I’ve had a weight problem for most of my life, and I am aware of many co-morbidities involved in carrying around excess weight: arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic heart burn and many more. When I started suffering from migraines a few years ago, the thought never crossed my mind that they could be caused by my weight. To my dismay, I discovered that my migraines were caused by just that: my excess weight. In my case, I have a condition called pseudotumor cerebri and migraine headaches is one of the main symptoms. Pseudotumor cerebri is a condition in which there is too much pressure inside the skull due to excess production of cerebral spinal fluid. This “pressured skull” condition can lead to blindness in some sufferers, in addition to severe migraine headaches that are usually not very responsive to pain medication. I am very lucky that the condition has not jeopardized my vision, but other aspects in my life have been greatly affected because of the crippling migraine headaches.
Not all obese patients who suffer from migraine headaches have the condition that I suffer from, but a great deal of overweight or obese patients do suffer from migraines due to their weight. Numerous studies regarding migraine and obesity have been performed, and one study performed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center by Dr. Andrew Hershey, concluded that as much as 91% of obese children suffer from migraine headaches. Furthermore, studies concluded that migraine sufferers who were obese also have higher instances of becoming depressed, which in turn worsens migraines.
Doctors conducting yet another study in 2005 concluded that it’s not always obesity itself that causes migraines, but in some cases migraines become more frequent and more severe the more weight an already obese person gains. I have noticed that as I gained weight over the years, my migraines became worse. I’m working on my obesity problem in order to hopefully send the pseudotumor cerebri into remission, and if you’re struggling with your weight and suffering from migraines, you may want to tackle your weight problem as well, in order to get some relief from the horrible headaches that can sometimes be debilitating.
Obesity affects everyone’s body differently. While one person may suffer from high cholesterol as a result of their obesity, another obese person may have perfect cholesterol levels yet suffer from a different weight-related ailment like diabetes, or even several conditions. If you’re one of the people who suffers from migraines as a result of being overweight, you might want to try losing the excess weight before undergoing anything drastic to rid yourself of your migraine headaches. Although weight loss can be very challenging for some people, there are many wonderful options available, including bariatric surgery in cases where morbid obesity is present.
The Headache Advisor – Obesity & Migraines – http://www.headache-adviser.com/obesity-and-migraines.html
Mayo Clinic Migraine Page – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/migraine-headache/DS00120/DSECTION=prevention