Migraines Triggered by BPA in Plastics

Migraines afflict 18% of women (27 million women in the United States) and 6% of men and finding the underlying cause of these debilitating headaches can be quite elusive.


Recent research at Kansas University found one possible trigger for migraines – BPA! Bisphenol A lurks in plastic products and has estrogen- like properties. By causing estrogen levels to rise in the body it may trigger migraines.


Female rats were used in this study since they get headaches similar to humans. When a migraine strikes a rat they avoid light, sound, grooming, and routine movements. (Who would have thought that rats get headaches?) First the researchers removed their ovaries and then inserted a tube into their brains to induce symptoms similar to migraine.


Once per day every three days they received a dose of BPA. The research team then observed and measured the rats’ response to light, sound, grooming, and routine movements.


Thirty minutes after receiving the BPA injection the rats avoided loud noise and strong light, were scared easily, exhibited decreased activity and had indications of tenderness of their heads. Estrogen levels in the brain of BPA exposed rats were elevated compared to the controls that did not receive BPA. These elevated estrogen levels were linked to an increase in their migraine symptoms. The journal Toxicological Sciences published this research.


Dr. Nancy Berman, a professor of anatomy and cell biology at KU Medical Center, and lead author on the study hopes to develop better laboratory tests and treatments for migraine. Her team plans to set up a research project with human migraine sufferers. They will assess BPA levels in the body and then monitor the change in migraine symptoms as the research subjects avoid BPA and the body level decrease.


Another study published by the National Institutes of Health measured the level of BPA in the urine of 5 families (20 participants) while eating their usual diets of canned and packaged foods. Then the families switched to a diet of fresh foods that were not canned nor packaged in plastic and were stored in glass or stainless steel containers.


Urine BPA levels decreased an average of 66% on the fresh food, then climbed back to the higher levels when the families resumed eating canned and packaged food.


So making healthy diet choices empowers us to decrease the BPA load and its toxic effects in our bodies. Even if migraine headaches don’t affect you, BPA still plays havoc with your hormones, disrupting the production, secretion, transport, action, function, and elimination of natural hormones. This alteration in normal hormones changes the structure of your cells.


BPA has also been implicated as a cancer-inducing agent.


Besides avoiding canned and plastic food, also avoid drinking water from plastic bottles, especially if those bottles have been sitting in the car or garage where they are exposed to higher temperatures. BPA outgassed into the water in greater amounts with higher temperatures. I can taste the chemicals in the bottled water and have stopped drinking it.


Somehow the good intentions of drinking healthier water instead of tap water have backfired on us because of the plastic bottles. Purify your own water and carry it in stainless steel or glass bottles.


BPA may also be found in children’s toys, receipts, and pizza boxes. It even makes its way into toilet paper.


Never microwave anything in plastic containers – that’s looking for a big dose of BPA and other chemicals that migrate into the food.


And you know me – never microwave your food at all.


So migraine sufferers – eliminate your contact with BPA and see if your migraines improve.


For all of us- avoid BPA to keep yourself health.



Dr. Jo


1 http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine.html

2 http://www.kumc.edu/news-listing-page/researchers-show-connection-between-bisphenol-a-and-migraine.html

3 http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/10/31/toxsci.kft245.abstract?keytype=ref&ijkey=9t6hzz0kz4OQ4yj

4 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3223004/


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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