Due to the recent studies that showed a frightening connection between the potential for brain damage, strokes, heart attacks and migraine headaches, migraine sufferers desire more than ever before to avoid the symptoms of this neurological disorder from manifesting.
Common medications in this fight include beta blockers, anti convulsion medications and also sedatives. Even as the latter are highly effective, they greatly impair the patient from leading a normal life and participating in all aspects of daily activities.
Avoiding sedatives but also migraine headaches appears to be difficult, but there are new studies which show that melatonin, long since known to insomniacs as a surefire sleep aid, can also help with the prevention of migraine headaches.
In and of itself, melatonin is a natural compound created by the body throughout the day, but most copiously during the evening hours. It serves to help prepare the body for sleep and it is in part the failure to create sufficient amounts that accounts for the experience of jet lag and other sleep disorders.
Four years ago, a study sought to prove that the increase of melatonin at bedtime would permit for a reduction of triptan medications in migraine patients. The goal was the avoidance of migraine headaches or at least no increase in the number of migraine headaches in the sufferers that volunteered for the experiment.
Reduced by Half
The study showed extremely promising results in that about three quarters of the test subjects were able to avoid taking the pharmaceuticals and still showed a reduction of migraine headaches by about half. The remaining subjects presented with no migraine headaches whatsoever.
As promising as these results were, it is important to remember that the total number of volunteers totaled less than forty, making this a rather small study. On the other hand, the results are sufficiently extraordinary to warrant a closer look and further research on the subject of melatonin in conjunction with the effort to avoid migraine headaches.
Patients also should consider using this substance in their fight against migraines since it is considered safe, does not have the side effects usually seen with pharmaceuticals, and overall aids in the enjoyment of a healthy sleep pattern.
Researchers consider the effectiveness of melatonin to hearken back to the portion of the brain that may also carry some significance in the triggering of migraine headaches, and it is therefore not too far a stretch to consider that melatonin deficiency may be in part to blame for the condition.
On the flipside, it is possible that migraine headaches may contribute to an overall decrease in the brains ability to create melatonin and perhaps a lack of the substance could be an actual trigger for migraine headaches. .
Although the exact causation is predominantly a discussion among scientists and mimics the old question about the chicken and the egg, and which came first, patients now have a new tool for the prevention or at least reduction of migraine headaches. Since there are some warnings associated with the substance, it is a good idea to discuss the use of melatonin with a physician.