Melatonin is a hormone produced by ourbody. This hormone is created by the pineal gland, located inside ourbrain and the main purpose it has is regulating our sleep patternsand controlling our internal clock.
Therefore, people who experiencesleeping problems may be undergoing these difficulties due to lack ofmelatonin in their bodies. Fortunately, people have managed to createthis hormone synthetically and it can be taken as a supplement,helping individual overcome their sleeping issues.
Where is Melatonin Used?
There are several main usages ofmelatonin. Most commonly, it is used for treating sleeping disorderssuch as insomnia or jet lag. However, we have to bear in mind thatsleep disorders commonly appear at old age due to a natural decreaseof melatonin production in our body.
Also, melatonin can be used fortreatment of cluster headaches or migraines. Additionally, it is ahormone commonly involved in the treatment of cancer, when beingcombined with the standard cancer treatments.
Furthermore, melatonin is used fordealing with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or fibromyalgiaor even the chronic fatigue syndrome.
Some of these usages of melatonin havebeen proven effective. Yet, there are many which are yet to be fullyproven. Nevertheless, the melatonin supplements have their place inthe modern medicine, even though their effects are not fully knownyet.
In some cases, melatonin is used forspecific, quite interesting purposes. Namely, melatonin can be usedfor treating sunburn or even during one's nicotine withdrawalprocedure or the processes of stopping the taking of certainmedications. Additionally, melatonin has been proven useful in somecases of treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Nevertheless,experts do not recommend melatonin to be taken for treatingdepression or any similar behavioral disorders.
Side-effects and Safety Measures
As far as children are concerned,melatonin is not to be used for treating health problems in them dueto the fact that the effects of this hormone in such situations havenot been properly assessed yet. In fact, children commonly have highnatural levels of melatonin and do not need this hormone as asupplement. However, as they reach their adolescent age, theirmelatonin levels may vary, leading to some puberty-related problems.
Some other situations where melatoninsupplementation is not recommended is once you suffer fromdepression, diabetes, seizures or epilepsy, as well as liver disease,liver failure, cirrhosis and hepatitis. Additionally, people who areallergic to specific types of food, dyes or preservatives are notrecommended to take melatonin supplements.
Once you visit your doctor for seekingadvice regarding these supplements, do not forget to mention if youare pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant in nearfuture. Also, if you are breastfeeding, this is something you need toinform your health provider about.
Still, these are not all the dangersand precautions you need to be aware of once you decide to takemelatonin supplements for any kind of purpose. Basically, restassured that this hormone interferes with the sugar levels in yourblood. Thus, if you have diabetes, consult with your doctor beforetaking melatonin. There is a high likelihood that you will need tomonitor your blood sugar levels carefully during the exposure tomelatonin or adjust the dose of your regular diabetes medicationsonce again.
For people who suffer from depression,melatonin has been found to make matters worse and should, therefore,be avoided. Moreover, if you are taking melatonin along with someother medications, you might be risking your health since thishormone can interact with other drugs.
Finally, rest assured that differenttypes of melatonin supplements have different qualities. For example,those which are taken from herbal sources are more commonlycontaminated with heavy metals or some other drugs, being lesseffective than they are supposed to be. Thus, be careful oncechoosing the melatonin supplement for your purposes, having goodbrands and types recommended by your doctor.
Can It Help with Migraine Headaches?
According to Brazilian researchers,taking melatonin supplements about 30 minutes before bedtime is anaction which can result in removal of migraine headaches.
The study which proved this incredibleeffect of melatonin encompassed 34 migraine-bothered people, 29 ofwhom were females. All of these individuals claimed that theysuffered from about 8 attacks of migraine per month.
During the first month of the study,the subjects were not given the supplement. Rather, their regularmigraine symptoms were recorded and analyzed. Also, melatonin wasintended for preventing migraines not treating ongoing ones.Therefore, the subjects were given the hormonal supplements 30minutes before bedtime and more than 50% of headache occurrence wasrecorded in about 1/3 of all the subjects. In time, the migrainefrequency reduced from 50 to 70% in most of the patients and some ofthem even managed to get rid of them completely.
Thus, melatonin can be used fortreating migraine headaches, as well as many other health conditions,including cancer and sleeping problems. However, bearing in mind thatthis supplement is not regulated by the FDA, you ought to be carefulwith it.