Doctors dispute TikToker’s viral migraine treatment

Doctors dispute TikToker’s viral migraine treatment

A TikTok user recently released a video of herself eating a lemon, explaining that it helped with her migraine pain.

But doing so could actually cause the opposite result: Lemons may trigger head pain, experts say.

“Fun fact i learned…if u eat a whole lemon raw it will stop migraines,” Cass Cavanaugh wrote on TikTok. In a subsequent interview, they said, “When you get desperate enough with migraines, you’ll try anything,” per “I have medication and other methods: Sitting in the dark, cold compresses…but none [of these methods] were working. So one night, I just bit into a lemon hoping it might help, and it did.”

Dr Mahyar Maddahali, a vascular medicine expert, created his own TikTok video in response to Cavanaugh’s.

“We don’t have enough evidence to confirm” lemons help with migraines, he said. He went on to say that lemons contain tyramine, which has been linked with migraine onset. “Tyramine can cause nerve cells to release norepinephrine,” a hormone that plays an important role in fight-or-flight response, Dr Maddahali said. This can increase one’s blood pressure and intensify a headache, he added.

According to the National Headache Foundation, people on a low-tyramine diet for head pain should consume lemons with caution, limiting their intake to half a cup per day.

Migraines affect about 17.1 per cent of women and 5.6 per cent of men in the US, research has shown. It causes severe pain that can manifest as a pulsing or throbbing sensation in the head, per the Mayo Clinic.

It usually affects just one side of the head, and can also cause nausea, light and sound sensitivity, and vomiting. Migraines can last for hours or days, and they can affect a person’s day-to-day functioning.

Certain symptoms have been linked to the period before a migraine begins, including constipation, food cravings, neck stiffness, mood changes, fluid retention, and frequent yawning. After a migraine, people may feel confused or drained. Sudden head movement during this time might temporarily cause pain.

Certain warning signs should send you to an emergency care facility, including a severe, abrupt headache that feels like a thunderclap; headache following a head injury; chronic headache that is exacerbated by coughing, exertion, sudden movement, or straining; frequent headache pain that begins after age 50; or headache paired with fever, confusion, stiff neck, seizures, double vision, or weakness or numbness in any body part.

A number of things can trigger a migraine, including alcoholic or highly caffeinated drinks, stress, hormonal changes (for women), sleep changes, bright or flashing lights, physical strain, medications, certain foods, and even changes to the weather.

Women are more likely than men to experience migraines, and anyone who has a family history of the condition also has an elevated risk.

Neurologists are trained to treat headaches; they can sometimes do so after conducting an exam and asking questions about your symptoms and medical history. Sometimes, doctors will recommend an MRI or a CT scan to investigate the source of a person’s head pain.

There are medications that can relieve the pain caused by migraines, as well as medications to prevent them.

If your head pain gets bad enough, it’s worth seeing a specialist instead of trying to fix the issue on your own. If migraine is affecting your day-to-day functioning or causing you to self-medicate, it’s worth consulting a doctor to find out what sorts of treatments may alleviate your symptoms, per the American Migraine Foundation.