Got painful migraines? Your salty diet might have something to do with it.
Migraines affect adults all over the world with a wide variety of complex symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and a throbbing pain in the head. Because of its ambiguous nature, most patients who suffer from migraines are rarely treated or properly diagnosed because we see headaches as a part and parcel of life.
A study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America may have shed some light on the reason behind such painful headaches. Study author, Dr Melissa Meyer, from Heidelberg University in Germany, and her team of colleagues aimed to find out the cause behind migraines using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
They recruited 12 women, at an average age of 34, who frequently suffer from migraine attacks and recorded details about the length, intensity and frequency of their migraine attacks. Aside from this group, the team also brought in 12 healthy women from the same age group who do not suffer from migraine attacks.
As the amount of sodium in the human brain can be visualised using cerebral sodium MRI, the team analysed its concentration in the brain cavity as sodium plays a crucial role in brain health.
As expected, they found that the concentration of sodium in the fluid that surrounds the brain of the migraine patients was significantly higher than the women in the control group. Called cerebrospinal fluid, it is a liquid that cushions the delicate brain and spinal cord to ensure proper brain function.
As the sodium level in the cerebrospinal fluid of the migraine patients was much higher, this study points to how dangerous a high-sodium intake can be for your brain health. An unhealthy amount of sodium in your diet not only increases your weight. but also enters your cerebrospinal fluid, potentially causing painful migraine attacks. To stay away from such headaches, avoid these foods that are high in sodium.