Health Care

3 cups of coffee per day may increase risk of migraine

3 cups of coffee per day may increase risk of migraine”

"Some people believe that it causes their migraine, where other people believe that caffeine is how they treat their migraine". All reported having caffeinated beverages on at least one day during the study, with an average of 7.9 servings per week."To date, there have been few prospective studies on the immediate risk of migraine headaches with daily changes in caffeinated beverage intake".

So Mostofsky and researchers from Harvard and the Brigham and Women's Hospital studied 98 adults with frequent episodic migraines, meaning they experience between zero and 14 headache days per month.

They also filled out twice daily headache reports detailing the onset, duration, intensity and medications used for migraines since the previous diary entry. The participants were asked to complete electronic diaries every morning and evening for a period of six weeks.

Approximately 87 percent of Americans consume caffeine daily, with an average intake of 193 mg per day. Moreover, the study of self-matching also enabled variations in caffeine dose with regards to various types of beverages and preparations. "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 soda and a 2-ounce can of an energy drink", study author Elizabeth Mostofsky, Sc.D., clarified in a statement.

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. "However, in this self-matched analysis over only six weeks, each participant's choice and preparation of caffeinated beverages should be fairly consistent", Mostofsky added.

In order to examine the link between caffeinated beverages and migraine headache on the same or following day, experts referred to self-matched analysis, by comparing incidence of migraine on days with caffeinate beverages and on those without. "These findings would suggest that you limit yourself to no more than two servings a day of caffeinated beverages".

A key thing to remember is that caffeine doses vary widely in drinks, noted Mia Minen, MD, MPH, of NYU Langone Health in New York City, who was not involved with the study. "There are some coffee places that put up to four shots in a serving". But having three or more servings of caffeinated beverages a day was associated with the onset of a migraine that day or the next day, even after the researchers accounted for alcohol consumption, stress, sleep, physical activity and menstruation. And headache medicines like the Novartis-made Excedrin and Bayer's Midol feature caffeine as an active ingredient, since it narrows blood vessels and restricts blood flow, which can relieve headache pain. "Future work might explore the precise timing - which came first: the chicken or the egg? - and the reason for caffeine consumption".

The researchers emphasized that migraine sufferers shouldn't swear off caffeine, but they should be aware that high amounts of it can increase their risk of severe headache pain. It also did not include chocolate or other foods with small amounts of caffeine, or assess the effects of skipping meals or screen time. "Against the backdrop of the USA opioid epidemic, it's concerning that people may be using these drugs in place of conventional therapies proven to be safer and more effective for migraine".

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