Chronic Headache? Finnish Study Says It Could Be Vitamin D Deficiency

Chronic Headache? Finnish Study Says It Could Be Vitamin D Deficiency

By Staff

A new study out of Finland shows that having a vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of suffering from chronic headaches.

The findings of The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), which were published in Scientific Reports, analyzed the serum vitamin D levels and occurrence of headache in approximately 2,600 men aged between 42 and 60 years in 1984-1989.

In 68% of these men, the serum vitamin D level was below 50 nmol/l, which is generally considered the threshold for vitamin D deficiency.  There were 250 men who reported having chronic headaches at least on a weekly basis.  And men reporting chronic headache had lower serum vitamin D levels that others.

When the study population was divided into four groups based on their serum vitamin D levels, the group with the lowest levels had over a twofold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels.

Chronic headache was also more frequently reported by men who were examined outside the summer months of June through September.  Thanks to UVB radiation from the sun, the average serum vitamin D levels are higher during the summer months.

The study adds to the accumulating body of evidence linking a low intake of vitamin D to an increased risk of chronic diseases.  Low vitamin D levels have been associated with the risk of headache in some much smaller studies.

In Finland and in other countries far from the Equator, UVB radiation from the sun is a sufficient source of vitamin D during the summer months, but outside the summer season, people need to make sure that they get sufficient vitamin D from food or from vitamin D supplements.

No scientific evidence relating to the benefits and possible adverse effects of long-term use in higher doses yet exists.  The Finnish Vitamin D Trial, FIND, currently ongoing at the University of Eastern Finland will shed light on the question, as the five-year trial analyzes the effects of high daily doses of vitamin D on the risk factors and development of diseases.  The trial participants are taking a vitamin D supplement of 40 or 80 micrograms per day. The trial also investigates the effects of vitamin D supplementation on various pain conditions.

If you’re experiencing chronic headache, you may want to consider vitamin D supplements.

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Authored by: Staff

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. connie at 5:52 pm

    Kristen, with reduced meds I am getting headaches again. It was sure nice to have all those years without my head splitting! I dread the day they take the rest of my fentanyl away and I don’t doubt that will happen most likely when we move in April.

  2. Layla Rose at 1:22 pm

    This is probably true for those who are far from the equator. But why did the study only include men? We all need vitamin D. Anyway, I’ve been deficient in D and headaches weren’t how it manifested in me. I take vitamin D all the time, w/o it my metabolism is all messed up.

  3. Jean Price at 11:38 am

    I’m thinking their “good”range is actually higher than what our test range is…, I’ll have to check this out. I was put on a supplement for having a low vitamin D level last year, yet my headaches are positional due to my cervical degeneration. If I wake up on my back, I always have a headache! If I can stay on my side all night…I don’t! I can even move my arm and start getting a headache…so I have to position it on a pillow just so!! Obviously the term “chronic headaches” takes in a wide range of causes, I’d think…and some can’t be attributed to a vitamin deficiency as much as structure or vascular issues. This being said…if I had nonspecific recurring headaches…I’d certainly ask my doctor for a vitamin D level and maybe just try it to see.

  4. Kristen K at 10:41 am

    I agree with Connie .I have been suffering with migraines for 8 years approximately 4 days a week.I get flashes in my eyes as well when these come on.I honestly don’t believe Vitamin D is a cure for all.I do take prescription D from my Neurologist because my levels are low however not once did she say these migraines were contributed from low vitamin D.I have tryed almost every available med for migraines and not one worked , made me worse.She suggest botox but insurance doesn’t cover that at least mine and i certainly do not have the funds for that.I am on Morphine and perc for other chronic issues but thats another story.I honestly do not agree that Vitamin D is a cure for all if that was the case i wouldn’t have these migraines so frequently.I will however show my Neurologist this artical to get her input.Also Connie I’m glad to hear you haven’t had a headache in 8 years and im happy you were treated with something that helped you.

  5. connie at 5:38 am

    This is a good theory but I can tell you it’s not 100% factual. My vitamin D levels are fine yet I had daily debilitating headaches, as yet undiagnosed, for years until I was put on fentanyl patches. Until my meds were severely reduced I hadn’t had a headache in 8 years!

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