Taking vitamin B-2 may prevent migraines in some people

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

March 09, 2009|By JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON

Thank you for writing about taking vitamin B-2 on a daily basis to prevent migraine headaches. I have suffered from them for 17 years and have been to many doctors, including two neurologists, two ear, nose and throat doctors and an acupuncturist. I had sinus scans and have tried many medications that never worked.

I started taking the vitamin B-2, and I couldn't believe how much it helped. I may get an occasional headache now, once a month if that. I used to get a couple every week. I am thrilled to finally be free of headaches for the most part and have told my doctor to please share this with other patients with frequent migraine headaches.

Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) has been reported to help prevent migraines in some people (Current Treatment Options in Neurology, January 2008). Other possibilities include magnesium, Coenzyme Q10 or the herbs feverfew and butterbur.

Not everyone will benefit from such therapies, but we are pleased to learn that riboflavin worked for you. Others who appreciate such nondrug approaches may find our new book, Favorite Home Remedies From the People's Pharmacy, helpful. We discuss treatments for migraine as well as for other common conditions from acne to warts. It is available online at peoplespharmacy.com.

You recently had an article about treating seborrheic dermatitis with milk of magnesia. My mom is wondering how much milk of magnesia she should take.

Please tell your mother not to swallow milk of magnesia (MoM) for her skin problem. This is a powerful laxative, and if she consumes too much, she will be dashing for the bathroom.

Instead, suggest that she apply MoM to the itchy, flaky, red areas of her skin. For reasons that are not clear to us, this remedy seems to help both acne and seborrheic dermatitis.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site.

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