New Hope for Migraine Sufferers

Migraines are not all the same. People can have different symptoms and different triggers, but the misery and disruption they can cause is pretty consistent.

headache

Another thing that many migraine sufferers have in common is an inability to process certain vitamins. Recent studies have revealed that people with migraines, especially with auras, are more likely to have genetic variations in the enzymes that activate folic acid. They are more likely to have elevated homocysteine, a compound that can be a marker for a lack of appropriate B vitamins that our nervous systems need. Elevated homocysteine can be toxic to nerve cells and is associated with increased risk of heart disease.

One still needs to determine and reduce migraine triggers, but there is hope that regular intake the active form folate, known as methyltetrahydrofolate or methylfolate, can reduce the sensitivity to those triggers. For people with this genetic variation, it is also important to avoid the common form of folic acid added to some supplements and many processed foods. And always take B12, again the methyl form of B12, when you take any form of folate.

I am already seeing good results with this approach with my patients. Just a month ago, I had a patient try a new product called Eye Folate, made by a local eye doctor that contains these vitamins plus others for nerve and eye health. Her recent report to me was, “I’ve essentially had no migraines since I started it! So it looks like it’s working, thank you!”

For many migraine sufferers, products like these could be an important part the solution to help prevent this common and debilitating issue.

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3 responses to “New Hope for Migraine Sufferers

  1. I don’t have migraines although I have experienced an ocular migraine before. I do know that I am deficient in B vitamins and recently discovered an elevated Homocysteine level.

  2. According to Dr. Craig Brown, MD who created the Eye Folate formula, “Folate deficiency presents as peripheral neuropathies (especially in diabetes, numbness, weakness, loss of balance), corneal disease (neurotrophic corneal ulcers), conjunctival irritation, eye pain, optic neuritis, asthma, allergies, gastroparesis, nonspecific anemia, megaloblastic anemia, aplastic anemia, hyperhomocysteinemia, medication resistant depression, irritability, forgetfulness, mental fog (“fibro fog”), migraine, blunted affect, sleep disorders, narcolepsy, skin changes (brown blotches and discoloration of nails and skin folds), skin breakdown and poor wound healing, to name a few.”
    So migraines are just one possible presentation of B vitamin deficiency and elevated homocysteine. It is worth treating, but not everyone needs the activated co-enzyme forms of B vitamins.

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