Bacteria in our mouths may hold clues about why people get migraines

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Caterina Cestarelli doesn’t always know what will trigger an excruciating migraine. Sometimes it’s skimping on sleep or missing a meal. Other times it’s smelling a powerful perfume.

Whatever the trigger, it usually leads to the same place: Her tiny New York City bedroom, with lights off and blinds drawn, as she waits for the painful throbbing, waves of nausea and distorted vision to subside.

“Some days I feel like staying in bed is all I can do,” said 21-year-old Cestarelli, who is a Mashable intern.

Scientists and doctors still don’t fully understand why people get migraines and what sets them off. Around 38 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraines, each with their own mix of triggers and symptoms.

Our microbiomes, it turns out, may hold some of the clues, according to researchers at University of California, San Diego’s School of Medicine.

People who get migraine headaches have significantly more nitrate-reducing microbes in their mouths and guts compared to people who don’t get migraines, the team found in a studypublished Tuesday in the journal mSystems.

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