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New Study Shows Belly Fat is Linked to Greater Risk of Migraines


You’ve probably heard the many ways that belly fat can put your health at risk, including such conditions as heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and even dementia. It’s time to add one more health condition to the list: migraines. A recent study reveals that people with more belly fat have a higher risk of these excruciating headaches.

A new study of men and women under the age of 55 indicated that those who held more belly fat were at greater risk for migraine headaches. The study, performed by the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia consisted of 22,000 participants. The study measured the body fat index of the individuals as well as their waist circumference. 

After the body mass index and waist circumference were ascertained, the researchers then addressed the frequency of severe headaches and migraine activity. The study found that those who had a higher body mass index and abdominal fat were 30 percent more likely to experience migraine headaches

The group was comprised of both men and women that were between the ages of 20 and 55. The link between belly fat and migraine headaches was more apparent in women than men.

Excess belly fat has been associated with a risk of heart attack and stroke in both men and women. And, according to recent studies, carrying excess body fat around the middle increases the risk of stroke and heart attack after the age of 55 for both men and women equally. However, the study that was performed by Drexel indicated that after the age of 55, the risk of migraine headache for women actually declined for those who carried excess body fat around the middle. 

Those who research migraine headaches believe that this recent study asks many significant questions regarding the link between obesity and migraine headaches. However there is still no sure answer as to why some people suffer from these debilitating headaches and others do not.

This is not the first time that the obesity link to migraines has been explored. Doctors in Finland also carried out a study in 2006 that explored the possibility of a connection between migraine headaches and obesity. The results of these findings were inconclusive. 

Many doctors believe that hormones play a factor when it comes to migraine headaches while others feel that allergies and food consumption play a key role. Many people who suffer from migraine headaches complain of such pain after eating certain foods such as chocolate.

A Massive Problem
Migraine headaches can be very disabling, as you may well know. It is estimated that about 10 percent of Americans suffer from these headaches and that about 14 million dollars a year is lost when it comes to wages for those who take off for migraine headaches.

Across the country, there are headache clinics and pain clinics that study this condition, but there is no known cure. Recently, some medications have been introduced which are designed to help with migraine headaches, but they may have negative side effects and are not recommended for everyone. 

If you suffer from migraines you may want to take a look at your waistline. By shedding any excess belly fat you may just eliminate your migraine problem altogether.  

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