Iron supplements cut my migraines by 90%

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Violet Rose
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 7/17/2011 5:20 AM (GMT -6)   
ok I am really scared about making this post and I've waited a month to say anything to you guys....I wanted to be absolutely sure before I made this post as I was scared to jinx it :)
ok I've had migraines for 20 years now.  For the past 5 years they have been at their worst, I've been having at least 2/3 migraines a week that I would treat with triptan medication but would always constantly have a headache of some degree even on my 'good' days.  I have been unable to work for the past 3 years and my life has been pretty much controlled by these migraines.
I've tried everything over the past 20 years with the exception of botox or topomax.  These were my next options.  I tried elimanation diets, 5-htp supplements, avoiding all my known triggers, birth control pills you name it I've tried it but nothing made any difference to my migraines, they just continued to get worse.
Eventually my doctor diagnosed 'menstrual migraines' and put me on preventative medication (propanolol and amytriptalin) to try and control them.  I have been taking these now for a few years with no noticable improvement. I had pretty much resigned myself to having these headaches forever or at least until I went through my menopause.
However....after researching migraine on the internet extensively for a few years now I stumbled accidently on something very interesting.  I was googling a a symptom I had that was totally unrelated to my migraines.  For many years now I have had cravings to crunch on ice cubes or pretty much anything cold, ice lollies, ice pops, ice cubes and it was becoming worse and worse to the point that it became a joke within my family lol....i discovered in my research that 'ice crunchers' are very prone to anaemia and that this is a classic symptom of low iron levels.  So I researched the symptoms of low iron levels in the blood and noticed that migraine is also a symptom of this problem in some people.  I was also surprised to see that tiredness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath are all symptoms of anaemia and I was also experiencing this but had always put it down to my general exhaustion becuase of my constant migraines.
I also have suffered with Restless Leg Syndrome for a few years now and on researching this I saw again that this can be caused by low iron levels.
I began to take some iron supplements immeadiately and from day 1 there has been a massive improvement, not only with my migraines but also my RLS has disappeared completely and also the compulsion to crunch on ice cubes!! lol
I have so far been taking a daily iron supplement with lunch for the past 5 weeks.  In that time I have had only 2 full migraines that I had to treat with triptans both were caused by known triggers (one was air travel and the other from going in the sun).  I have had a few tension type headaches in that time that were easily treated with asparin and or untreated completely and went away with sleep.  This never happened before, if I left a headache untreated it would develop into a 5 day excrutiating migraine.
I wanted to share this with you because it may help someone else.  I have since researched a lot about the link between low iron levels and migraine and have discovered that many women are misdiagnosed with 'menstrual migraine' when it is actually the loss of blood each month causing our iron levels to drop too low that cause the migraine!
I am not a doctor, I am only speaking from my own experience and to let you know that in 20 years this is the only time I have found something that has make such a huge difference to migraines :)
*crosses fingers and everything else that it continues*

Post Edited (Violet Rose) : 7/22/2011 3:13:01 PM (GMT-6)

Violet Rose
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 7/17/2011 5:31 AM (GMT -6)   
one important point I forgot to add.
I would suffer with the most terrible headaches of all during the week of my period and the week after.  I decided to wait to makes this post to see if my headaches appeared during my period this month as that was the true test for me. I wanted to be sure about it.  I DID NOT get one migraine during my period this month.  That is the first time that has happened in years :)

Midwest Mom
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/16/2011 9:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your post! My teenage daughter has had a non-stop migraine for 16 months now. (Yes, that's right - more than a year of migraine pain along with nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.) Bloodwork always shows borderline anemia, but a dozen neurologists have never been concerned about it. I am starting her on an iron supplement TODAY.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/11/2012 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the Iron tip. I have had migraines since I was 15. I have found that taking liquid magnesium everyday makes a huge difference. Others have told me it has helped them also. I really hope your daughter begins to feel better. I know what it is like to be a teenager with constant migraines and one for months on end also. Please tell her she is not alone, that is the worst part about being a migraine sufferer.

Lee Ann
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/6/2013 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I have never had migraines before, BUT...In Oct, I started my period like every month before that for years and years (I'm 41) but it didn't stop. I bled for 5 weeks - heavily. Stubbornly did not go to dr until I started having shortness of breath, heart started pounding and feeling like I was gonna pass out. I was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid - my iron level was a 5 - dr started me on iron slow release once a day - after 13 days my iron level was 7 - I'm now scheduled to have an endometrial ablation done and I'm having multiple migraines a day. Never had migraines before in my life. I can get rid of one only for another to jump on with the faintest hint of a light thats too bright or a noise too loud. Even when my iron was a 5 I wasn't having migraines - now that its a 7 I'm having them. Dr said iron should be between 12-15 so if you get to experiencing anything like this dont wait as long as I did - something is not right and your body is talking to you - go on in. Thank goodness it wasn't cancer because the clock would have been against me.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 12/6/2013 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Interesting, thanks for sharing.

