As finals roll around, many University students prone to migraines could find that each cup of coffee they reach for may be decrease their likelihood to be able to pull the all-nighter they had hoped for.
Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Health System hypothesize student’s caffeine intake may be a primary trigger for migraine headaches and will.
While migraines are often found among individuals aged 25 to 60, many students at the University complain of these severe headaches. LSA junior, Jessa Stewart, said that she suffers from monthly migraines.
“When I get them, I can’t do anything, study, watch T.V. … It has to be dark and quiet,” she said.
Neurology Prof. Linda Selwa, who is performing the research, said she was influenced to research the effects of caffeine on migraines after hearing the complaints of many of her patients, who dreaded these severe headaches. “It affects people both young and old, although more dramatically in older people.” The commonplaceness of frequent migraines, which affects 6 percent of men and 18 percent of women is a big public health issue, Selwa said.
She said she believes the correlation between caffeine and migraines is important specifically for college students because reducing caffeine “is a much healthier way to get off medication … and less expensive for students to buy than medicine.”
Selwa said that reducing caffeine intake could be a beneficial solution to ending migraine suffering.
But, she added that there are several problems associated with conducting this research.
“It’s hard to commit to not having any caffeine for a month … people can not stop running to grab that diet Pepsi.” Caffeine is one of the most popular drugs in the world and is used daily by an average of 90 percent of Americans, according to UMHS.
Another concern of researchers is patients’ denial of the relationship. “Some people think it is impossible that caffeine has anything to do with their severe headaches,” Selwa said.
Stewart said drinking coffee was the only thing that worked to end her migraines. She, like many of Selwa’s patients, said she was skeptical of the connection, but said the study might show a stong correlation.
Other students agreed with the forthcoming research. “I partially stay away from caffeine because my doctor told me to stay away from it,” SNRE junior, Molly Van Appledorn said.
“I guess the new research could be possible. I’ve heard other people claim the same thing.”
Selwa said she hopes to “get somewhere between50 to 70 people to participate in the study.” She cited a number of successful cases. “In several patients, we’ve been able to get them off their migraine medications as long as they stay away from caffeine,” Selwa said.