Lose Weight, Have Fewer Migraine Headaches

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Weight loss can decrease the number of headaches in people with obesity who have migraines, according to U.S. and Italian researchers who presented a study at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans. Results of this study also suggest that losing weight can go a long way toward improving family and social life and work and school productivity for overweight kids and adults with migraines.

The researchers looked at the effects of weight loss on migraine severity and frequency in 473 people drawn from 10 studies. Those who had lost weight had less severe headache pain, fewer migraines per month, and shorter migraine attacks than those who hadn’t dropped any weight. Migraine symptom improvements were comparable in adults and children and weren’t related to starting weight, total amount of weight lost, or whether weight loss resulted from bariatric surgery or behavioral changes like diet and exercise.

The link between obesity and migraine isn’t fully understood, but it may be related to chronic inflammation and other factors.