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How To Lose Weight With Migraines

Some Weight Loss Methods May Make Your Migraine Worse

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There are some things that a person with migraine may want to avoid when starting a weight loss program, says Bond. We want to make dietary changes gradually rather than all at once, because some individuals may have dietary triggers that they might not be aware of, he says.

Weight loss methods such as intermittent fasting, an eating pattern in which a person restricts their eating to certain hours of the day, are probably not a good idea for people with migraine. Fasting can lower a persons blood glucose level, which may trigger a migraine attack, says Bond.

Reducing your sugar intake may help with weight loss, but replacing it with an artificial sweetener such as aspartame may be counterproductive, since some people report that artificial sweeteners trigger migraine attacks for them, according to Migraine Again. In addition, some research has shown that they are not helpful in achieving weight loss.

Other Headache Causes & Prevention Tips

HypoglycemiaThe brain needs a continuous supply of glucose from the blood in order to function properly. When glucose levels drop the brain is one of the first organs affected, resulting in symptoms such as headache, migraine, confusion, nausea, sweating, faintness, and hypothermia . To prevent low blood glucose levels, eat small and frequent low-sugar meals, never miss breakfast or skip meals, and eat a healthy afternoon snack to appease hunger.

DehydrationThis condition results from a decrease in total body water content due to less intake or greater fluid loss. In a recent study on nearly 400 participants, the most common symptoms of dehydration were dry lips , thirst , and dry tongue . An estimated 41% experience headache/dizziness. Being dehydrated can also undermine weight loss because the body may mistake thirst for hunger. We recommend staying well-hydrated by drinking 80-100 oz. of water a day.

Artificial sweetenersAspartame and sucralose are well tolerated by many people, but they can trigger headaches in a small percentage of people according to research studies. If aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are a headache trigger for you, avoid foods that include them. Sugar-free beverages may not have calories, but they can sabotage diets. While natural sweeteners activate food reward pathways in the brain, artificial sweeteners dont fully activate these pathways, leaving people feeling unsatisfied and increasing their appetite.

Migraine And Obesity: Epidemiology Mechanisms And Implications For Weight Loss Treatment

Epidemiological research has identified several conditions related to migraine, including obesity. In one of the first studies to examine this association, Bigal et al. found that the proportion of migraineurs with 1014 headache days increased from 4.4% in the normal weight group to 5.8% in the overweight group, 13.6% in the obese group, and 20.7% in the severely obese group . Subsequent population-based studies have produced similar findings and also shown that obesity increases risk for progression to chronic migraine .

Additionally, several studies , but not all , suggest that obesity is associated with higher prevalence of episodic migraine . Reasons for these discrepant findings are unclear, although studies with positive findings have tended to rely on measured versus self-reported height and weight and include reproductive-aged women who have higher migraine rates than women of perimenopausal and postmenopausal age .

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When Should I Be Concerned About Losing Weight

Unexplained weight loss, or losing weight without trying, can be a cause for concern. It might indicate an underlying condition. A good rule of thumb is to see your doctor if you’ve lost a significant amount more than 5 percent of your weight within 6 to 12 months. Remember, not all weight loss is serious.

Restricted Or Elimination Diet

Headache Losing Weight

Assuming you’ve figured out which specific food contribute to your migraines, you can significantly reduce your intake or eliminate them from your diet altogether. If you’re not sure which food bother you, you can try eliminating one suspect food at a time for two weeks to see if it makes a difference in the intensity and/or frequency of your migraines.

There may be other reasons why elimination or restricted diets help ease or reduce your migraines attacks. For instance,;elimination diets can lead to weight loss, and calorie reduction and weight lossespecially in those who are obesecan improve the pain of migraines.

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Eating Keto For Migraine

The keto diet is a recent trend in weight loss but there is also some proof that it is;effective in treating epilepsy. Its proponents sing its praises, crediting it with curing a laundry list of medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and more recently, migraine. In truth, there are simply not enough solid clinical studies to provide a full picture of the validity of these claims as well as the;long term effects of the keto diet.; However, some studies do show that long term effects of keto can include;poor bone health.

In a nutshell, the classical ketogenic diet induces ketosis through a very low carb and high fat diet. The concept behind this is that your body will burn fat for energy and when it comes to weight loss, theres no contest. This diet will help most people lose weight. There are numerous studies on the effectiveness of;low carb diets for weight loss.

The main complaint that many people have is that it isnt sustainable. The diet is extremely restrictive and complex. Some people have trouble following it or finding foods that they can eat. If you are a picky eater, that may be your challenge should you choose to take the keto path.

As for migraine, there isnt much by way of studies to support its effectiveness against attacks. Visit any migraine Facebook group or migraine forum and there will inevitably be several posts on the;keto diet for migraine; and it does seem to work for some people.

How To Lose Weight While On Lupron

Losing weight on Lupron is not easy but not impossible. Regular physical activity and a proper diet should be enough to keep your weight within a healthy range. But losing weight would take more time than usual while you are on hormone therapy.;

Gentle exercises would allow you to gain back your energy. You can consult your doctor and get into a weight loss program.;

Or you can opt to take weight loss supplements but with the permission of your doctor. Using resistance bands and lifting light weights can prevent muscle loss.