Ironically I discovered eliminating Aspartame/Nutra-Sweet/Phenylalanine and caffeine from my diet took care of my headaches/mirgraines too. I had to go off both chemicals because I lost 50% of my L ear's hearing in July, got diagnosed with Cochlear Meniere's Disease. Caffeine makes Meniere's worse and Aspartame comes with 92 very serious side effects (2 are dizziness/vertigo and hearing loss). Look Aspartame up, it's scary that his neurotoxin is in so many of drinks and food items.

Consequently, I haven't had a headache since, first time in 42 years.

It's great that you're sharing something as simple as taking iron supplements helped you with others.

Angela T
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/4/2014 6:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I’ve stumbled on this post when I searched for migraine and iron on the internet. Although it’s an old post, I feel the need to add a reply and reinforce what Violet Rose wrote about iron intake and migraines.
A month ago I went to the doctors because I was feeling exhausted and depressed. Aftter a blood test we discovered that my ferritin levels were appallingly low (6.2, when the normal is 40 to 60!). For what I understand, ferritin is the protein that stores and carries iron around the body. Although I wasn’t clinically anaemic, I was borderline.
I’ve had migraines since I began menstruating, at 12, I’m now 49. In the last few months I’d have two or three migraines per month and in the last four months, I’d get a cold right before my period. My immune system was not optimum, to say the least.
I’ve also been a pescetarian for 20 years. This state had stopped me from having any fun, I had to direct all the little energy I had towards my work, just to keep afloat.
I’ve been taking iron tables and my migraine has disappeared, I have double the energy, and my PMS symptoms have also disappeared.
I had another blood test and the ferritin level went up to 15. Still low, but I’m already feeling great improvement.
My only regret is that I didn’t find this out earlier, could have avoided years and years of physical pain and emotional turmoil. I finally feel closer to what healthy people must feel. It’s amazing.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 225
   Posted 10/5/2014 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
That's awesome news! Also, thanks for the reminder that I'm out of my iron supplement. I wish I could say that taking it helped my migraines, but it doesn't; however, I'm happy for anyone who does find a solution!
Counting My Spoons - Living well despite chronic illness.

Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Cluster Headaches, Endometriosis, Hypothyroid

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/16/2014 12:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey violet rose. What brand of iron sup? What milligram? How often did you take it? Did you take with orange juice? I signed up here to help my wife with her migraines. Thanks for any details you can supply.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/8/2015 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow. I recently noticed a change in my constant headaches after my OB/GYN prescribed me iron supplements because my blood work showed that I was anemic. I tested it by not taking the pill for two days and BAM the headaches returned. My boyfriend said it could all be in my head but I'm glad to see that it's not! Thank you for sharing. :)

Norah L
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/21/2015 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
This thread is most appreciated as it gives me something to try for relief of the symptoms associated with silent migraines, which have plagued my quality of life for the past two years.
What caught my attention is the mention of anemia. At age 18 I was diagnosed as 60% anemic and was prescribed Geritol, which gave me back my energy. But now, at 65, some of those same symptoms - excessive tiredness and shortness of breath, are among the weird symptoms that come with the silent migraine.
I'll post an update if it works. :)

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/3/2015 6:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I see this post is old now but I wanted to add to it. 10 months ago I was hospitalized for 4 days after excessive bleeding and I was missing 2/3 of my blood. I had been taking so much pain medication for my headaches that I was bleeding internally. While in the hospital they told me I was anemic and needed to start taking Iron supplements. I have been taking the Iron everyday for 10 months and I can go weeks now without taking any pain medication for headaches. Iron saved my life.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 5/1/2016 6:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for this !!!! I was coming to the same conclusions because I was diagnosed with anemia before, I thought it had disappeared but my mother and I both have it. I'm a vegetarian but she eats meat. We don't know why we have the anemia when she eats plenty of steak and such :( we both get the period migraines mine are worse with age! And now symptoms of rls for me??? I was seeing an article on rls and dopamine/iron for rls and wondered if it could be all iron yeah that's how I found u and I hope this is the cure for me!!! Thanks for sharing this sweetie I am going to try it and cross my fingers!!! It would be awesome if all that was wrong with me is low iron levels. Also I want to note: iron never helped me :( I have to take a pre digested kind of iron, they grow it into algae plants which digest it I guess, then they squash it into a plant pill. This is the only iron that had ever worked for me. I prefer the companies old formulation which also contained copper (helps iron absorption) and b-12 but they got cheap :( if ur taking iron and not digesting it either vitamin c or copper may help....for me I have plenty of c it was copper I needed....
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