Headaches in children are one of the hardest things for parents to deal with. You want to help, but instead you end up feeling helpless. But what if “helping” is not what you’re doing?
Sounds crazy. What could a parent do to deliberately cause his or her child to have headaches?
According, to this particular study, everything.
Researchers looked at the relationship between childhood obesity and the likelihood that an obese child would suffer from chronic migraine headaches. The results are not good:
- If a child was obese or overweight, they were 237% and 229% more likely to be diagnosed with migraine headaches, respectively.
- For girls alone, the risk was a massive 493% higher.
- Overall, a higher BMI was associated with increased risk of any type of headache frequency and disability.
As a parent of an obese child, you are not going to want to hear this, but the blame lies squarely on your shoulders, with only a very few exceptions. It is your behaviors and your choices that determine the weight of your child. I have written about this in previous blog articles that can be read by clicking here.
Going back to this study, if your child is experiencing migraine headaches, especially your daughter, his or her weight may be a major contributing factor. Here is the even greater concern: migraine headaches are caused by vascular problems and this means that your child, at this young age, is already having problems with blood vessels that ARE going to lead to heart disease, stroke and dementia.
This is not to say that optimal weight children do not develop migraines. I have one in mind right now that is of optimal weight, but still has significant headaches. For him, stress is THE trigger and requires a different tool set to manage and overcome.
But if your child does experience chronic migraine headaches and he or she is overweight, than the medications given by the pediatrician or neurologist are not the answer. Taking a good hard look at the lifestyle your family is living and making appropriate changes is the only correct path.
If this seems too difficult, remember that the next time you sit by helplessly as your overweight child cries from a chronic migraine headache.