Here are some steps that you might consider

  • Make a plan and commit yourself to regular exercise. There are several pieces of research available mentioning how exercise can reduce the hormonal imbalance.
  • Make a habit of eating fibrous foods. Fibers do wonders when it comes to weight loss.
  • Consider taking weight loss supplements after consulting with your doctor.
  • Vegetables of the cruciferous family are a great choice of food for weight loss. They include cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, etc. Green and leafy vegetables are always a good idea.
  • Avoid canned foods and synthetic foods.
  • Choose organic foods as much as possible. Also, try to choose phthalate-free cosmetics and personal care products.

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How To Stop Intermittent Fasting Headaches Fast

Written and Medically Reviewed by Ana Reisdorf MS, RD on January 26, 2020.

Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and feel energized without feeling like youre on a restricted diet. The eating pattern switches between cycles of eating and fasting and has been shown to lead to powerful benefits for both the mind and body.;

As with all things, it does have side effects like intermittent fasting headaches. Headaches can occur during periods of fasting but luckily, there are a number of things you can to prevent and stop them fast.;

Migraine Risk Associated With Obesity May Change With Age

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It appears that the migraine risk associated with obesity decreases with age.

A meta-analysis published in May 2017 in Neurology, which included 12 studies and total of 288,981 participants, found that after controlling for age and sex, having obesity increased the risk for migraine by 27 percent. The authors found that the association decreased in people after the age of 50.

This confirms findings in an earlier study published in Headache journal, which found that having obesity increased the prevalence and odds of migraine in men and women ages 20 to 55, but had no effect on the risk in individuals older than 55.

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How Food Can Be A Culprit

Foods may trigger migraines through an allergic process in which your immune system is activated and an antibody is produced or through a mechanism called food intolerance, in which no antibody is produced but your body still reacts .

In fact, the role of food allergies in triggering or worsening migraines is supported by some scientific evidence. A 2010 study in;Cephalalgia found that some migraineurs have abnormally high levels of the antibody Immunoglobulin G in their bloodstreams when exposed to different foods, especially spices, nuts and seeds, seafood, starch, and food additives.

Regular Exercise Can Have Many Benefits For People With Migraine

In addition to its benefits in controlling weight, regular exercise can help with stress reduction, and improving sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

It may also reduce migraine symptoms and prevent migraine attacks through physiological mechanisms, for example, by reducing inflammation and improving cardiovascular health, Bond says.

In terms of aerobic exercise, we would generally tell our patients to start with walking its easy, its safe, its cheap, and its practical and to do that regularly, says Bond.

But exercise doesnt necessarily have to be aerobic to have benefits for migraine, says Bond.

For example, hatha yoga might be particularly efficacious for someone with migraine, because it actually works on some of the mechanisms we see, such as neck pain and stiffness, anxiety, catastrophizing about pain, and stress reduction, he says.

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What’s The Best Migraine Weight Loss Plan

Adopt a healthy lifestyle with smart food choices and a healthy exercise routine to prevent Migraine attacks. Eat foods that are rich in magnesium and riboflavin. Always keep yourself well hydrated.

Prevention is the best treatment and maintaining a healthy BMI will set you on the track to fewer Migraine attacks. Fewer Migraine attacks means more motivation to achieve your weight loss goals and stay well.

Weight Loss : Tips For The Person With Migraineor Really Anyone

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Your weight is a reflection of your genes, environment, and lifestyle choices. You cant change your genes, but you can modify your environment and lifestyle. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of chronic headaches.

Environment: It is common in North Americato have 1.5-3 times the recommended portion on our plates. Comfort foods areoften calorie dense and many foods are nutrient poor. This leaves us hungry despitehaving had a surplus of calories. In order to lose weight and keep it off, itis important to purchase higher nutrient and lower calorie foods and eat themin moderation.

Lifestyle: It is possible to lose weightwhile being sedentary, but it is much harder. Treating yourself to regularexercise will help you to lose weight faster, more easily, and to keep it off.

Here are some recommendations to help youmanage your weight.

  • Set achievable goals. Be patient, you will not be able to lose your excess weight in days. Weight loss should not exceed 0.5 kg or 1 to 2 lbs per week. Do not follow miracle diets. Make healthy choices, do not deprive yourself.
  • Keep a food diary. Even if it is only for a few weeks, a food diary will help you become aware of what you eat and help you make connections between your diet and your life.; Take note of:
  • the place where you eat;
  • the duration of the meal.
  • Increase fiber and nutrients. Choose foods high in fiber and try eating them at the start of the meal to increase satiety. Meals should contain 3 of 4 food groups .
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    How Do Migraines Affect The Sleep Cycle

    Adults and children with migraines may get less quality, REM sleep time than people who dont have migraines. Thats according to a meta-analysis published in the September 22, 2021, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Children with migraines were also found to get less total sleep time than their healthy peers but took less time to fall asleep.

