The Link Between Probiotics and Migraines
Do migraines and gut health have connections? Could taking probiotic supplements to help improve the symptoms of migraines?
There are nearly one in four households in the US who suffer from migraines. Worldwide, migraine ranks third in terms of prevalence. There’s more to migraines than just a headache. Migraines are more than a bad headache. They tend to be persistent and very incapacitating, especially if they are accompanied by symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound and light, and visual disturbances.
There is still much to be understood. And so far, little attention has been paid to the role played by the gut- specifically the good bacteria and migraine.
The gut-brain connection
The gut and brain are connected, and they are in constant communication with each other. The gut has millions of nerve cells that secrete chemicals like serotonin. It’s also home to trillions of beneficial bacteria that live in harmony with one another.
What affects your gut will also affect your brain and vice versa. Stress can, for instance, cause your brain to send signals to your gut that change your appetite, make you nauseated or cause diarrhea. Likewise, your gut will let your brain know when to stop eating.
The gut microbiome is central to several disorders that were once thought to be unrelated. Imbalances in the gut microbiome can result in emotional disorders like anxiety, and depression, and cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. In migraines, inflammatory processes in the brain, called neuroinflammation, are believed to trigger attacks. Where does the inflammation come from and what causes it?
The leaky gut situation
Perhaps the answer lies in the gut! The digestive tract process allows everything we consume through our mouths to be absorbed into our bodies. The beneficial bacteria in our gut also play an essential role in nutrient absorption, food digestion, and bowel secretion. Furthermore, they prevent harmful substances from entering our bodies like harmful bacteria and chemical substances. These harmful substances plus stress, poor diet, and medication can disrupt the healthy microbial balance in the gut. This weakens the gut barrier, allowing harmful pathogens and substances to leak through. Once these toxins and harmful substances reach the brain, the brain initiates an immune response that results in inflammation.
The beneficial role of probiotics in migraine
Healthy guts are naturally home to probiotic bacteria. Sadly, many people suffer from poor gut health due to stress, unhealthy lifestyle, and medications. So, taking a probiotic supplement can greatly benefit them. Since gut inflammation can lead to brain inflammation, restoring and strengthening the gut barrier is essential to stopping this cycle.
Taking high-quality, multi-strain probiotic supplements helps restore and keep the gut’s microbiota healthy. Once the balance is restored, the beneficial bacteria can repair and strengthen the gut barrier. Thus, harmful substances are less likely to leak through your intestinal barrier into your bloodstream.
As soon as your gut is repaired, your body is exposed to fewer toxic substances. Having fewer toxins reach your brain will keep your brain from being in constant "inflammation mode". There will be no immune reaction causing inflammation in the brain. Consequently, migraines are less likely to occur.