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How Does Your Weight Affect Migraines?

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 19/04/2017 Janissa Delzo
© Dominic Lipinski - PA

If you’re underweight or obese, you may have an increased risk for migraine, according to research published in the journal Neurology.

In a meta-analysis, the researchers looked at all of the available peer-reviewed, published studies on body mass index (BMI) and migraine. This included a total of 12 studies with nearly 289,000 participants.

“More research is needed to determine whether efforts to help people lose or gain weight could lower their risk for migraine,” study author B. Lee Peterlin, said in a press release.

Being either underweight or obese may put you at a higher risk for migraine than normal-weight people. © Photo courtesy of Pixabay Being either underweight or obese may put you at a higher risk for migraine than normal-weight people.

The researchers found obese people were 27 percent more likely to have migraine than people of normal weight, and those who were underweight had an increased risk of 13 percent. However, this does not mean being either underweight or overweight causes migraine. 

“It’s not clear how body composition could affect migraine. Adipose tissue, or fatty tissue, secretes a wide range of molecules that could play a role in developing or triggering migraine,” said Peterline. “It’s also possible that other factors such as changes in physical activity, medications, or other conditions such as depression play a role in the relationship between migraine and body composition.”

A couple conditions that may have impacted the data is that for half of the studies, migraine and BMI were self-reported by the participants.

Migraine is one of the most common headache disorders. It often begins in puberty and affects women more than men because of hormonal influences. The pain that comes along with migraine is often one-sided, pulsing, and lasts hours, or even days, according to the World Health Organization.

Across the globe, headache disorders, including migraine, are often underestimated, under-recognized, and under-treated.

10 signs and symptoms that you’re suffering from a migraine

(Gallery provided by Active Times)

10 Signs and Symptoms That You’re Suffering From a Migraine: <p>We’re not just talking about an <a href=""><strong>average headache</strong></a>; we’re talking about migraines, also called migraine attacks.</p><p><a href=""><b>Statistics</b></a> show that more than 37 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraines. Some studies estimate that 13 percent of adults in the U.S. population have migraines — two to three million of those people suffer from chronic migraines.</p><p>Sleep disturbances, <a href=""><strong>bloating</strong></a>, food cravings, <a href=""><strong>depression</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>trouble concentrating</strong></a>, neck pain, increased thirst, and <a href=""><strong>mood changes</strong></a> are all signs and symptoms of migraines. However, according to, the most common migraine symptoms reported by migraine sufferers are throbbing pain, light and sound sensitivity, nausea, pain on one side, and <a href=""><strong>vision changes</strong></a>.</p><p>It’s important to be aware and educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of a migraine. After all, migraines affect not only your head but also your entire body.</p> 10 Signs and Symptoms That You’re Suffering From a Migraine


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