Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that if you are overweight and you have migraines, they are more likely to be severe, and the greater your body mass index, the more frequently they will occur.
The researchers looked at patients (predominantly female) who had headaches 10 to 15 days per month. In the normal weight group, this amounted to 4.4 percent of the patients. In the overweight group, it rose to 5.8 percent, in the obese group it was 13.6 percent, and in the morbidly obese group it was 20.7 percent. So what you weigh has a direct relation on how many migraines you have and how severe they are. (1)
A later study found that people who were overweight were more likely to have depression and anxiety. This in turn could trigger more frequent and severe migraines. (2)
The American Academy of Neurology also found that those with larger waistlines were more likely to suffer with migraines than those who were slim. (3)
Although obese sufferers are routinely advised to lose weight for health-preserving reasons, it wasn’t known until recently whether this would actually diminish the symptoms of migraine.
Then, patients who had undergone gastric bypass operations reported to them that their migraines had reduced in frequency and severity, just six months after surgery. This provided evidence that weight loss is an important tool for the treatment and prevention of migraine. (4)
Why Are Body Fat and Migraines Linked?
Doctors are still looking into the reasons why overweight people get more migraines, but it may be because:
• Overweight people are more likely to be depressed and stress can trigger migraines.
• Overweight people are more likely to have a poor diet.
• Overweight people are more likely to suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) which can trigger migraines.
• There may be a genetic element involved.
Ideas for Losing Weight
Skipping meals doesn’t usually work because it just makes you crave fat and want to eat more junk food when you do eat.