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What do osteoporosis and arthritis have to do with migraines? In response to readers’ suggestions, this issue looks at the connections. Plus, did you know that active ingredients like ibuprofen and acetaminophen aren’t the only substances that can make taking OTC painkillers risky? To find out why, read on!

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Does Osteoporosis Put You at Greater Risk for Migraines?

In a study published in August 2016, Taiwanese researchers used that country’s National Health Insurance Research Database to investigate a possible relationship between osteoporosis and migraines. The study found that patients with a history of osteoporosis experienced migraines more frequently than patients without the disease.

The study did not investigate what causes the link. Still, here’s something to think about: Magnesium.

Could a deficiency raise the risks?

Solid research shows that migraine sufferers often have a deficiency of magnesium, riboflavin and CoQ10. Other research shows that women with osteoporosis have low serum magnesium levels. Several reputable studies have found links between magnesium intake and bone mineral density in both men and women. These and other findings indicate that magnesium deficiency might be a risk factor for both migraines and osteoporosis.

Again, no one is sure what links the two conditions. Still, it might make sense for you to explore how magnesium might make a difference in supporting both bone health and brain health.

What’s your strategy?

Here are steps you can discuss with your doctor to create a plan for correcting a deficiency and maintaining healthy magnesium levels to help minimize the chance of osteoporosis raising the frequency and intensity of your migraines.

  1. Find out if you have a deficiency. Your doctor can order a simple blood test that measures your magnesium levels.
  2. Understand what can deplete your magnesium levels, including eating too much salt and drinking too much coffee, soda or alcohol. Sweating, prolonged stress and heavy menstrual periods can also deplete magnesium. So can gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, high thyroid levels, kidney disease and taking diuretics, antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium®.
  3. Understand what can help sustain healthy magnesium levels. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains are all good sources of magnesium. If you do have a deficiency, however, you may want to ask your doctor if you should try a supplement. This is because even a good diet may not contain enough magnesium to correct a deficiency.

The bottom line is that osteoporosis is difficult enough without having it increase your risk for debilitating migraines. A prevention strategy that includes magnesium may offer some welcome relief. Talk with your doctor!

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Risk Update: Those Other Ingredients in OTC Painkillers

For migraine sufferers who take over-the-counter painkillers, it’s important to know that the active ingredient—like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen—isn’t all that’s in those drugs. There are other ingredients that could be downright dangerous if you have diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU) or other conditions.

For example, liquid forms of medications, chewable tablets, or dissolving/effervescent tablets may contain sugar or aspartame. Yes, the amount of sugar or aspartame is small, but if you use painkillers regularly, the exposure can be of concern.

 

Even with “natural” supplements, you want to check the labels carefully. And don’t just look at what’s in the pill. Some capsule casings, for example, are made from vegetable gels vs. animal-derived gelatin.

 
How to Keep Arthritis from Making Your Migraines Worse

Did you know that arthritis stiffness can trigger migraines? This happens when the excess calcium that arthritis deposits in the tissues creates painful nerve pressure where the spine meets the skull.

While there isn’t yet a cure for arthritis or for migraines, there are two simple things you can do immediately to keep arthritis from making your migraines worse.

Focus on prevention

Start by finding ways to reduce the nerve pressure in your head and neck. Acupuncture may be helpful, along with gentle exercise and relaxation techniques. You can even give yourself some acupressure: click here to learn how!

Managing your weight can be extremely effective for relieving the pressure on your spine. Natural migraine preventives such as butterbur, magnesium, riboflavin and CoQ10 can be effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines. The anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic properties of these supplements may also support healthy blood flow in the spine and brain to help keep that nerve pressure from triggering full-blown migraines.

Eliminate hidden causes

Over-use of the prescription or OTC medications you take to treat your arthritis could actually cause migraine-like headaches. Known as rebound headaches, these painful episodes are triggered when the body isn’t getting enough of the pain medication to which it has grown accustomed. Talk with your doctor about how to manage arthritis symptoms without triggering these chronic “rebound migraines.”

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Dolovent™
nutritional supplement

All-in-one, clinical strength supplement for correcting Magnesium, B2 and CoQ10 deficiencies associated with neurological discomfort.

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Petadolex®
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