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Obesity-Related Proteins

Several obesity-related Proteins are being studied for their role in migraine. Two of the most important are orexin and adipokines.

With orexin (which is also considered a hormone), studies in animals and humans indicate that it may be involved in many aspects of Migraine. But study results have been inconsistent. Researchers, from Harvard University, now think they may have better luck with drugs that have been fine-tuned to work on orexin.

Adipokines are proteins found in fat cells called adipocytes. A few studies have shown that, in some migraine patients, levels of certain adipokines (e.g., adiponectin, leptin, and resistin) are elevated during and between attacks.

Currently, migraine is not an appropriate indication to pursue bariatric surgery. But if you qualify for other reasons and have the procedure, three studies suggest that you may end up with fewer and less intense migraine attacks. While these findings are encouraging, more studies are needed to clarify the possible benefits of bariatric surgery in migraine patients.


Obesity increases the risk of migraine and this risk increases with increasing obesity status from normal weight to overweight to obese to morbidly obese. Several neurotransmitters, proteins, and molecules that participate in maintaining energy appear to be involved migraine. Aerobic exercise is effective for migraine prevention, and low-fat or ketogenic diets may be effective; while not indicated for migraine alone, bariatric surgery may also be beneficial in reducing attack frequency and severity. Overall, and as for good health in general, it is important for those with migraine to maintain a healthy weight and to maintain healthy lifestyle choices in terms of both diet and exercise.

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Posted (edited)

I suffered from 3-4 Migraine days a week on average for years, before surgery. I had suffered many Migraines a month since I was about 23. I was not even fat when I stsrted having migraines. They did get worse as I got older. I ate carefully, avoiding triggers, but still got them all the time.

i had the sleeve to lose weight, to get Portion Control which I couldn’t do. IT WAS STUNNING TO FIND OUT THAT MY MIGRAINES REDUCED DRASTICALLY. I didn’t expect that or think about it. For the first 6 months after surgery I probably had an average of 1-2 migraine days a month! (I did have 3-4 migraine days right after surgery as I always do after some dramatic body thing, surgery or illness)

after the first six months, it’s been 1 or so migraine days a week average. Some weeks no migraine, then sometimes I will have a 3 day migraine. It’s NOTHING like before, though, when I was popping imitrex like candy just to live my life.

i believe it isn’t the weight loss but the type and amount of food change that has done the trick. Because the cessation happened before much weight had come off. The fewer cals I ate, the less migraines.

I’d love to hear if any other migraine sufferers had dramatic drops in # of migraine days post WLS like I have.

Edited by GotProlactinoma

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I was literally just coming to the main board to ask about Migraine INCREASE post-op. It might be dehydration and I’m trying to be more mindful of that, and it might be stress, it might be screentime, might even be much-delayed LASIK reaction. But I am getting headaches a lot more frequently than I recall pre-op.

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