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Vitamin D3 as a preventative measure

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#1 Mon, 04/12/2023 - 16:30
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 27/12/2020 - 10:14

Vitamin D3 as a preventative measure


About me: Episodic Cluster Headaches, seasonal periodicity between November-January

TL;DR - I've been taking Vitamin D3 supplements of 4000 IU daily (not prescribed) during cluster periods for the last couple of years, in conjunction with normal Sumatriptan injections for acute onset. Normally I would get 2-3 headaches in every 24-hour period for 4-6 weeks, but upon starting taking the vitamin supplements (4000 IU is what doctors seem to recommend as a safe dose) my headaches reduced in frequency and stopped within a week on both occasions. This year it has been 3 weeks since my first headache, and I have had 3 cluster headaches total, all of which were in the first week.

I take the vitamins before bed each night, as this feels right to me, though I have no real basis for that!

Not claiming this will work for everyone and I know I am very lucky that it works for me, but it might be worth speaking with your healthcare provider to check if this is an option for you, if you want to give it a try


Last year I started doing some research on Google Scholar into the potential effects of Vitamin D supplementation on Cluster Headache. Here is a really good open access review article on the links between Vitamin D and headache: https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/10/24/5983

It appears there are potential strong links between Vitamin D levels and headache, applicable not just to Cluster Headache but Migraine and other headache disorders as well. People with Cluster Headaches are more likely than the average populace to be deficient in Vitamin D, and there is also some limited evidence that Vitamin D can also help to prevent or reduce the frequency of cluster headache and migraine.

This paragraph in particular caught my eye from the above review:

"To our knowledge, only a poster presentation showed that vitamin D supplementation could be effective in preventing CH attacks. Batcheller, indeed, presented survey results of 110 CH sufferers using a daily anti-inflammatory regimen of vitamin and mineral supplements including 10,000 IU/d vitamin D3 and Omega-3 fish oil as a CH preventative. 80% of CH patients reported significant reductions in frequency, duration and severity of headache [78]. A clinical trial is currently underway to assess the role of high dose vitamin D plus a multivitamin in the prevention of CH [79]."

This is obviously preliminary data, but from my own experience, it has proven true for me (minus the fish oil). I started taking 4000 IU of VItamin D3 during a cluster last year which had been ongoing for a few weeks in December, in which I was getting about 2 per night. This balanced with a 1-year-old waking us up was not great! So I checked for the safe dose recommended by doctors and settled on 4000 IU. Within a week my headaches were down to 1 every 2 days, and then the next week they stopped. 

I thought it might be a fluke last year, but this year I started taking tablets right from the start of November. Although my Cluster still started in mid November, I was only having 1 every couple of days, and after 3 headaches they stopped, and have not returned. I'm still taking the supplement and will until spring.

I'd note that there are potential side effects of Vitamin D3 related to calcium build-up (kidney stones are something which comes up) so I wouldn't just take my word for it, but talk to a doctor if you are considering this.

Would be interested to know if anyone else has tried high-dose Vitamin D supplementation and whether it worked for you!


Mon, 22/01/2024 - 22:09
Jswee's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 22/01/2024 - 20:44

Wow this is brilliant and something I am going to explore for Hubby.  HIs attack started on New Years Day.  he's like a sumatriptain pin cushion and can't go out properly because he needs to be near oxygen.  I spoke to the GP and asked her to give him a blood test to look at his hormone levels because I had seen some reports about this but your info makes such sense.  There has to be a reason for CH and it's probably so easy, no one can see it.  I'm going to send the report to her and ask if he can have his D3 looked at too.  In the mean time, I've thrown a 400IU VitD3 his way tonight but I'm off to the vitamin shop tomorrow!  Many thanks, I'll keep you posted.


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