Migraines AND Weight Gain- Why Me?

Published on: Modified on:



Does weight gain exacerbate migraines, or is it possible that migraine headache symptoms like depression cause so many migraine sufferers to pack on the extra pounds? You be the judge…

Scientists find correlation between migraines and weight gain

It’s confirmed- Current scientific research proves that migraine sufferers who are also obese experience more migraine attacks than migraine patients who are not overweight. Information collected from a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey suggests that men and women between the ages of 20 and 55 who have “muffin tops” (abdominal fat) suffer more severe symptoms of migraine disorder than other migraine patients within the same age group who were deemed physically fit.  Scientists are quick to point out that among the 55 and over crowd, weight gain and migraines share no correlation.

This echoes a previous study confirming that overweight migraine patients who opt for bariatric surgery experience reduced symptoms of migraines, in addition to weight loss.

Who’s to say that migraines don’t cause weight gain?

Here is a hypothesis that begs further investigation- isn’t it possible that people who experience chronic headaches and migraine attacks are also more likely to gain weight?

  • Depression is one of the most devastating comorbidities of migraine illness; the amount of agony inflicted by a migraine attack is indescribable, and after years of torment, many migraine sufferers find their whimpers, sighs, and groans falling on deaf ears.  When asked how migraines affect their overall quality of life, many migraine patients say they feel depressed, hopeless, angry, anxious, lost, and a profound sense of despair.  Untreated, chronic depression may lead to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and food addiction.
  • Migraine sufferers have stomach problems- lots of them.  Non-migraineurs don’t realize that migraine symptoms exceed throbbing head pain and sharp pain in the eyes.  Gastrointestinal disorder is another common side effect of migraine illness, causing symptoms like nausea, stomach cramping, uncontrolled vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.  When your digestive system is unstable, so is your weight.
  • When it comes to dieting, avoiding migraine triggers is key- calories don’t even enter into the equation.  This means that a migraine sufferer’s diet is based on which foods will and won’t trigger migraines.  For many, that means avoiding high caloric foods like chocolate, cheese, and bread.  For others, it could mean avoiding vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, eggplant, red plums, and onions.

Read more about migraine headache symptoms:

Are Doctors Overprescribing Painkillers for Migraines? Fox News Report

Migraine Headaches and Dizziness- Stop the Ride, I want to get off!

Why do Migraines cause Nausea and Vomiting?


Preventing Migraines Without Weight Gain

Migraine sufferers may need to trim their waists- Booster Shots- Los Angeles Times


Michelle Meiklejohn