A new study shows that the more you weigh, the more likely you are to experience migraine headaches. In fact, obese people are about 86 percent more likely than their normal weight counterparts to struggle with migraines, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.
In a survey of about 4,000 adults and their health, researchers found that those who had wider waists were likely to experience the potentially debilitating headaches. Obese men and women that are under 50 were actually 86 percent more likely to experience migraine as opposed to adults that have a normal BMI.
Experts can’t determine whether it’s the migraines that cause the excess weight or vice versa. Lee Peterlin, D.O. and author of the study has said that obesity and migraines can activate neural pathways that are shared which lead to pain and inflammation. It may also be possible that the migraine pain prevents people from being as active as they can be, and medications that treat these headaches lead to weight gain in many cases.
Dr. Peterlin also notes that the same unhealthy habits that cause migraines are also likely to cause weight gain, so never skipping a meal, but maintaining a healthy diet, making sure to get regular exercise and drinking plenty of water every day may be helpful in controlling both headaches and weight.
One study at the University of Mississippi has found that many people are getting relief from minimal contact behavior therapy. This type of treatment does not use costly prescription medications, but it teaches people ways to relax and manage stress. The results are encouraging, because according to research, the average participant notices about 49 percent fewer migraines, and that’s fabulous news.
While many patients that take part in this type of therapy choose medications in conjunction with the therapy, there is hope that behavior modification therapies are an effective way to fight migraine pain for those that cannot afford to take prescription medications or who are not experiencing relief for their migraine pain.
It is not clear what causes migraines, but studies have shown that maintaining a healthy diet, making sure to get enough exercise and practicing stress reduction techniques, as well as taking note of triggers and working to eliminate them can also be helpful in dealing with migraines.