I have had migraine headaches since I was eight years old. I've heard that these might go away when I'm pregnant. I am trying to conceive, so I thought I'd check this out. What can you tell me?
Migraine headaches can occur in children. Usually these migraines are inherited. Studies show that migraines tend to drop off for men and women after midlife. Pregnancy is a unique time of life for many women. Some who have never had migraines develop them as a result of the increased estrogen in the system.
Others who have had a history of migraines may be migraine-free during some or all of the pregancy. This is unpredictable but evidently hormone driven. Food triggers commonly associated with migraines include alcohol, chocolate, cheese, caffeine, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). The list can change or vary during pregnancy and again after the pregnancy ends.
Magnesium supplements seem to help women who have headaches during pregnancy or afterwards during lactation (breastfeeding). Oral supplements (pill form) are available but in some cases, it may be necessary to administer magnexium by intravenous drip.
An added benefit of this supplement in childbearing women is the prevention of premature labor. The rate of sudden infant death symdrome is also lower in children whose mothers took magnesium during pregnancy and lactation.
There are different formulations of magnesium on the market. Some are chelated (combined or bonded with something else), some are combined with oxygen to form magnesium-oxide, and some are slow-release. The recommended daily dose is 400 milligrams but this should be determined for each individual by a nutritional or medical specialist.
Christina Sun-Edelstein, ME, and Alexander Mauskop, MD. Foods and Supplements in the Management of Migraine Headaches. In The Clinical Journal of Pain. June 2009. Vol. 25. No. 5. Pp. 446-452.
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