Awareness of Possible Link Between Bariatric Surgery and Headache May Promote Better Treatment, Fewer Misdiagnoses

A new study published online in the journal Neurology® suggests that bariatric surgery may be a risk factor for a specific condition that is known to trigger severe headache. Researchers found that the surgical procedures were sometimes associated with later developing a condition called spontaneous intracranial hypotension. The condition is often caused by a leak of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) out of the spinal canal, lowering spinal fluid pressure and triggering sudden headaches with accompanying nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, and difficulty concentrating.

It is known that body weight plays an important role in CSF pressure. Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is typically associated with a tall and lanky build, while obesity is a risk factor for intracranial hypertension, or high CSF pressure. The authors hypothesize that the loss of fat tissue may uncover a susceptibility to spontaneous intracranial hypotension. More research is needed to understand the relationship between body weight and spinal pressure, but awareness of the possible link may promote more proactive treatment of severe headache.

Read more about the findings here.

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