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May 22, 2011

Migraine Headaches and Vitamin B1

The Headache by George Cruikshank
(letter from a customer)


I'm a customer and believer in colon health, one of those people whose mother believed an enema would cure anything from a hangnail to bubonic plague, so I still take them occasionally. When I was diagnosed with spastic colon in my 20s, my physician suggested enemas could relieve symptoms, and they do. I'm pretty sure that was a commonly prescribed therapy for spastic colon through the 70s, but probably not so much today.

This has nothing to do with colon health, but  I thought it might be of interest to you.

In my teen years, ages 13 to 15, I experienced a few migraine headaches, probably mild to moderate in intensity, then they went away.

I had one migraine while I was in my 30s, and then at age 49 they came back. Probably about 3 or 4 a year, and I often suspected a food allergy, because I would almost always experience a migraine during my business travel to China, but never on my European travel, and only two during months living in Australia.

One every few months wasn't bad, and with Sumatriptan and Ibuprofen I could control the pain but would be left with diminished visual acuity and a feeling of malaise for from 24 to 48 hours following a migraine. Like many, my migraines are always preceded by an aura.

About a 18 months ago the migraine pattern changed, to a migraine every 5 to 10 days, sometimes even 2 in the same day. By the way, I'm 65 years old. The medical profession would shrug their heads and say there was nothing I could do about it except take very expensive Sumatriptan.

My wife mentioned it to her sister, who said her son had problems with severe migraines, far worse than mine, and that a physician in Santa Fe, NM, had put him on a daily dose of Vitamin B1, 100mg, which is 6.7% MDR, but the commonly available dosage.

According to my sister-in-law, if her son stays on B1, he has no migraines; if he goes off, they return within a few days.

I started the daily B1 and have been migraine-free since. The only published work about B1 and migraines I have been able to find was a Time Magazine article from the 1930s.

Granted this is all anecdotal, but for me and my nephew vitamin B1 works. Nothing el¬se worked, including eliminating foods that were considered triggers.

I'm sure the FDA would have major issues with any vitamin manufacturer who even suggested B1 as a migraine suppressor, but you may be able to help get out the word. We don't know if it works for everybody, but I know it works for my nephew and for me.

Obviously research needs to be done, but since no drug company is going to make billions of dollars selling B1, it's not likely to happen.

When I told my physician, she said she knows of no reason why B1 should have any effect, but if it works for me, there is no danger in continuing the 100mg (or more) per day.



Thank you to Linc for sharing his experience of using therapeutic doses of vitamin B1. I thought my previous post on depression and vitamin B3 supplementation along with this post on headaches and vitamin B1 supplementation were interesting companion posts to share with readers. I hope you agree. I invite my readers to send in more stories of their own healing experiences to potentially be posted on this blog.

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At April 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM , Blogger MB said...

Me too! I started to get occasional migraines at 30 (now 50). Over 20 yrs migraines getting more frequent and past 3 years nearly every second day. I was trying everything, massage, elimination diets , herbs, vitamns etc. my Dr prescribed all sorts of drugs. Only Zomig was working. I also developed peripheral neuropathy last year and learnt that B vitamins are implicated in this. Tried b12 and benfotiamine which helped a little. Eventually I stumbled on some thiamine research and decided to try it.
This has been a game changer, neuropathy is gone and migraines nearly eliminated. I'm staggered that.a supplement that costs $4 per month is the solution for me.
Like you I found it hard to find info on migraine and B1 online. There is an MD in USA Derek Lonsdale who specialises in this nutrient.
The importance of this nutrient is not well known.


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