Vitamin D deficiency: Chronic headaches and migraines may be signs your levels are low

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Vitamin D is an essential mineral that helps protect the body from muscle or bone damage. But it’s absolutely crucial that you avoid becoming deficient in the so-called ‘sunshine’ vitamin. For those lacking in the vitamin, headaches and migraines may be a common occurrence.

The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, analysed the serum vitamin D levels and occurrence of headache in approximately 2,600 men aged between 42 and 60 years in 1984-1989.

The study found that chronic headache occurring at least on a weekly basis were reported by 250 men, and men reporting chronic headache and were found to have lower serum vitamin D levels than others.

When the study population was divided into four groups based on their serum vitamin D levels, the group with the lowest levels had over a twofold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels.

In another study which was published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, serum levels of vitamin D in migraine patients were further analysed.

The study noted: “Inflammation is proposed to be involved in the pathogenesis of both vitamin D deficiency and migraine.

“Fifty-two newly diagnosed migraine patients and age- and sex-matched 49 control subjects were enrolled in this cross-sectional prospective study.

“Serum vitamin D and VDR levels were found to be significantly lower in migraine patients than in controls.”

The study concluded that decreased serum vitamin D levels were associated with migraine.

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Researchers aren’t sure why, exactly, the so-called sunshine vitamin might help ward of head pain, but they suggest it may be protective against inflammation or nerve-related pain.

Dr Christine Gerbstadt, author of Doctor’s Detox Diet, says that while no perfect study has been conducted on this topic, a trend has clearly emerged

There seems to be a strong link between people with healthy vitamin D levels and having a lower incidence of chronic headaches, she said.

Dr Gerbstadt continued: “The bonus in treating low serum vitamin D is improvement in the many other important health functions of the vitamin.

“Restoring vitamin D to normal levels through food or supplements is already a good idea.

“But this study suggests that it may have the added benefit of relieving head pain in those who suffer from it.”

What is the recommended daily dose of vitamin D?

Most people need around 10mcg of vitamin D a day, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Any babies younger than one year old need between 8.5 and 10mcg daily.

During the late spring to early autumn, most people should get enough vitamin D by going about their daily lives.

But it can be difficult to top up on vitamin D between the end of September and the start of March.

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