Body weight and headache

What role does body weight play in headache?  There are actually a number of connections.  A new study was presented at the American Academy of Neurology 57th Annual Meeting in April, showing that people who are obese or very obese (this is beyond just overweight) are more likely to suffer from chronic daily headache.  Also, those who are underweight are more likely to suffer from nausea during a headache attack.

A number of headache or migraine medications can lead to weight gain or loss.  Topomax, for example, tends to suppress the appetite.  Other medications, some of the older ones in particular, can lead to weight gain.

There may be another factor at work here.  Migraine and headache attacks can make it difficult to exercise.  Check out some exercise tips here.  Also, check our Dr Arthur White and Kate Kelly’s book The Posture Prescription, which has some great ideas for someone struggling to keep up an exercise schedule.

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  • carrie Dec 30, 2011

    totally agree. i am average weight, i guess you could say i am underweight if you were comparing me to all of America but i do not think so. I have a lot of nausea when i have a migraine and having 4+ a month leads to me not being hungry –just thirsty for diet 7up or Panera’s iced green tea–also, i feel down when i cannot exercise due to being “in migraine” as exercise is a release for me.

  • Tasha Dec 30, 2011

    I gained weight last year while I was taking a medication, even though I stopped taking it I have had a very hard time losing it. Exercising is difficult because I get too hot easily which will trigger a migraine. I got a treadmill this week and am working on finding ways to help keep me cool enough while I walk.