Losing Weight Might Decrease Migraines for Obese People

Researchers from the US and Italy report that weight loss can reduce headaches and also improve the quality of life for those who are suffering from obesity.

“If you suffer from migraine headaches and are obese, losing weight will ameliorate the quality of your family and social life as well as your work and school productivity. Your overall quality of life will greatly improve,” said an associate professor at the University of Padova and the lead author of the study, Dr. Claudio Pagano.

“Weight loss in adults and children with obesity greatly improves migraine headache by improving all the main features that worsen migraineurs’ quality of life,” he also added. “When people lose weight, the number of days per month with migraine decreases, as does pain severity and headache attack duration.”

To further investigate the effects of losing weight by behavioral intervention and bariatric surgery on the severity and frequency of, Dr. Pagano and his team reviewed the databases from online medical researches for studies that were considering the frequency of headaches, their intensity, the duration, their disability, BMI, BMI change, and population.

Improvement in migraine was not associated with either the initial degree of obesity or the amount of reduction in weight. Furthermore, the effect on migraine when weight was reduced through the bariatric surgery or the behavioral intervention remained the same.

“Weight loss reduces the impact of conditions associated with obesity, including diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke and respiratory diseases,” Dr. Pagano further said. “Obesity and migraine are common in industrialized countries. Improving quality of life and disability for these patients will greatly impact these populations and reduce direct and indirect healthcare costs.”

According to the authors, the mechanisms that link weight loss, obesity, and migraine headache stay uncertain but might include changes in chronic inflammation, obesity comorbidities, adipocytokines, and the behavioral or psychological risk factors.