Weight Loss Surgery Reduces Migraines, Study Says
Weight loss surgery can reduce the incidence and severity of migraine headaches, according to a new study.
People in the study who reported getting migraines before weight loss surgery said the frequency of their attacks, as well as the pain of the headaches, decreased six months after their operations.
Using standard migraine questionnaires, researchers at the Miriam Hospital assessed patients both before and six months after bariatric surgery. They found headache frequency was significantly reduced from before surgery (11.1 headache days) to six months postoperatively (6.7 days), with nearly half of patients showing at least a 50 percent reduction in frequency. The odds of experiencing this level of improvement were higher in participants who experienced greater weight losses, regardless of the type of bariatric surgery.
The study included 24 severely obese patients who were mainly female, middle-aged and severely obese. Most had an average BMI of 46.6 prior to surgery.
"Obesity is thought to contribute to worsening of migraine, particularly for severely obese individuals, yet no study has examined whether weight loss can actually improve migraine headaches in these patients," lead author Dale Bond, Ph.D., a researcher with The Miriam Hospital's Weight Loss and Diabetes Research Center was quoted as saying.