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How Does Caffeine Treat Migraines?

Many plants, such as tea, coffee and cacao have caffeine in them. It’s common knowledge that caffeine awakens the central nervous system. Adenosine is manufactured to stimulate sleep and restrict blood vessels thereby the brain receives more oxygen. Caffeine’s a molecule which is comparable in shape to adenosine. Your body’s nerves are not able to discern the distinction between caffeine and adenosine. As a result adenosine is blocked by caffeine.  This is the main method by which caffeine promotes alertness, minimizes migraine headaches, stimulates muscles and produces pleasure.

How Does Caffeine Treat Migraines?The drinks that have the most caffeine are sodas, energy drinks, tea, and of course, coffee. The quantity of caffeine in drinks spans 30 to 400 mg per serving. There are over the counter migraine medications like Anacin or Excedrin that combine caffeine along with pain relievers to help you feel better. In fact, it is quite common for caffeine to be included as an ingredient in many over-the-counter or prescription medications including diuretics, migraine medications, appetite suppressants, and cold medications. Caffeine is also naturally occurring in  chocolate, Guarana and Yerba Mate. However, while caffeine is almost always a component in soda it is not a good idea to consume. This is because of high sugar content that can cause spikes in blood sugar, which usually worsens the symptoms of migraines.

How Does it Work?

As mentioned above caffeine inhibits adenosine receptors. Adenosine’s primary job is to manage the sleep-wake cycle.  Therefore, caffeine does its job by displacing adenosine and therefore promoting alertness. Caffeine may also promote increased strength and endurance of the muscles by blocking calcium channels. In addition, dilation of blood vessels in the brain is due to Adenosine. If caffeine interferes with adenosine it causes veins to tighten which results in eliminating migraines and headaches pain.

You will start to feel tired when levels of Adenosine accumulate in the brain. This is because caffeine prevents adenosine from doing its primary job of promoting sleepiness. It also increases the rate of neurons going off in the brain. The resulting increased adrenaline initiates the body’s “fight or flight” response. Furthermore, a chemical called Dopamine is also triggered by caffeine. Dopamine activates the brain’s center of pleasure. This additional effect of caffeine might have the side effect of decreasing the negative effects of migraines.

How Does Caffeine Treat Migraines?Side Effects and Tolerance

Caffeine is inexpensive and easy to find.  People of all ages have access to it. The more caffeine you consume the more you get used to it. As mentioned above, Migraine medicines have a good deal of caffeine. Adenosine may act on receptors if caffeine  consumption suddenly halts. If this happens, increased blood flow to the brain will probably cause headaches and migraines.

While caffeine has many wonderful benefits like the ability to help migraines and increase energy levels. Caffeine should be taken in moderation. There are many side effects of caffeine (especially too much) caffeine consumption including thirst, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, blurry vision, dry mouth, clamminess, sweat production, increased blood sugar and urination, respiratory distress, rapid heartbeat and diarrhea.

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*The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the Editor. Results may vary from person to person and cannot be guaranteed.

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