There is no cure for migraines, but researchers have found that people who have had gastric bypass experience migraine relief after the surgery.
About fifteen percent of the population suffers from migraines, and three times as many women get them as do men.
Migraines are difficult. They can be disabling and last from hours to days. Migraines are common enough and severe enough that they are one of the more frequent conditions seen in emergency rooms.
There are common triggers that precede migraines. Hormonal changes in women and certain medications, such as birth control pills, are migraine triggers. Certain foods such as chocolate, alcohol, cheese, MSG, and caffeine or missing a meal can trigger a migraine. Physical exertion or changes in sleep patterns can trigger a migraine and so can stress. Other factors include weather changes, loud noises, bright lights, or sun.
Obesity and Migraines
Much about the cause of migraines was not understood previously. My friend Teri Robert, a Lead Health Guide on HealthCentral’s Migraine Site, tells me that we now know migraine is a genetic neurological disease. There is no cure, so eliminating contributing factors is not a solution.
What has been discovered recently is that obese people who suffer from migraines and have had gastric bypass surgery report a decrease or elimination of these headaches altogether. Teri advised me that there have been conflicting studies about obesity and migraine for many years now.
Gastric Bypass Migraine Relief
Researchers have discovered that patients who suffered from debilitating migraines found relief in the frequency and severity of the episodes six months after having gastric bypass surgery.
A study consisted of 24 severely obese patients, all who suffered from migraines. Most of the patients were female. Patient assessments were done before and after gastric bypass surgery, using standard migraine questionnaires.
The researchers found that the frequency of headaches was reduced from 11.1 headache days before gastric bypass surgery to 6.7 headache days six months after surgery.
Half of the patients showed a fifty percent reduction in frequency.
Patients also reported a substantial reduction in the severity of headache pain.
Curiously, seventy percent of the patient who reported migraine improvement were still considered obese at the six month mark following surgery.
“The researchers found that forty-six percent of the patients reported being migraine-free and another twenty-nine percent reported improvements.”
Although found inconclusive and subject to additional research, another promising study conducted by a team led by the director of the University of Iowa Bariatric Surgery Program yielded impressive results.
The study team reviewed the medical records of 702 patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery within a ten year period and selected eighty-one of those patients for the study. All patients were obese and all were subject to migraines. The researchers found that forty-six percent of the patients reported being migraine-free and another twenty-nine percent reported improvements.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life