woman with a headache massages her temples, stop your migraine, ease a migraine hangover

If you suffer from chronic headaches, you would probably do nearly anything to prevent them. We know people who don’t drink wine or eat chocolate because doing so might trigger a migraine. One reader discovered quite by accident that a supplement could prevent chronic headaches.

Effects of Vitamin D Supplements:

Q. Years ago, a blood test indicated my vitamin D was low. My doctor put me on a supplement.

When I told her at the next visit that the vitamin D had cured my chronic headaches, she said, “I doubt it.” I didn’t doubt it.

All my adult life, I’d had headaches once every month or two. They were severe enough to put me to bed for half a day and usually lingered another day or two even with over-the-counter painkillers.

After I started taking vitamin D, I never had another one of those headaches.

Vitamin D Against Chronic Headaches:

A. New research confirms your experience. Finnish researchers measured blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in over 2600 middle-aged men (Scientific Reports, online Jan. 3, 2017).  Those with the lowest levels were twice as likely to suffer chronic headaches as men with the highest levels.

We don’t know how higher blood levels of vitamin D might prevent chronic headaches. Your experience, however, suggests that supplementation might be a useful approach.

You’ll find more information about the consequences of low vitamin D levels in our Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency. It also describes the range of levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D that may be optimal. You may also be interested in our Guide to Headaches & Migraines for other ideas on how to prevent chronic headaches.

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  1. Sally
    Washington State

    I used to get a headache once a month normally lasting about a week before it would away. Once it even lasted three weeks. I tried several different kinds of pain relievers which helped until they would wear off.

    I finally went to the doctor. One suggestion was taking vitamin B3. I still used 1,000 UIs a day and I no longer get what I would call a bad headache. Occasionally I will still get a headache but regular OTC pills will work and it will be gone by the next day.

  2. Malcolm

    I have been taking D3, 10,000 units daily for 11 years to avoid viruses. In that time I have not had any virus or cold. I have got everyone in my family doing it and many friends- same results. My recurrent migraines also stopped. I have had no migraines in that time. My daughter’s bipolar straightened out and she stopped taking all her medication. I got an old friend’s daughter in Vietnam to take it due to her constant colds. I didn’t know that she was anorexic and bulimic. That went away. I have seen some other one-time results I won’t talk about because they are one time. Would be truly significant if repeated in tests on a lot of people. It is just sunshine in a pill and I don’t take it when I work day shift in the summer.

  3. DJ

    How much Vitamin D should you take for migraine/headache prevention?

    • Terry Graedon

      You should take enough to get your 25-hydroxyvitamin D level into a good range between 25 and 50. And you should not take more than that. The actual amount will vary from one person to another.

  4. Ronnie

    From your wonderful informative column, a cup of BLACK tea helps headaches. And if one cup doesn’t help, brew another! My headaches start as twinges and I know I need to drink that tea sooner than later. This morning I woke up with what I thought was a pain in my head soon to blow into a headache. I popped a black tea k cup into my Keurig and now two hours later I don’t even feel a twinge.

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