Ask Dr. Nandi: How your mouth is linked to your migraines

Posted at 5:00 PM, Oct 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 17:00:16-04

A new study finds migraines may be linked to our mouths and digestive systems.

The study analyzed data on bacteria found in the mouths of 172 healthy participants and the feces of almost 2,000 healthy participants. Researchers found that migraine sufferers have higher amounts of nitrate-reducing microbes or germs in their mouths and digestive systems. This is a very interesting study, but more research is needed to learn why or how microbiome affects migraines.

Many sufferers have noticed a link between eating foods with nitrates and migraines.  You can find nitrates in processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and lunch meats. They’re also in green leafy vegetables and certain medicines.

There are medications that treat migraines, but I’d recommend making lifestyle changes to stop the pain before it begins. So here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX
1. Don’t skip meals and eat at the same times everyday
I’d avoid fasting as this can increase the risk of migraines.

2. Exercise regularly
Chemicals get released that can block pain signals to your brain.

3. Establish regular sleeping hours for the entire week, including weekends
Migraines can be triggered by a poor night of sleep.

4. Keep a food journal
This can help reveal any trigger foods in your diet.

If you ever have an abrupt, severe headache you should see your doctor right away or go to an emergency room. Especially if it’s connected to fever, mental confusion, double vision, weakness or trouble speaking because you may have a more serious medical condition.