Anyone who suffers with regular migraines will know how utterly horrendous they can be. And while they can be triggered by numerous factors – stress, dehydration and lack of sleep are just a few – preventing a migraine or treating one can be quite the task.
Often, those who suffer with migraines find that over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen, can help to reduce their symptoms. However, new research suggests that there’s a different type of pill that provides the much-needed migraine relief – probiotics.
According to a study carried out by the International Headache Conference in Vancouver, probiotics can drastically decrease the number of migraines those who suffer with the severe headache endure. In fact, their research found that when sufferers of chronic migraines (those who get at least 15 migraine days per month) and episodic migraines (those who get 1 to 14 migraine days per month) took multi-strain probiotic Bio-Kult Advanced two times a day, the frequency of their attacks reduced by an impressive 40 to 45 percent. Plus, the severity of their migraines were also believed to be significantly less.
As you may have heard a number of times, there is a significant link between gut health and migraines. Those who suffer with bad gut health are more prone to migraines and according to Dr Davinder Garcha, Medical Science Liaison at Bio-Kult, this is due to ‘leaky gut.’
Speaking to Bio-Kult Capsules, £9.49, Boots, Garcha explained: ‘This is where toxins from the gut, derived from bad bacteria, leak from the intestines into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation. This can ultimately trigger a migraine by stimulating pain receptors on a major cranial nerve called the trigeminal nerve.’
Luckily, probiotics can also improve and maintain the intestinal barrier, therefore preventing the occurrence of a leaky gut. And while they’re at it, the magic pills are also known for boosting your levels of serotonin, aka the ‘happy’ hormone.
Don’t expect to see a dramatic difference straight away, however – Dr Garcha suggests taking a probiotic for at least eight weeks for the best results.
‘If there is no improvement by this point, then consider stopping the probiotic,’ he concludes. ‘If an improvement is seen, the recommendation would be to continue taking the probiotic on a routine basis in order to ensure that gut health is maintained.’