People who undergo weight loss surgery may experience a beneficial side effect. Besides helping reduce a person's weight, the procedure may also mitigate migraine pain, a new study suggests.
Among severely obese participants in the study, the surgery was able to decrease the severity and frequency of migraines. Close to half of the participants saw a 50 percent or greater reduction in the frequency of their headaches six months after the operation. And the more weight patients lost, the greater the improvement in their headache symptoms, researchers said.
While previous studies have suggested obesity may exacerbate migraine pain, the study is the first to examine whether a weight loss intervention can alleviate these severe and sometimes disabling headaches.
During the study period, patients on average lost about 66 pounds (30 kilograms). Further research is needed to determine whether less drastic weight loss may also improve migraines, the researchers say.