Celiac.com 06/27/2012 -  If you have celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and also suffer from migraines, you are not alone. In fact, you are part of a growing group of people who suffer migraine headaches along with their celiac disease or inflammatory bowel condition.

Photo: CC -- dirk@vorderstrasse.deA recent study found that people who are sensitive to gluten have higher rates of migraine headaches. The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 21 to 28 in New Orleans.

A research team led by Alexandra Dimitrova, M.D., from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, studied the association in U.S. patients.

The team conducted a survey of 502 individuals. The survey group included 188 people with celiac disease, 111 with IBD, 25 with GS, and 178 controls.

Each member of the survey group completed a self-administered survey which included details on medical history, medications, alcohol/caffeine/drug use, method/duration of celiac disease/IBD diagnosis, duration of gluten-free diet, and headache type and frequency.

The team diagnosed migraine using the ID-Migraine screen, and assessed severity with the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6).

The results indicated that 30 percent of people with celiac disease, 56 percent of those with gluten sensitivity, 23 percent of those with IBD, and 14 percent of control patients reported chronic headache.

After the team compensated for confounding variables, patients with celiac disease, GS, and IBD showed significantly higher rates of migraines compared with control subjects, with odds ratios of 3.79, 9.53, and 2.66, respectively.

As measured with HIT-6, patients with migraines who had celiac disease suffered from more severe headaches compared with the other groups.

"Our findings suggest that migraine is a common neurologic manifestation in celiac disease, GS, and IBD," the authors write. "Future interventional studies should screen migraine patients for celiac disease, particularly those with treatment-resistant headaches."

Do you know anyone who has celiac disease, gluten-sensitivity, or IBD and also suffers from migraine headaches? Let them know by sharing this study information. Let us know by commenting below.


Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).