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Obesity may increase risk of migraines

Published on 13/09/2013

Obese people could be at a greater risk of developing and suffering episodic migraines, a study from the US suggests.

Obesity has been linked to migraines in the past

The study was conducted by Dr Barbara Lee Peterlin and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. The research was published in the journal Neurology.

A study of more than 3,800 adults analysed the body-mass index (BMI) and found that those classed as obese were 81% more likely to suffer from episodic migraines than those with a normal BMI. This was particularly strong in Caucasian females under the age of 50.

Episodic migraines usually occur fewer than 14 days or fewer each month and the most common form of migraines, chronic migraine sufferers are affected at least 15 days each month.

Migraines are a chronic neurological disorder that can cause the sufferer severe headaches. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.

Dr Peterlin emphasised that the study did not prove that obesity causes episodic migraines but highlighted the fact that obese people are more at risk of migraines being more frequent.

Dr Peterlin said: “These results suggest that doctors should promote healthy lifestyle choices for diet and exercise in people with episodic migraine.

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

Scientists have suggested that migraines could be the cause of obesity and not the other way around. The theory suggests that those with painful and often debilitating migraines are less inclined to exercise regularly and could be on migraine medication, some of which is linked to weight gain.

Some health insurance providers can reward you for staying active and eating healthily by lowering your premiums and offering exclusive discounts.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

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