You'd do anything to help a child who suffers migraines! Start by seeing if two common problems are triggering those attacks. In this issue, we show you what to look for. We also explain why your own migraines may be more frequent in summer. Plus, as a follow up to our reports on the link between migraines and heart health, we look at the good role CoQ10 may play.

As always, we hope you find this information helpful. And if you have ideas for articles, let us know! We very much enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions.

Tina Sanders

Linpharma Customer Education



Children's Migraines: 2 Surprising Causes

While children’s migraines can be intense, few drugs are approved for treating migraine in children. In fact, even the “benign” drug aspirin should never be given to anyone under age 19 because it can cause Reye’s Syndrome which is rare—but potentially fatal in young children. You may, however, provide your child with some relief by looking into the surprising migraine triggers below.

  • VITAMIN DEFICIENCY. A study presented in June by Dr. Andrew Hershey (pediatric neurologist and director of the headache center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) found that deficiencies in certain vitamins and antioxidants are common among children and teens experiencing frequent migraines. The study also suggests that the deficiencies may contribute to migraines.
  • What nutrients are involved? A high percentage of young migraine sufferers had deficiencies of vitamin D, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). In fact, levels of these nutrients were below the level at which supplementation is recommended.
  • What you can do: The study did not evaluate the effectiveness of supplements in children, but numerous other studies have shown that supplementing with riboflavin, CoQ10 and magnesium does seem beneficial for migraine in adults. Vitamin D has been linked with chronic pain conditions, but studies haven’t shown conclusively that vitamin D supplements help migraines. Still, at least in terms of nutrients for which the evidence is there, you may want to get your doctor’s recommendation, especially since the risk of nutritional supplements are minimal—even for children.
  • LACK OF SLEEP. This is a well-known migraine trigger, but parents may not realize that lack of sleep can set off an additional trigger: low blood sugar. In fact, Dr. Mark Mahowald (director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center) says that the body’s reaction to sleep loss can resemble insulin resistance, resulting in high blood sugar. Thus, lack of sleep can be a double whammy, especially for kids.
  • What you can do: Regular, restful sleep is a powerful migraine preventive. Feeding your child regularly can also help ward off swings in blood sugar. Interestingly, some pediatricians are starting to look at magnesium in this regard as well. Among its many important roles in the body, magnesium helps regulate the production of insulin. We know that adults who suffer frequent migraines often have magnesium deficiencies. If your child suffers frequent migraines, you may want to ask your doctor about magnesium (a deficiency can be diagnosed with a blood test).

How much sleep do kids and teens need? (More than you may think!) CLICK HERE

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Boost Magnesium to Reduce Summer Migraines

Did you know that summer heat and humidity do more than make you feel uncomfortable? They can also sap vital electrolytes and minerals—including magnesium.

Magnesium is essential to cell function, including brain cell function. In fact, studies have shown that people who suffer migraines frequently have a magnesium deficiency. If you’re already prone to a deficiency, summer can tip the balance because sweating drains your body’s reserves of magnesium. Stress, alcohol, and over-indulging in coffee can also deplete magnesium. Plus, antibiotics and even OTC heartburn medications can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb magnesium from foods.

A deficiency does more than leave you tired, anxious and primed for a migraine: Magnesium is used by over 700 enzyme processes in your body and it is essential for a healthy brain and a healthy heart and bones.


How to Avoid Summer “Magnesium Migraines”

Try more getting vitamin D. Some studies suggest it can help your body absorb more magnesium. Add extra vitamin D to your diet by eating tuna, eggs, cheese and fortified cereals. Take a daily multivitamin, too.

Don’t give up carbs. After summer sports, biking or even just walking, snacking on whole grain breads or cereals can help replenish vital magnesium that’s lost by sweating.

Feast on more salads. Dark green, leafy vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium. Toss in beans, peas, nuts and whole grains and you’ve got a meal that’s ultra-rich in magnesium.

Check your meds. Antibiotics, diuretics heartburn drugs and some cancer drugs can block absorption of magnesium. While taking these, you may want to talk with your doctor about adding a magnesium supplement.

The Good News on CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is found in every cell of your body where it produces energy for cell growth and protects against free radicals. Our bodies make CoQ10 and it’s naturally present in small amounts in foods such as organ meats, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts. As we age, our bodies produce less CoQ10.

There is some evidence that CoQ10 could be beneficial for conditions ranging from macular degeneration to Alzheimer’s. The most well-established research, however, involves CoQ10’s role with migraines and heart health, including its seeming ability to lower high blood pressure and reduce muscle breakdown and pain for people taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

While larger studies are needed, the fact that CoQ10 may be beneficial for both heart and brain health is good news—especially in light of recent studies that link migraines with a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.

Sources like the Mayo Clinic’s website provide guidance on CoQ10 supplementation. The best advice, however, is to ask your own doctor about what’s right for you.

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