There are many benefits that come with maintaining a healthy body weight, it is also important to note that some of these weight loss efforts can have a negative impact on your migraines. Studies show that there is a close link between severity, frequency, migraine prevalence and body mass index.
Some migraine triggers include stress, weather, hormones, strenuous exercise, and food. People experience and respond to migraine differently.
If you browse through the internet, you will read a lot of testimonies, books, articles and researches done on this subject matter. Some of the ideas shared on those platforms are still hotly debated among nutritional researchers. Let’s take a look at 5 weight loss tactics that can trigger a migraine:
Diet sodas and artificial sweeteners
Have you experienced migraine pains after eating artificially sweetened foods and drinks? Then you are simply not alone on this. So many foods contain these artificial sweeteners like iced teas, sugar-free cookies, chewing gums, sodas etc.
Read food labels carefully and reduce your intake of food triggers- this will enable you to manage and understand your migraines. Consume natural sugars like maple syrup and honey in small quantities, and be mindful of other natural sugar sources such as fruits, even if they are commonly used to aid in weight loss (1).
Fad diets and weight loss supplements
Most fad diets, intermittent fasting and cabbage soup diet can help you to cut down your calorie level. Often this triggers migraines. Some fad diets can cause constipation and headaches. Some weight loss supplements like conjugated linoleic acid and forskolin can cause headaches.
You are advised to eat a balanced diet, exercise daily if you can or at least 2 to 3 times a week. It will boost your energy levels, and brain performance.
You will lose weight more when you take fewer calories, make smart substitutions than cutting your meals completely.
Overly vigorous exercise
Studies show that about 38% of people experience migraine after every exercise. Although, it is difficult to point out what could be the reason for this, but further research shows that it is caused by noticeable changes in blood pressure during exercise. Some triggers include vigorous sports like football, running, rowing, and weightlifting (2).
Before you start a new exercise program, make sure you talk to a doctor, and then start slowly. Go for low-intensity exercises like Tai Chi, biking, swimming, walking, yoga- all these can help you to lose weight, and move your body without triggering a migraine.
Skipping meals and fasting
Skipping meals is not migraine-friendly option. Restrict your intake of calories and carbohydrates, and try and replace refined carbohydrates with whole-grain options.
If you want to keep your blood sugar steady, then try as much as you can to eat several, protein-rich meals daily and reduce your intake of sugars and large amounts of carbohydrates- all these can make your blood sugar to decline and rapidly spike (3). Eat healthy snacks like hummus or almonds- these are the best way to keep your body intact.
Low calorie diets
Scientists are not 100% sure of what causes migraines. But some studies reveal that certain beverages and foods can trigger migraine such as aged cheese, processed meat, and alcoholic beverages.
A migraine can be triggered by throbbing, recurrent headaches that can last for a couple of days. Some symptoms of migraine include hypersensitivity to sounds, smells, lights and nausea. Most people experience auras, another visual disturbance before it degenerate to migraine.
In 2001, about 28 million Americans were suffering from migraines, and studies shows that the frequency is high in women than men. The ultimate cause of migraine is not known, but dietary factors, stress and hormones play a major role.
People with migraines may be susceptible to certain foods. From research, we have been able to establish that below are some reported dietary migraine triggers: coffee, aged cheese, and alcoholic beverages etc.
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