Vitamins for Headaches Indianapolis IN
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Get Ahead of the Pain
It can come out of nowhere, like the big bang of a thunderstorm. Or it can begin slowly, building steadily to a crescendo of throbbing pain. Once a headache strikes, many people turn to aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and Nuprin), or a host of prescription drugs for relief. But what if you could take steps to quell headaches before they start? The following vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients help prevent headaches. If pain is often your problem, consider adding these to your daily diet.
••Multiple vitamin: A daily multi can cover the basics. However, pay attention to the RDA amounts of each vitamin in your multivitamin and factor those amounts into your dosage of the following supplemental nutrients.
••B vitamins: Among the most beneficial supplements for headache sufferers, the Bs enhance the body’s ability to cope with stress.
••B2 (thiamin) helps prevent headaches through a mechanism involved in cell energy production and works particularly well for migraine, cluster, allergy/sensitivity, and tension headaches. Take up to 400 mg daily.
••B3 (niacin or niacinamide) dilates blood vessels, which can stop a vascular headache brought on by constricted veins and arteries. Take a 50 to 300 mg niacin tablet (not a longer-acting time-release niacin version or niacinamide) at the first sign of a headache and then lie down until the storm passes. To prevent this type of headache, take a 50 to 250 mg time-release tablet once a day with food. Note that niacin sometimes causes hot and itchy skin—a side effect known as the “niacin flush.”
••B5 (pantothenic acid) strengthens the adrenal glands, helps stabilize hormone production, and aids in metabolizing food and releasing cell energy. In other words, a good headache preventative. Take 50 to 200 mg daily.
••B6 (pyridoxine) enhances the production of neurotransmitters and acts as a natural diuretic. It helps prevent vascular-type headaches and those related to water retention, such as hormonal or allergy/sensitivity headaches. B6 may also ease the withdrawal period of rebound headache sufferers. Take 100 to 200 mg daily. Large doses of B6 can cause nerve damage (over 500 mg daily), but even smaller doses can cause similar problems, so discontinue taking B6 if you experience any negative effects such as numbness in hands or feet.
••Vitamin C: Because it aids in the body’s natural detoxification process, this protective antioxidant offers relief for headache sufferers, especially those whose headaches are brought on by food allergies or toxic contamination. Take 1,000 to 3,000 mg daily.
••Vitamin E: This vitamin increases circulation, improves blood flow, and enhances the immune system, while also reducing platelet clustering and stopping inflammation, all of which can contribute to the prevention of migraine and tension headaches. Take 200 to 800 IU daily.
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