Migraines are more than just headaches—they’re debilitating experiences. While some medications can help reduce your suffering, the exact cause of these headaches is poorly understood.
However, some research suggests that migraines may be related to gut health. As such, the measures you take to improve both gut health and migraines may be one and the same. It all centers on what experts call the gut-brain axis.
The gut and the brain are connected through nerves within the gastrointestinal tract, metabolic processes, and endocrine pathways. The neurotransmitters in the gut compose the enteric nervous system (ENS), which handles the various unconscious bodily functions involved in digestion. This system sends signals to your brain, which sends signals back, creating a reciprocal relationship.
In addition, hormones and substances leaving the gut to enter the bloodstream may have an impact on the brain as well. Various studies have established a relationship between the gut and your brain, particularly when it comes to the way gut microbes affect mental health. The better the composition of bacteria in your gut, the healthier your gut will be, which in turn can affect the brain in various ways. Conversely, if your gut’s microbiome is out of balance, it may lead to issues with the brain, including migraines and headaches.
With the gut-brain axis in mind, the potential connection between gut health and migraines becomes a little clearer. While there’s still research to be done in this area, there is some reason to believe that an imbalance in the gut’s microbiome may play a role in migraine headaches. It all comes down to inflammation.
The exact cause of migraines is still not completely understood, but some studies have found that those who experience them may have more inflammation in the brain. For instance, a study published in 2019 used PET/MRI scans to examine the brain during migraine attacks. The results showed an association between migraines and inflammatory triggers resulting from the brain’s immune response. Put simply, inflammation in the brain appears to be linked to migraines.
Inflammation in the brain may result from gut-related issues, namely a condition commonly known as “leaky gut” syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the barriers inside the intestines become permeable, allowing substances to pass through into the bloodstream that would normally be blocked from doing so. This can lead to toxins leaking out of the gut into the body, causing an immune response and inflammation.
Those harmful substances may reach the brain, potentially leading to neuroinflammation and increasing the likelihood of migraine headaches.
There’s a growing body of research showing a correlation between the gut-brain axis and migraines, with various studies showing an association between gut microbiome imbalances, migraines, and other conditions often associated with leakage from the gut. Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Helicobacter pylori infections are all associated with both migraines and leaky gut.
This all begs the question of whether you can really take probiotics for headaches. Research indicates that they could trigger a positive response for individuals who suffer from chronic migraines. For instance, one study found that migraineurs who took multispecies probiotic capsules experienced a “significant reduction” in the severity of their migraines after ten weeks. While more research is needed to confirm the results of this study, the outlook does look promising.
Correcting the balance in your gut may help if you experience frequent migraines. However, it’s important to choose a probiotic with a wide variety of bacterial species, specifically those that support digestive health. A well-rounded probiotic supplement will have everything your gut needs to sustain a healthy balance inside your gut.
All natural ingredients, age-old processes, and a holistic approach are all key when it comes to taking care of your gut. Dr. Ohirra’s probiotic supplements contain 12 distinctive probiotic strains which have been carefully selected to support a healthy gut. Contact Essential Formulas to learn more.
They may temporarily trigger headaches or migraines as they cause your body to eliminate toxins. This shouldn’t last more than a week, however.
There is some evidence that links gut health to migraines. However, more research is needed to fully understand this relationship.