    Rapid Eye Movement sleep is the stage of sleep that involves the most brain activity and vivid dreams. It is important for learning and memory function.

    Do migraines cause poor sleep quality or does poor sleep quality cause migraines? said meta-analysis author Jan Hoffmann, MD, Ph.D., of Kings College London in the United Kingdom and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. We wanted to analyze recent research to get a clearer picture of how migraines affect peoples sleep patterns and the severity of their headaches. That way, clinicians can better support people with migraines and deliver more effective sleep treatments.

    For the meta-analysis, researchers included 32 studies, involving 10,243 people. Participants completed a questionnaire to rate their own sleep quality. It asked about sleep habits, including how long it takes to fall asleep, total sleep time and the use of sleep aids. Higher scores indicate worse sleep quality.

    The meta-analysis does not prove a causal relationship between sleep and migraines.

    Get Moving: The Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise

    Exercise and migraines have a strong, two-way relationship. A lack of exercise increases the risk of having migraine attacks by approximately 21% in adults and 50% in adolescents. But regular and consistent aerobic exercise not only reduces the chances of having migraine attacks, it also makes them less painful and disabling when they do occur. Although its hard to generalize, those who regularly exercise for about 40 or 50 minutes on 3 days per week seem to enjoy the most benefits.

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    Weight Loss With Mirena

    One of the many possible side effects of Mirena is weight loss or gain. Some researchers said that there are many references when women use the birth control system; they gain weight compared to lose it. However, a Brazilian university study published in the journal Contraception in August of 2000 used Marina as a test subject for a five-year testing period. The research showed that there were no remarkable increases or decreases in the issues weight compared to other issues that use the different forms of a birth control system.

    Additionally, in another related study done by the Oregon National Primate Research Center located at the Oregon Health and Science University, a group of monkeys was given different birth control forms. The result showed that monkeys with average weight did not significantly change their weight after they were given the birth control method. According to the result, the obese monkeys did lose weight.

    Talking To Migraine Patients About Weight Loss And Diet

    Why weight loss causes Migraines

    The concept that losing weight may improve the quality of life among those who live with migraine disease raises some questions for clinicians. For instance, Hall pointed out that when a patient has a BMI over 30, for instance, she will counsel that patient about weight loss, but it has to be done carefully.

    Dr. Lucas agrees with this approach. Were sure not to start the conversation by talking about weight. That can offend patients. They want us to treat their headaches, not talk about losing weight, she said. People who are overweight are so stigmatized, she added. Its hard to figure out a way to bring it up that is not insulting.

    The inflammatory connection may offer a helpful way to launch the dialogue. Explaining that inflammation can be a driver of headache, and that losing weight can reduce inflammation may be a gentler way to bring up weight loss. But it is possible, according to Dr. Lucas, to avoid the subject of weight entirely. Clinicians need to focus not on weight, but on the need to bring down the inflammatory markers, she explained. An anti-inflammatory diet might do this. In this approach, the diet is aimed at reducing inflammation, not pounds, and reducing headaches. The weight loss is just a happy side effect.

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    Migraine Sufferers: Can Losing Weight Help Reduce Headaches

    Analysis Suggests Weight Loss May Improve Quality of Life in Overweight Sufferers

    Findings from a recently completed meta-analysis suggest that obese migraine sufferers can reduce the incidence and severity of migraine attacks and improve their quality of life by losing weight. Lead author Claudio Pagano, MD, PhD, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Padova in Italy, remarked, “Weight loss in adults and children with obesity greatly improves migraine headache by improving all the main features that worsen migraineurs’ quality of life. When people lose weight, the number of days per month with migraine decreases, as does pain severity and headache attack duration.” The noted improvement was not associated with either degree of obesity at baseline or the total amount of weight lost. Nor was the effect impacted by the means of weight reduction, either via bariatric surgery or behavioral intervention. The findings were presented last weekend at ENDO 2019, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in New Orleans.

    Click for more about migraine.

    Read about the findings.

    Migraine Sufferers Speak Out

    Weight is not the only contributing factor to migraines.

    So, Healthline spoke to several people who experience migraines and have always been within a healthy weight range.

    Those who struggle with weight, but believe other factors contribute more to their migraines, were also interviewed.

    Lauren Fisher told Healthline she has been overweight most of her life and has experienced migraines since the age of 10.

    However, she also has several other health issues that have caused her hormones to fluctuate a great deal over the years.

    Fisher believes those hormone issues, combined with the need for fertility treatments, have contributed to both her weight and migraines.

    Laura Nickel has a similar story.

    She told Healthline that her migraines started in her mid-20s and got worse when she was going through fertility treatments as a result of endometriosis.

    When asked whether she thinks these study results apply to her, she explained, I think they do, but I also find it very interesting because for me I think it has more to do with diet than weight. When Im feeling good and maintaining a healthy diet, plus exercising and remaining hydrated, my headaches are more manageable.

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