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Migraines and Celiac – Is There a Link?

I don’t know if you’ve ever been stricken by a migraine but it’s probably one of the absolute worst things your body can do to you. For me the pain starts creeping up my neck and into my temples. I can feel it from the start working its way up into my brain, just waiting for the debilitating pain in a few hours.

Then my vision gets blurred and my head starts to officially pound. I can feel my veins throbbing in my head and neck. Any amount of light makes me nauseous and hurts eyes and my head even more. I’m fortunate that mine usually last about a day, but that day knocks me out for good. I don’t want to see, talk to or hear from anyone. It’s a time of solitude in my bedroom, in the dark.

I don’t get migraines that often but I do get them when I have gluten, which for me is one of the signs I’ve been poisoned. Sometimes I get them around my menstrual cycle but since I had my endometriosis surgery, they haven’t been around like before.

A new study was published in the Headache journal by Dr. Peter Green with new information on not only celiac disease but irritable bowel diseases and their connection to migraines as well. Here’s what they found…

The study included 502 people, 188 with celiac disease, 111 with inflammatory bowel disease, 25 with gluten sensitivity, and 178 who didn’t have any of the conditions. The researchers included clinical, demographic, and dietary information on the people in their survey, as well as questions about headache type and frequency.

Results show that chronic headaches were reported by 30% of the people with celiac disease, 56% of those who were gluten sensitive, 23% of those with inflammatory bowel disease, and 14% of those without the conditions.

The results show an even higher incident of chronic headaches with people who have gluten sensitivity over celiac disease. My biggest question with the results of this study is wondering if those 56% of people with gluten sensitivity continued to eat small amounts of gluten and that could be cause for the high number. At first I wondered about the low celiac disease number, but probably most of those people have tried to completely eliminate gluten from their diets thus resulting in less side effect symptoms like migraines.

Obviously, this was a small study group but the numbers are pretty high for people with bowel diseases and headaches. I think more people need to look into why they get migraines because usually there is a larger issue at hand causing them and taking an ibuprofen is just a band aid on a gaping wound that needs stitches.

My cousin had debilitating headaches until she stopped consuming artificial sweeteners like aspartame and MSG. There was a much larger issue for her causing these problems. The food she consumed affected her ability to function and now with that knowledge she has them way less, if at all anymore. Natural sweeteners such as Stevia are available online from vendors such as Wal-Mart and Swanson Vitamins.

We just need another reminder to stop and think if something is happening repeatedly, out of the norm, our bodies need a check to make sure that there isn’t a larger issue. Migraines and celiac disease are a very real connection but they are also a connection to so many other things!