, this substance could serve as a natural migraine medication.
Since people with certain diseases have been shown to have lower levels of CoQ10 in their blood, researchers are curious to see if supplementing with CoQ10 could result in health benefits.
While not much evidence is available on the effectiveness of CoQ10 for preventing migraines, it may help reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. Nevertheless, more extensive studies are needed to establish the definitive link between migraine reduction and coenzyme Q10.
In addition, it is important to mention that this type of dietary supplement may interact with certain medications or other supplements. So first contact a medical specialist before adding CoQ10 to your diet.
A study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry found that the hormone melatonin, which is commonly used to regulate sleep cycles and promote restful sleep, can help reduce migraine frequency. Would this hormone, therefore, be an effective type of migraine medication?
Well, the study in question found that melatonin was generally better tolerated and in many cases more effective than the drug called “amitriptyline”, which is often prescribed for migraine prevention but can have nasty side effects. The dose used in the study was 3 mg melatonin per day.
Is Natural Migraine Medication Safe?
After all, there is strict supervision of medication such as medicines and supplements in the Netherlands.
Nevertheless, there are several things you should keep in mind. That way you can be sure that you can use a certain type of natural migraine medication safely.
- Always consult your doctor before starting a new supplement. Some vitamins and minerals can interact with medications you may be taking. They can also worsen a pre-existing health condition;
- Women who are pregnant should be extra careful about taking new supplements. Some are not safe for pregnant women;
- If you have gastrointestinal (GI) problems or have had GI surgery, you should also talk to a healthcare professional before adding any new supplements to your diet. Your body may not be able to absorb them properly.
Also, keep in mind that when you start taking migraine medications, you may not see results right away. You may need to keep using it for at least a month before you notice the benefits.
If a new supplement seems to be making your migraines or other health condition worse, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor. For example, caffeine may help reduce headaches in some people, but may trigger headaches in others.