Womens Health

Migraines And Headaches

· Do you suffer from migraines or severe headaches?

· Did you have migraines as a child?

· Did you have migraines as a teenager?

· Are you overweight?

· Do you take the Pill?

· Do you have flat feet?

· Do you get enough sleep?

Weight And Migraines

Research from the American Headache Society (AHS) in March 2011 shows if you had migraines under the age of 18, especially as a child, you are more likely to be around 22lbs overweight than someone who doesn't suffer from migraines! Also if you are overweight or obese with a BMI (body mass index) of 30+ you are much more likely to have migraines, and the more overweight you are the more likely you are to have serious migraines.

Which comes first - the migraine or the weight problem?

More research is needed to determine whether the medication that women take who suffer with regular migraines affects their weight, or whether there is something about being overweight that causes migraines. Once researchers understand the link better they may be able to come up with treatments that will not only help your migraines but also help you lose weight.

Contraception Choices

Having your doctor investigate your migraines will help determine what type they are. You and your doctor need to know if they are true migraines, a type that only occurs when you have your period, or another type of tension headache altogether. This will help the doctor decide what type of contraceptive will be suitable for you. If you have severe migraines, taking the Pill may make them worse as some women only start having severe headaches or migraines when they start taking oral contraceptives. However, some women find taking the Pill actually helps their headaches, so it's important to tell your physician that you suffer from migraines when discussing your contraceptive options.

Flat Feet

Another possible cause of migraines or severe headaches is flat feet. Having flat feet can cause the whole body to become out of kilter and people end up with various aches and pains because of the way they walk. According to Dr Mark Weatherall, a neurologist at the Princess Mary Migraine Clinic, London, UK, one in four severe headaches is linked to poor posture. So if you improve your posture you may help your headaches.

Treatment Options

One simple thing that may help your headaches is to get more sleep! In our busy lives many of us don't get enough sleep, especially enough REM or dreaming sleep, and this can trigger migraines. So try and sleep more and see if that helps your migraines.


If you are a fan of Botox you may find that your headaches and migraines have disappeared. And now you can try Botox for your chronic migraines with FDA approval, even if you don't want it for beauty reasons.


Another treatment that is underused in the United States, according to the AHS, is oxygen. If you suffer from cluster headaches, rather than a true migraine, using oxygen could help get rid of your symptoms. The AHS recommends breathing 100% oxygen (7-15 L/min) for 15-20 min through a non-rebreather facemask system at the beginning of an acute cluster attack. Oxygen is also helpful in episodic headache attacks, and around 70% of people who use oxygen find it beneficial in stopping their headaches.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

This non-invasive stimulation of the brain can treat 'migraines with aura' while they are happening and prevent them from occurring.

Discuss these various options with your physician to see if one is suitable for your migraines.

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