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Why is caffeine good for migraines?

  1. Moon Daisy profile image85
    Moon Daisyposted 3 years ago

    Why is caffeine good for migraines?

    My friend swears by drinking a little cup of coke to cure a migraine.  I always heard that coffee is bad for migraines, how does this work?  Does it work for you?

  2. Foodeee profile image78
    Foodeeeposted 3 years ago

    The best thing for migraine is a combination of Tylenol, Caffeine and Aspirin. You can actually buy this in any store. Look for migraine relief.

    Headaches for the most part come from constricting blood vessels in the head. Migraines tend to be very strong long lasting headaches that can cause nausea and sensitivity to light. 
    Tylenol will help with the general initial pain of the migraine.
    The Aspirin introduces fluid into the blood stream and increases overall blood flow. This helps the real symptoms of a migraine. Introducing blood flow and hydration are natural remedies to any headache.
    The caffeine serves various roles in the reduction of the migraine. People who are caffeine dependent will often get a migraine headache because they forgot to drink their coffee in the morning. Thus the caffeine is a physical fix the the body is looking for.
    Caffeine helps the pain medication be absorbed into blood stream at a faster rate thus allowing for less medication.

    Unfortunately if you allow a migraine to go untreated the symptoms seems to get worse than the headache itself and the normal treatment doesn't stop the problem. It is thought that some people who get migraines on a regular basis have a physical condition in the vessels in the brain that is very sensitive to changes in air pressure, sodium intake, and hydration and other external factors. There has been some good research done to find the true causes. Although many pharm companies only want to sell pills to hem the symptoms not cure the problem.

    1. Moon Daisy profile image85
      Moon Daisyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Foodeee, that's a really interesting answer.  I will remember that next time I get a migraine.  I get them quite a lot, and don't usually treat them at all as I don't like taking pills.  Thanks for explaining the role of caffeine too.

    2. Foodeee profile image78
      Foodeeeposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      If you don't like pills try a dark room with a hot compress on your forehead. There are some herbal teas that supposed to help but the exact one escapes me at the moment.

  3. mbwalz profile image89
    mbwalzposted 3 years ago

    Foodee is correct in the role of caffein and Migraines. And for many people, the combo of these three ingrediants is sufficient if taken in time. However there are many kind of migraines and for many people, a seratonin based medicine is more helpful. This is a case of pharmaceuticals that work while the mechanism is unknown.

    I have several types of migraines and can not take aspirin without horrible stomach problems. I also use sumatriptan to help my cervocogenic type migraines. I take these differently than for regular migraines. Rather than take a dose every two hours until the migraine breaks, I take them every 4 hours to help keep the pain less. Again, there is no understanding as to why it works on this type.

    However, if you have traditional migraines, the chemicals in coffee or other caffeinated drinks/foods (like chocolate) can be triggers. Triggers are dependant on each person's physiology (like allergies).

    1. Moon Daisy profile image85
      Moon Daisyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks mwalz. I'm not sure which type of migraines I have. Coffee doesn't seem to worsen them, and they start in my neck so maybe they're like yours? I'll look into sumatriptan- tbh I hate taking pills, but sometimes they're so bad I'll try anything!

    2. mbwalz profile image89
      mbwalzposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Moon Daisy, take a look at my article on Migraines. The cervicogenic migraines can be helped by other things. It's what I suffer from but I can't get rid of them permanently because of my EDS.

    3. Moon Daisy profile image85
      Moon Daisyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Oh wow, snap!  I have EDS too.  I always thought the headaches were related to this, they seem to happen when something in my neck moves out of place, but I've never followed it up.  I'll have a look at your hub.  Thanks. smile

  4. teamrn profile image68
    teamrnposted 3 years ago

    When people have migraines, their blood vessels (usually in the head) are real wide open-or dilated. Their diameter is wide and that allows more blood to flow to the area causing the horribly uncomfortable throb.

    Caffeine is a POWERFUL vaso-constrictor, which means it makes those blood vessels narrow, so they clamp down and quiet down, long enough to provide natural relief. Unfortunately, when the blood vessels narrow like that, blood pressure can elevate, but it shouldn't elevate too high.

    Caffeine only used to work after I'd had a few days of agonizing discomfort. Then , I found relief with it; y headaches had finally reached the point where they would RESPOND to caffeine.

    Caffeine is also a powerful stimulant which is why I didn't use it in the used during the early phases of my migraine. I couldn't sleep!

    1. Moon Daisy profile image85
      Moon Daisyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks teamrn, that's very interesting.  I always thought coffee was a no-no for a migraine, but I can see that it might be useful, and maybe along with other things.  I also have problems sleeping after coffee, especially in the afternoon.

    2. teamrn profile image68
      teamrnposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      My neuro suggested kit just at the tail end of a migraine; when you know by personal experience that it is 'on its way out.'' Then, he said it was okay to hit it with a jolt and it could help, but not as a treatment during the attack.

    3. Moon Daisy profile image85
      Moon Daisyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Ok, that's very interesting, thanks.

  5. Penny G profile image74
    Penny Gposted 3 years ago

    It can contribute to migraines but after one it helps you feel better faster, providing you don't get another. I ave had them with Aura for 47 years . My father had them and 3 of my 6 children have them and a brother.

  6. ananceleste profile image72
    anancelesteposted 2 years ago

    It does it for me. but then again I'm addicted to it. Also coffee makes me sleepy too.