Those that have migraines say the pain is like nothing else - an intense throbbing or pulsing sensation in the head that can bring you to your knees.
The reason people get migraines is still a mystery, but a new study says scientists and doctors may want to add vitamin deficiency as a possible cause.
The study, presented at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society, suggests that doctors treating patients with migraines may want to screen for vitamin D, riboflavin (B-2) and coenzyme Q10 deficiencies.
For the study, researchers at Cincinnati Children’s looked at existing data on 7,691 young patients who were migraine sufferers and their records of blood tests for baseline levels of vitamin D, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10 and folate. Of the study participants, 15 percent were found to have riboflavin levels below the standard reference range. A significant number of patients—30 percent—had coenzyme Q10 levels at the low end of the standard reference range. Significantly lower vitamin D was seen in nearly 70 percent of the patients.
The researchers also found that patients with chronic migraines were more likely to have coenzyme Q10 deficiencies than patients who had episodic migraines. Girls and young women were more likely than boys and young men to have coenzyme Q10 deficiencies at baseline. Boys and young men were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency, but the reasons behind these trends need further investigation.
Hershey says the study adds to an ongoing observation that a significant number of people with migraines have lower levels of these vitamins. However, this trend is not seen in all patients across the board.
Scientists have looked at the link between vitamin deficiencies and migraines before, but research has been inconsistent. This study shows an association, but does not prove that vitamin deficiencies cause migraines.
In general, taking these vitamin supplements at recommended doses probably can’t hurt, but much more research is needed to determine whether vitamins alone could help stop migraines. One challenge researchers face is that vitamin supplements are often an intervention used in addition to medications and other experimental therapies. It’s therefore difficult to determine whether improvements in the condition can be explained for reasons other than supplement use.
If your child suffers from migraines, you may want to ask your doctor to screen him or her for vitamin D, Coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin levels. You can then discuss adding supplements if the results show your child is deficient in any of these vitamins.
Story source: Jessica Firger, http://www.newsweek.com/vitamin-deficiency-causes-chronic-migraines-469227