Preventing and Treating Stress Headaches

PREVENTING-AND-TREATING-STRESS-HEADACHES

With stress levels at an all-time high, it is no wonder that increasingly more people are complaining about stress and tension headaches. We understand that they are linked to stress, but what actually happens when these hit in?

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and may appear once or twice a month, daily or anywhere in between. For the majority, these headaches are mild and short-lived, but for some, the pain can carry on for several days. The pain tends to be throbbing, affecting the front, top and sides of the head. Most people experience pain around the back of the neck and in the muscles between the shoulder blades. Although some people experience light sensitivity, tension headaches generally do not affect vision and balance.

Stress is clearly the causal factor for these types of headaches and it is thought that the stress hormone, cortisol, causes the tightening of the muscles and nerves around the neck and head, resulting in reduced blood flow to the brain. There are of course other factors that may play a role in tension headaches and these include hormonal imbalances, magnesium deficiencies, poor diet and sleep disturbances.

Most people with tension headaches respond very favourably to magnesium supplementation; it is estimated that large numbers of the adult population are deficient in this very important mineral, which plays a vital role in over 300 biochemical reactions within our bodies. Magnesium plays a key role in energy production, stress response and hormone manufacture. Magnesium is also the key mineral for relaxation as it helps to relax muscles and nerves.

There are hundreds of magnesium supplements on the market, however the problem with magnesium supplementation is that magnesium is ill-absorbed by the body. The supplement that I tend to recommend is Neuro-Mag by Life Extension. This supplement contains a patented form of magnesium which has been shown to be taken up by the spinal cord and hence into the nerves in the brain where magnesium is required to relax the nerves.

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This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Shabir Daya | , , ,
  • VCP

    Hi
    I suffer with tension headaches, when I get them, I get them for weeks sometimes, every single day. I normally get aching neck muscles and I do also get a little bit of light-headedness (something to do with the muscle spasm’s restricting blood flow). My doctor has prescribed me with 10mg of amytriptalyne which I have been taking for a couple of years now but I want to stop taking them. Would this be an alternative?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi VCP, Dynomins Magnesium offers a real alternative to conventional
    medicines because of its nerve relaxing properties which ease blood flow
    to the brain. Shabir

  • Vanessa

    Hi Shabir
    I have tried various forms of Magnesium over the years to help with Headaches/Migraines/Anxiety/Depression but they have all given me diarrhoea. I have IBS so have a sensitive stomach, do you think Dynomins might help, or what about Magnesium Threonate, as I’ve heard that’s absorbed straight into the bloodstream.
    Thank you.
    Vanessa

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Vanessa, if you are that sensitive then NeuroMag containing magnesium threonate will be of great benefit as it has been shown to be absorbed by the nervous system into the brain and will help relax the nerves that have constricted causing pain associated with headaches and migraines. Shabir

  • Vanessa

    Hi again Shabir,
    So do you definitely think NeuroMag would be better for me than MigraMag or MigraEeze?
    Thanks Vanessa

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Vanessa, if magnesium deficiency were the only reason for stress
    headaches, then it would have to be Neuro-Mag however we know that
    magnesium deficiency is only one of the causes so all three supplements
    have a place in the treatment of headaches and
    migraines. Shabir

  • Vanessa

    Hi Shabir
    As mentioned below I’ve had problems with many forms of Magnesium because of IBS so do you think I should start with NeuroMag as it might be easier as I don’t have to digest it, as I’m concerned I won’t be able to take MigraMag. I’m thinking of getting Sage Complex for Hormone Balance and Super Bio Circumin for IBS also. I already take Symprove which was recommended for IBS by a gastroenterologist, plus Essential Fats and Vitamin D and a Spray Multivitamin/Mineral. I want to add Magnolia Rhodiola Complex at a later date also. Do you think this is covering all bases for Anxiety/Depression, Migraines, Tension Headaches, Muscle Tension, IBS and Psoriasis. I take anti-depressants and Pregabalin for Anxiety but they don’t help much and I want to try a natural approach also.
    Regards
    Vanessa

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Vanessa, I think you should try the Neuro-Mag initially and gauge the difference. Please note that you cannot take Magnolia Rhodiola Complex alongside conventional antidepressants. Shabir

  • Vanessa

    Hi Shabir

    Did you see my post below explaining all my ailments I wish to treat, do you think my suggestions are right or would you suggest anything different? As for the Magnolia Rhodiola, I used to take 5HTP with my anti-depressants as I was told by a nutritionist who did some tests that I had very low levels of serotonin even with high dose anti-depressants so I needed something to boost my levels of serotonin, which is probably why my anti-depressants don’t help enough.

    I really appreciate your support and advice.

    Thank you so much.

    Vanessa

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Vanessa, I am perfectly happy with your choice of supplements and do not see any need to change. I am somewhat surprised about the recommended use of 5HTP alongside conventional antidepressants. Shabir

  • Vanessa

    Hi Shabir, thank you for your reply. I was recommended 5HTP alongside antidepressants as I was told I didn’t make enough serotonin of my own as I was tested as the levels of serotonin and dopamine were very low even on anti deps. As I now have Sage Complex will that cover what Magnolia Rhodiola would have as I can see it has an adaptagan and it has stress lowering and mood regulating properties, will it help control the high cortisol? I just need something to help boost my antideps. I have also just read that L-Methyfolate can help to boost antideps as it has an antidepressant quality, I see you do two Solgar formulas as Metafolin, can you advise which one I should go for, the 1000 or 400?

    I ordered the three other supplements late yesterday afternoon and they arrived today, I’m so pleased.

    Thank you so much for your help and advice, it’s so appreciated.

    Regards

    Vanessa

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Vanessa, Sage Complex does help to a degree to reduce cortisol levels and enhance mood. With reference to methylfolate, use one capsule of 1000mcg daily. Shabir