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Obesity and migraines linked

obesityIf you’re carrying extra pounds, you might be increasing your chances of experiencing migraines, according to recent research in Neurology. Migraines that occur episodically, or less than every other day, were almost twice as common in obese people as in normal-weight people. Researchers looked at data from 3,862 people; about 32 percent of those who said they had episodic migraines were also obese, compared with 26 percent who didn’t have migraines. After factoring in various differences between the two groups, the researchers found that obesity seemed to increase the odds of having these migraines by 81 percent. This link was strongest among women and people younger than 50.

Still, researchers aren’t sure if obesity causes headaches, headaches causes obesity or other factors such as lifestyle cause both obesity and headaches. What we do know is that obesity increases the risk for a variety of health issues, so losing weight will still help improve overall health.

Learn more about finding and avoiding migraine triggers in our Health Encyclopedia.