The Caffeine Connection and Chronic Daily Headache Treatment
Millions of Americans seek treatment for chronic daily headaches. These headaches can last several days and then return in a flash. They often appear in teenage years and can last into adulthood. Doctors say it’s an ancient condition, but doctors have just recently given it a name: chronic daily headaches, or CDH. This refers to migraines, neck and head squeezing tension headaches, that occur 15 days or more per month.
Chronic daily headaches affect between 2% and 3% of the population. They are a condition that can lead to severe symptoms and require specialized management and diagnostic procedures. A chiropractor is the best choice for chronic headache management.
Chronic daily headaches can cause severe pain and affect the ability of people to function in their families, communities, and at work. Chronic daily headache sufferers are almost five times more likely to be unemployed than the migraine population.
The prestigious medical journal “Neurology” has published a new study that shows a link between caffeine intake and CDH. Before you grab your next cup of Jo’, here’s a few things to consider.
Researchers recruited control and population subjects from three U.S. cities to confirm this hypothesis. The study was designed to examine caffeine’s possible involvement in CDH. The average number of headache days for control subjects was between 2 and 104 (on average, 30 days), while the number of headache days experienced by population-cases was 180 (on an average, 260 days). Self-report was used to assess caffeine intake.
25% of those in the study reported taking pain medication daily for headache treatment.
Results: CDH was linked to high caffeine intake. This is defined as having a high level of caffeine in your diet or taking a caffeine-containing medication over-the counter for headaches. About one-fourth (24%) of the case subjects had taken pain medication for headache relief in the three previous months.
The authors stated that high levels of medicinal or dietary caffeine at the time CDH onset (e.g. pre-CDH) were a small risk factor for CDH. Secondary analysis revealed that pre-CDH coffee consumption may have been a factor in the onset of CDH in some CDH sufferers. The high-risk group were women and those under 40.