Too much coffee could trigger migraines

Too much coffee raises the odds of triggering a migraine headache

Too much coffee raises the odds of triggering a migraine headache

Then again, a 2016 study found that migraine patients who stopped consuming caffeine entirely experienced fewer headaches and much less severe ones at that.

While this study sheds more light on the connection between caffeine and migraines, the research had a few limitations.

Migraine is a disabling primary headache disorder affecting approximately 1.04 billion adults worldwide and representing the most common pain condition causing lost productivity and significant direct and indirect costs. "This study was a novel opportunity to examine the short-term effects of daily caffeinated beverage intake on the risk of migraine headaches".

Drinking three or more servings of caffeinated beverages a day is associated with the onset of a headache on that or the following day in patients with episodic migraine, according to a new study in The American Journal of Medicine, published by Elsevier.

"In patients with episodic migraine, one to two caffeinated drinks were not associated with getting a migraine on the same day", lead author Elizabeth Mostofsky told NBC News.

The study researchers discovered that, among people with periodic migraine headaches, consuming at the least three caffeinated drinks a day was considered to have a higher chance of experiencing migraine on that day or the next day. They also reported the occurrence, duration, intensity of headaches triggered and the medications taken for the same.

The findings were consistent even after the researchers accounted for alcohol consumption, stress, sleep, physical activity and menstruation.

To evaluate the link between caffeinated beverage intake and migraine headache on the same day or on the following day, Mostofsky, Bertisch and colleagues used a self-matched analysis, comparing an individual participant's incidence of migraines on days with caffeinated beverage intake to that same participant's incidence of migraines on days with no caffeinated beverage intake. Whereas some behavioural and environmental factors may only have potential harmful effects on migraine risk, the role of caffeine is particularly complex because the impact depends on dose and frequency. To ensure that the findings focused on caffeine's role in migraines, the researchers also had the participants document all known triggers of migraines, whether that was certain medications or sleeping habits.

One serving of caffeine is typically defined as eight ounces or one cup of caffeinated coffee, six ounces of tea, a 12-ounce can of soft drink and a two-ounce can of an energy drink.

The study noted that more research is needed to pinpoint the exact dosage of caffeine that increases migraine risk, as the serving sizes in the study contained anywhere from 25 to 150 milligrams of the stimulant. "Interestingly, despite some patients with episodic migraines thinking they need to avoid caffeine, we found that drinking one to two servings/day was not associated with higher risk of headache".

Another major constraint: The researchers only asked participants to log the number of caffeinated drinks they had per day, which means the amount of actual caffeine consumed is a bit of a mystery. The research team recommended not consuming over six cups per day, as that was the threshold where numerous study's participants were more susceptible to cardiovascular disease.

All reported having caffeinated beverages on at least one day during the study, with an average of 7.9 servings per week.

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