Caffeine and migraine: when it is helpful and when unhealthy
"Drink coffee and you can do stupid things even faster and more energetically!" joke avid coffee drinkers. Coffee is one of the most enigmatic drinks and is more talked about than politics. The most famous people from scientists, actors and politicians to writers and artists adore it.
Some consider it poison, others consider it the key to success. No matter how one might demonize the drink, it has many healthful qualities. The question is in the amount, scientists say. When is caffeine a cure and when is it poison?
Is it too much to fear?
People suffering from migraine often avoid coffee, fearing that the drink may provoke more headache. Is this true? Don't be in a hurry to move your favorite coffee mug away! It all depends on how much caffeine you tolerate, says Emad Estelmack, M.D., who studies the relationship between caffeine and migraines. The scientist has conducted several clinical studies and developed his own rules for coffee consumption.
Studies show that in people with occasional migraine attacks of 0 to 14 headaches per month, 1-2 servings of coffee can eliminate headaches during the day .
Caffeine has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, which can help with migraine. Avid coffee drinkers, on the other hand, who drink more than 3 servings a day, can be harmed by coffee.
How does caffeine trigger a migraine?
The beneficial effects of caffeine are limited to only two servings a day. Once you start exceeding the "healthy dosage," you may have migraine problems. Caffeine is known to be a diuretic, so drinking too much coffee dehydrates the body. Frequent trips to the bathroom contribute to magnesium loss. These factors, according to the scientist, can cause a migraine.
As Dr. Estelmack notes, drinking too much caffeine can turn episodic migraines into chronic ones. If your head hurts more than 15 times a month, think about how many cups of coffee you consume a day.
What are the dangers of caffeine withdrawal?
If you drink coffee regularly and then avoid it for a few days, you may experience caffeine withdrawal. One of the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal is a migraine. Caffeine constricts blood vessels in the brain. If abruptly giving up the drink, the blood vessels can dilate dramatically, which causes the headache.
"Reduce your caffeine intake very slowly to reduce the effects of caffeine withdrawal. Or continue to use caffeine to prevent an attack," the scientist advises.
According to studies, caffeine withdrawal symptoms appear within 12 to 24 hours of stopping drinking and can last from 2 to 9 days. Clinical data have also shown that excessive intake of medicines with high caffeine content from headaches can also provoke migraine.
What's the right way to drink coffee?
"The main thing you have to keep in mind is the serving size of drinks that contain caffeine. Drinking two energy drinks is not the same as drinking two cups of espresso," says Dr. Estemalik.
The scientist recommends that people who have migraine problems consume 1-2 cups of coffee daily. That's about 150 to 200 mg daily. If you prefer another caffeine-containing beverage, this is the safe and even healthy dose to consider.
Estemalik also believes that the dose of caffeine in beverages varies significantly from country to country. The scientist notes that the amount of caffeine in drinks in the United States and Latin America is twice as high as in other countries.
While most people without headache problems can consume 400 mg of caffeine daily, for people prone to migraines it is important not to exceed 200 mg, the doctor recommends.
As we can see, coffee can be a natural pain reliever. The only question is the amount. Choose your safe portion and enjoyi the taste and aroma of the drink!