Migraines & Weight
A study published in September in the scientific journal Neurology suggested that there is a stronger connection between migraines and obesity than had previously been established. Earlier research indicated that individuals who are obese are at higher risk for regular, chronic migraines. This study aimed to determine that the same was true for migraines that occur on a more irregular basis.
The researchers believe the findings from the study will be helpful to obesity individuals and the physicians who treat them, for two different reasons:
- Obesity, unlike demographic factors and genetic predispositions, can potentially be solved with a weight loss plan.
- Some of the drugs that are used to treat migraines cause weight fluctuations in patients, both reduction in weight and weight gain (depending on the individual).
Parameters of the study on obesity and migraine headaches
Over 3200 patients completed questionnaires asking for basic identifying details and frequency of migraine attacks. Just over 1000 of the subjects were classifiable as obese, and almost 200 of that population experienced migraine headaches sporadically (specifically, less than 15 attacks over the course of 30 days). When migraines do not strike chronically, the condition is known as occasional or episodic migraine.
The findings revealed that individuals have an 81% greater chance of suffering from occasional migraine if they also are suffering from obesity. The study authors said that because migraines and obesity are so closely connected, it is advisable for physicians to help patients with both conditions lose weight by changing eating habits and getting into shape. The researchers did not specifically determine if medical weight loss or other fitness efforts can reduce the risk of migraine, but the results of the study suggest that is probably the case.
How age relates to migraines and obesity
The study also found that age is a factor. It's been established in the past that people who are under 50 years old experience migraines more commonly than people over that age (probably in full or part due to hormonal changes, because hormonal shifts are a common migraine trigger). The study found that the obesity and migraine connection is more obvious for patients in the under-50 age bracket.
If you have recently experienced weight gain or think that reducing your weight might help alleviate your migraine symptoms, the MiRx Protocol can help. Rather than treating headaches with pills, we combine medical and physical approaches to reduce your pain and optimize your recovery.