Vitamin D deficiency: Study finds key sign you could be lacking the sunshine vitamin

This Morning: Doctor Chris discusses vitamin D deficiency

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A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults. The researchers revealed that supplementing these nutrients may ease the symptoms of vitamin d deficiency.

Migraines are common and can severely affect people’s well-being, work, and social interactions.

Some people cannot tolerate the side effects of medications for migraine headaches, where as others may want to try a more natural approach to ease symptoms.

You can be deficient in specific nutrients and minerals as well as vitamins because of your diet, lifestyle, and other factors, which may cause them to be more susceptible to migraine attacks.

For those experiencing migraines, vitamin D supplements and other minerals can help ease symptoms.

According to a study published last year, vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for migraine headaches, especially in people with vitamin D deficiency.

The researchers examined vitamin D’s interactions with metabolism, hormones, and genes that influence the body’s ability to process sensory information and the likelihood of migraine headaches.

They concluded that vitamin D suppresses inflammation, influences the release of neurotransmitters, and can influence pain.

Co-author, doctor Magdalena Nowaczewska, explained that these characteristics may contribute to migraine headaches if there is a deficiency.

The body needs vitamin D to absorb magnesium and because magnesium deficiency may also contribute to migraine headaches, a lack of vitamin D could further increase the likelihood of migraine episodes.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend 15 micrograms of vitamin D daily for up to age 70 and 20 micrograms for over age 70.

Magnesium works closely with vitamin D in the body, so both of these nutrients could be essential in preventing migraines.

The study concluded that there is a link between magnesium and migraine and the pain-relieving effects of this mineral.

Whist vitamin D is an essential source of magnesium that prevents migraine episodes. Lifestyle changes can also be made to reduce the chances of experiencing a migraine.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, lifestyle strategies that people can try include are:

  • Maintaining a regular sleeping and eating schedule every day
  • Staying hydrated
  • Exercising regularly with low-impact activities
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Keeping a migraine diary and recording triggers
  • Managing stress with relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and meditation.

According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activities such as yoga and Tai Chi can also help relax the brain and destress, preventing migraines.

According to the NHS, someone who has migraine episodes should see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.

However, in the winter months, vitamin D can be found in the following list of foods:

  • Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals.

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