A study in “The American Journal of Medicine” has analyzed the link of caffeine with migraines. And the results have shown that caffeinated drinks may enhance the risk of migraines.
Caffeinated drinks may lead to migraine attacks, and also limit the other symptoms of migraine
Migraine is a headache disorder. Worldwide, it is the third most prevalent disease. And it affects over one billion adults globally. Along with the severe headache, symptoms of migraine may include nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and mood swings.
It also involves auditory and visual delusions. The persons with migraine have stated the triggers that lead to a migraine attack. These include hormonal changes, lack of sleep, changes in weather, some specific medicines, stress, and certain foods and drinks.
In this study, the research team has assessed the role of caffeinated drinks in migraine attacks. The team has found that in patients with migraine, 1 – 2 servings of caffeinated drinks has no relation with headaches on the same day.
However, three or more servings of these drinks can enhance the odds of migraine on that day or the next day. Some triggers like a lack of sleep can only enhance the risk of migraines. But the role of caffeine is a little more complex.
The effect of caffeine depends upon its dose and frequency. It not only increases the risk of migraine attacks but can also help to limit the symptoms. This cohort study has involved 98 adults with recurrent migraine episodes.
These adults have filled electronic diaries twice a day (morning and evening) for about 6 weeks. Every day, these adults have stated the total intake (servings) of caffeinated coffee, soda, tea, and energy drinks.
Also, these adults have filled out headaches reports twice per day. These reports have details about the onset, intensity, and duration of headaches. It also includes the info about the medicines used for migraines since the last diary entry and the common triggers of migraine.
High levels of caffeine intake can trigger headaches in migraine patients
The research team has used self-matched analysis to check the link between caffeine intake and migraine. This analysis compares a person’s frequency of migraines on days with caffeine intake versus days with no caffeine intake.
This self-matching has removed the potential of individual factors like age, sex, and demography to confound the data. It has also permitted the variations in the caffeine dose in different drinks.
The team has also matched the incidence of migraine by day of the week. That has removed the impact of the weekend versus weekday habits on the migraine attacks.
One serving of caffeine is equal to 8 oz. of caffeinated coffee, 12 oz. of soda, 6 oz. of tea, and a 2 oz. of an energy drink. These contain about 25 – 150mg of caffeine. So, one cannot measure the exact amount of caffeine linked with an increased risk of migraine.
As only a few studies have analyzed the immediate effects of caffeine, there is limited evidence to plan dietary guidelines for migraine patients. As a whole, an excessive intake of caffeinated drinks can enhance the risk of migraines.
The study has found no link between intake of 1 – 2 servings of caffeinated drinks and the increased chances of migraine that day. But, in people who rarely consume these drinks, even one to two servings can increase the chances of headache on the same day. But still, there’s a need for more research to confirm these results.