Low Vitamin D May Be the Cause of Your Headaches
If you experience frequent headaches, you know they do more than make your head throb. They can also wreak havoc on your concentration levels, mood and sleep. And while it’s easy enough to take a painkiller to ease your pain and get you back to normal, it does nothing to stop headaches from recurring.
The key, then, is to find out what’s causing them in the first place.
Some common triggers include certain foods like processed meats and aged cheeses. Stress, alcohol, poor posture and skipped meals can also play a role.
But if you can’t pinpoint the underlying cause of your frequent headaches, a new study might have the answer.
Study: Vitamin D Deficiency May Increase Risk of Chronic Headaches
A group of Finnish researchers analyzed data from the long-running Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. And they found that vitamin D deficiency could increase the risk of developing chronic headaches.
The team reviewed vitamin D levels and the occurrence of headaches in approximately 2,600 men. In 68% of these men, the serum vitamin D level was below 50 nmol/l. (This is generally considered the cut-off for vitamin D deficiency.)
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Here’s what the analysts discovered:
Men with the lowest levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to have a headache at least once a week compared to men with the highest levels. Additionally, chronic headaches occurred less frequently during the summer months — the months when the sun is stronger and vitamin D levels tend to rise.
These findings support earlier, but considerably smaller, studies showing that vitamin D levels are associated with the risk of headaches.
A 2014 study using the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) database found that even among people taking a multivitamin, about 74% of them fell below the estimated average requirement for vitamin D.
This is a shame, since getting vitamin D is simple. Just expose your skin to sunlight for 10 to 20 minutes several times a week, without sunscreen. The ultraviolet energy from the sun will naturally trigger vitamin D production.
Or, if you prefer, you can also take a vitamin D3 supplement. It only takes around 2,000 to 3,000 IU daily to maintain adequate levels.
Vitamin D deficiency increases risk of chronic headache. News Release. University of Eastern Finland. Jan 2017.
Jyrki K. Virtanen, et al. Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with higher risk of frequent headache in middle-aged and older men. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7: 39697
Wallace TC, et al. Multivitamin/mineral supplement contribution to micronutrient intakes in the United States, 2007-2010. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(2):94-102.
Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”