Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Eat Disord. 1993 Jul;14(1):75-9.

Is migraine related to the eating disorders?

Author information

Eating Disorders Program, Institute of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425-0742.


Migraine and the eating disorders, particularly bulimia nervosa, share some common demographics, phenomenology, psychopathology, and treatments. Bulimics also appear to be more sensitive to the induction of severe migrainous headaches than controls following challenge with the 5-HT agonist, m-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPP), but not placebo or L-tryptophan. This supports a common pathophysiological relationship involving postsynaptic 5-HT dysfunction between these disorders. In order to further explore the possible relationship between eating disorders and migraine, we administered a modified version of the Diagnostic Survey of the Eating Disorders (DSED) and the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) to a group of female migraine patients attending the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Neurology Clinic (n = 34). Of the 34 migraine patients surveyed, 88% reported dieting behavior, 59% reported binge eating, and 26% reported self-induced vomiting during their lifetimes. Compared to the responses of a group of normal female controls (n = 577), patients with migraine had elevated scores on four of the eight subscales of the EDI: Body Dissatisfaction (p < or = .02), Perfectionism (p < or = .01), Interpersonal Distrust (p < or = .02), and Ineffectiveness (p < or = .06). These findings support the hypothesis that common pathophysiological mechanisms, perhaps involving 5-HT dysregulation, may be involved in these two disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center