Weight Loss May Curb Migraines

New study sees correlation between improved health and relief from headaches

For those who suffer from migraines and carry around extra weight, a new study may bring some new and needed motivation to get one’s weight down.

According to the newest research conducted by the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, those who are obese are 81% more likely to suffer from episodic migraines as compared to those who are of normal weight.

The newest study was published in the online edition of Neurology, wherein researchers surveyed 3,862 individuals who provided their information on height, weight, frequency of migraines, and so forth. The average age was 47 years according to researchers. The study showed that 1,004 respondents were obese and 188 stated they suffered from occasional migraines, which were defined as 14 or fewer headaches per month.

“These results suggest that doctors should promote healthy lifestyle choices for diet and exercise in people with episodic migraine,” said study author B. Lee Peterlin.

“More research is needed to evaluate whether weight loss programs can be helpful in overweight and obese people with episodic migraine.”

The newest study is building off of research published in 2011, which noted exercise can be as effective as medication in the prevention of migraines overall. Following a group of migraine patients under a generalized exercise regimen that had 40-minute sessions used three times per week, a Swedish research team found that migraines dropped for both participants on an exercise plan, as well as for those on a drug plan.

The likely cause of the lowering of migraines is the improvement of blood in the circulatory system, as well as the release of stress and increase in dopamine and serotonin in subjects. However, the causal neurological element was not explored in the specific study.

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