Caffeine & Migraines

Migraine Insight

Caffeine has been shown to help migraines and to cause them. Knowing your specific tolerance and triggers around caffeine, and keeping your caffeine levels consistent, just as you would with any drug, is the key to keeping your migraine levels at bearable levels.

Caffeine has been shown to help migraines and to cause them. Tracking your caffeine use is key to knowing how it affects you and your migraines

In this article

So does caffeine help or hurt?

Watch for secret caffeine

So does caffeine help or hurt?

Interesting to know: medical uses of caffeine

The key

So does caffeine help or hurt?

The short answer is: both. Caffeine has been confirmed to treat migraines, and, when added to a combination of over-the-counter or prescription medication, caffeine has been shown to decrease migraine pain by 40%. Sufferers can have up to 200mg of caffeine per day to combat migraines. However, this level needs to remain consistent, or you may suffer from caffeine withdrawal headaches, which can worsen or mimic migraines. The bottom line is to track caffeine like any treatment: be consistent with dosage, or don’t take it all.

Watch for secret caffeine

Consistency is the key, but caffeine can sneak up on you if you’re not looking for it. Caffeine comes in other forms besides coffee, soda or tea. You’ll find it in foods like chocolate or ice cream, energy drinks, over-the-counter medication or even gum. Check ingredients to make sure you aren’t unknowingly adding more caffeine to your day than you realize.

Interesting to know: medical uses of caffeine

Caffeine has been experimentally used intravenously by medical professionals as treatment for acute migraines, though it was found to be inferior to the usual IV of magnesium sulfate often used for migraines in ER settings.

The key

Careful tracking of caffeine within this app will help you determine if caffeine helps or is a trigger, and how much caffeine is the balance between helping and hurting. Physicians recommend only using caffeine for acute migraines twice a week — any more, and you could trigger additional migraines. The key is to be consistent with your caffeine use to avoid rebound headaches, which may be mistaken for migraines.


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