AUG 12, 2019 7:12 AM PDT

How Much Caffeine Can Trigger a Migraine?

WRITTEN BY: Tiffany Dazet

Do you suffer from migraines? Your caffeine intake may be a trigger. Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health examined the connection between caffeine consumption and migraine onset. The results of this study were published online in the American Journal of Medicine last week.

The researchers discovered that patients who consumed three or more servings of caffeinated beverages increased their odds of experiencing migraine on the day of consumption or the day after. Patients who consumed one to two caffeinated beverages did not experience a migraine on the day of consumption.

Ninety-eight study participants completed electronic diaries twice daily for at least six weeks. A typical caffeine serving was defined as eight ounces of coffee, six ounces of tea, 12 ounces of soda, or two ounces of an energy drink. They reported their intake of tea, coffee, soda, or energy drinks; and other lifestyle factors such as alcohol use, sleep patterns, stress, and activity levels. They also reported information about headache occurrences with details of the onset, duration, intensity, and medications used for treatment.

Lead investigator, Elizabeth Mostofsky—researcher at BIDMC and instructor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—noted the complexity of migraine trigger and treatment in a statement from BIDMC. She said, “the role of caffeine is particularly complex because it may trigger an attack but also helps control symptoms.” Whether caffeine benefits or harms migraine sufferers depends on how much and how often caffeinated beverages are being consumed.

The research team considers this study an important first step in establishing migraine prevention guidelines for patients. Principal investigator Suzanne M. Bertischof of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women's Hospital told BIDMC reporters that, “despite the high prevalence of migraine and often debilitating symptoms, effective migraine prevention remains elusive for many patients.”

Sources: Science DailyAmerican Journal of Medicine

About the Author
  • Tiffany grew up in Southern California, where she attended San Diego State University. She graduated with a degree in Biology with a marine emphasis, thanks to her love of the ocean and wildlife. With 13 years of science writing under her belt, she now works as a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest.
You May Also Like
OCT 08, 2020
Immunology
Air Pollution Particles Detected in the Placenta, Immune Cells Mop Them Up
OCT 08, 2020
Air Pollution Particles Detected in the Placenta, Immune Cells Mop Them Up
Tiny, black particles much like those found in polluted air have been found in the placentas of pregnant women, as repor ...
OCT 05, 2020
Immunology
Can't Shed Those Extra Pounds? An Inflammatory Gene Could Be to Blame.
OCT 05, 2020
Can't Shed Those Extra Pounds? An Inflammatory Gene Could Be to Blame.
  Australian scientists have zeroed in on a gene linked to an increased obesity risk: a regulator of inflammation c ...
OCT 13, 2020
Neuroscience
Sleep Apnea and Alzheimer's Damage Brain in Same Way
OCT 13, 2020
Sleep Apnea and Alzheimer's Damage Brain in Same Way
Sleep apnea is characterized by breathing that repeatedly stops and starts, loud snoring, restless sleep, and sleepiness ...
OCT 20, 2020
Cardiology
Investigating a New Method in Heart Repair
OCT 20, 2020
Investigating a New Method in Heart Repair
Cardiovascular disease is a widespread issue that affects millions across the world. One of the most common of these dis ...
OCT 22, 2020
Neuroscience
Placebos Impact Brain Patterns for Emotional Processing
OCT 22, 2020
Placebos Impact Brain Patterns for Emotional Processing
Researchers from Michigan State University have found that placebos reduce markers of emotional distress- even when the ...
OCT 29, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Hemp 10 Years from Now
OCT 29, 2020
Hemp 10 Years from Now
The hemp industry has experienced major growth in recent years, largely due to legalization in many US states. Today, th ...
Loading Comments...