AIB Migraines

Migraines Caused by Certain Bacteria in Mouth – Study

Migraine sufferers have long said that certain food may trigger their severe headaches. New studies have revealed that this might be caused by the high amount of certain bacteria in their mouths.

According to research of the American Gut Project, people who suffer from migraines typically had more microbes in their mouth which break down the nitrates in certain food.

The study was published in an online journal of the American Society of Microbiology.

These microbes play an important role in processing nitrates. This widens the blood vessels and improves circulation.

So far, it’s all good news for the cardiovascular community. However, the findings suggests that too much of this bacteria breaks down nitrates quicker than needed. Which essentially causes the blood vessels and scalp to dilate, thus, triggering the dreaded severe head aches.

Certain green leafy vegetables contains nitrates. And they likewise added to meat as a preservative to improve flavor and color.

According to Toronto Headache & Pain Relief Centre Dr. Michael Zitney, doctors have warned mirgaine sufferers to avoid processed food for years now.

“We have long since known that these kinds of foods can trigger migraines, but we haven’t really known how,” he continued.

Chocolate, cheese, red wine, monosodium glutamate, and artificial sweeteners could cause severe headaches too. For women, factors such as menstruation, menopause, oral contraceptives, pregnancy and postmenopausal therapy may likewise trigger the pain. In general, temperate changes, vigorous physical exercise, hypertension, heat, fatigue, flickering lights, extremely bright lights, and strong aromas of gasoline and perfume can spark migraine.

Migraines can be costly, personally and professionally. It is no wonder that headaches have caused financial losses. In fact, in 2012, some 20-30 million Americans have suffered from migraines.

A report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer notes that migraine affects at least 17.6 percent of women, and 5.7 percent of men in the Philippines.

Cardiovascular Health Link

Doctors prescribe nitrate-containing drugs to treat chest pain or congestive heart failure. However, four out of five cardiac patients who use the medicine report migraines as a side-effect.

The American Gut Project hopes that the latest advances in this topic will help link cardiovascular cases with migraines.

“It opens a full area of research and connects two areas of research that have not been connected before,” Antonio Gonzalez.

The Study

The groundbreaking research was from the American Gut Project, which crowdsources oral and fecal samples from citizen-scientists.

Researchers investigated bacteria they received from approximately 170 oral samples and 2000 fecal samples. They found an abundance of nitrate-reducing microbes on the fecal samples of those who suffer from migraines. They extracted their oral samples and found specimens.

Chronic migraines are frequent, severe, pulsating headaches accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and light and sound sensitivity. The episodes could last from hours to a few days.

Migraines can simply be classified as chronic or episodic. Chronic tension occur more than 15 times each month for more than six months. It occurs at least 150 times yearly. On the other hand, episodic ones are those which occur less often.

The authors disclose that they still need to verify whether the bacteria directly causes migraines.

Zitney is optimistic that the study could be used by migraine medicine to control bacteria in the mouth.

“This may be just a glimmer of hope in terms of pursuing possible treatments,” he says.