Does Losing Weight Reduce Migraines?
The question of whether losing weight reduces migraines is a common one, as both conditions share similar symptoms and risk factors. Obesity is a major contributor to migraine development, as people who are overweight have a greater chance of developing the disease than those who are at an appropriate weight.
A 2017 meta-analysis of 12 studies found that those who were obese had a 27 percent increased risk for migraine, compared to those with a normal BMI. The authors say that this is a “potentially modifiable” risk factor, meaning that if you want to lower your migraine risk, you can work with your doctor and your nutritionist to achieve your goal.
Losing weight may help reduce the frequency of headaches, and it can also improve your quality of life. However, doctors caution that it’s important to make sure that any changes you make to your diet are gradual, as certain foods or other triggers might be difficult for you to eliminate entirely.
Some studies have suggested that reducing your sugar intake may be helpful in controlling migraines, but others have not found that it does. For those who have a problem with sugar, aspartame might be a good substitute, but some people report that it exacerbates their migraines.
Exercising regularly is another way to control weight, and it can be beneficial for those who have migraines. But it’s important to avoid excessive exercise, as it can lead to dehydration and other problems, according to Bond.
In addition, some people with migraines have a higher risk for developing depression and anxiety when they lose weight. These two disorders can be triggered by stress, so it’s best to avoid over-exerting yourself or taking on too much responsibility.
There are a number of other factors that might contribute to your migraines, including nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, and inflammatory reactions. Keeping a food journal can help you track your diet and determine what might be triggering your migraines, says Bond.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that you are getting enough vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, iodine, calcium, and potassium. These supplements can help prevent migraines and other health problems.
Lastly, exercise is a great way to release stress and relieve tension, which can help you manage migraines. It’s a good idea to do your exercises in the early morning, when it’s cool and dry outside, and to make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water before and during your workouts.
If you’re struggling with migraines, consider working with a dietitian or a nutritionist to develop a meal plan that is both nutritious and healthy for you. They can help you figure out what foods to eat and when, and they can provide support to make sure that you are on the right track to achieving your goals.
Many people have a hard time losing weight, but it’s worth the effort to get the relief you need from your migraines. And it’s also a good way to improve your overall health and well-being, which can make you more comfortable in social situations.