Metabolic Surgery Improves Even Most Severe Headaches

Posted on: 4th Feb, 2022


A headache is bad by itself, but chronic headaches can truly affect one’s quality of life. Interestingly, research is showing that for those who are overweight or obese, metabolism surgery improves even the most severe headaches.

Understanding Headaches

Headaches come in different forms. Neurologists classify them into different categories based on what causes the headaches. The two most common causes of headaches are migraine headaches and tension headaches. There are several other less common causes, one of which stems from a rise in the pressure within the brain of the cerebrospinal fluid. This is often one of the most severe headaches in intensity of the pain and the unremitting nature of it. This type of headache goes by the name intracranial hypertension, or pseudo tumor cerebri. The idea that something could hurt so bad and so continuously gave doctors the idea that it might stem from a tumor within the brain causing this 24/7 headache. But once scans came along and proved there was actually not a mass in these cases, the idea of a “pseudotumor” stuck.

All these headaches can be miserable for somebody suffering with them. Lots of medications are sold every year to try to resolve the symptoms, and migraine medicines have improved over the years. Interestingly, obesity plays a big role in all of these types of headaches, making each of them more common and often more severe. And, as we have learned in recent studies, metabolic surgery makes these headaches far better or resolves them completely.

Metabolic Surgery and Headaches

A recent study looked at people with severe headaches from pseudotumor cerebri and compared those who underwent metabolic surgery to those who continued treating their severe headaches with medicines. One of the best parts about this study was they not only asked these individuals about their headaches and about their quality of life, but they also measured the direct pressure of the cerebral spinal fluid. Yes, this involves doing a spinal tap and measuring the pressures, so nice of these individuals to agree to participate.

As the graphics (with this slide nicely created by UNR PA student Marcos Cota) illustrate, not only did these individuals who underwent metabolic surgery experience improvement in the headache symptoms and improvement in quality of life, but there was a dramatic reduction in the CSF pressure.


Still other studies demonstrate improvements in migraine headaches and tension headaches. Probably most of the improvement comes from simply losing weight, although with metabolic surgery there is always a possibility of a more direct hormonal mechanism.

The Takeaway

If you or someone you love is suffering with severe headaches beyond the ordinary, and medications have not helped, think about whether they are overweight or obese and if metabolic surgery might be the answer. Metabolic surgery today consists of a very safe, 45-minute procedure involving four Band-aids that changes the hormonal chemistry of weight regulation in the body and improves long term hmealth. Learn more about whether you might be a candidate for metabolic surgery. Contact the Sasse Surgical team today.

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