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Migraines, Sinuses And Gluten... Help?
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Hello all

I think I am reallly glad to have found this board. I am really hoping also that some of you have some insight for me as well as the others I have read.

First of all, I have been recently diagnosed with Intractable migraines, as I have suffered with debilitating/excruciating headaches for almost 2 months now. They are actually getting much better, but different since going to an accupuncturist a few times now. The neurologist has rotated me through a veritable pharmacy of "samples" trying to stop the headaches, and NOTHING has worked, aside from the Vicadin which knocks me out, if it doesn't make me vomit first. Since going to the accupuncturist, I have been released from the severity of the headaches, although they are still "there". At least I can function; I am a full time teacher, and wife/mother of four children and one tall hubby. The accupunturist has also helped me realize that a lot of my symptoms are sinus related; I have "electrical charge" pain all through my face, and my sinuses are always hurting, although not infected. This is what he feels is causing the migraines. So, he has given me some homeopathic things to use which ease the symptoms, such as menthol. Now, the Neurologist confirms the sinus issues by letting me know that my blood work has revealed that I am "allergic" to gluten. This allergy which may have been "developed", or "triggered" by a traumatic surgery I had in October, may be the cause of the sinus issues, the headaches, and also the nausea/diarrhea/constipation problems that I have had for several days/weeks. For several years, I have also suffered from milk allergies which essentially causes the same symptoms, as you can damage the villi inside your intestines which make the ability to eat dairy worse and then the villi heal and you can eat some again until it gets better again. It all makes sense now.. or maybe I just want it to make sense? Soooo. My question is this, have any of you had this migraine issue, and have you been told that you are "allergic" to gluten, and if so, did you go "gluten free". and did it help????

I am willing to try anything... hey, I tried accupuncture... but my dh thinks I'm crazy...... He has IBS, and I think this could help him too.

Thank you for all your help.

I appreciate it.

Oh, any books you would recommend?

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WOW!!!!

I went to my doctor about the headaches and they put me on Allegra... I took myself off of it since it didn't seem to work. After having headaches EVERY day for almost a year, I went to a chiropracter/acupuncturist and my headaches changed, although they didn't go away. I did have some neck issues, which she helped resolve, and some sinus issues, which she resolves short term with acupuncture.

That being said, I put myself on an elimination diet to see if I was allergic to anything that would still be causing my headaches. I did it for a week, and by the end of the week (which, was headache free!!!), I had narrowed it down to wheat/gluten. I remained gluten-free for a month before I could get in to see my DR and get a blood test... which came out negative, as expected. The thing for me was that my headaches went away. I don't need a blood test or a biopsy to tell me gluten isn't good for me. The bad part of that is that I may never know... celiac or allergy?

The past few weeks, I have had some pretty nasty sinus pressure, and I've started taking a homeopathic combination that is really helping. I am also staying away from dairy, since I am starting to see a correlation with the two. I have really noticed a difference.

The point of all this is: If you are wondering, try it. The proof is in how you feel. If it works, hey, you'll feel better. If it doesn't, you've ruled something else out. Either way, you can't lose. For some it takes a matter of days, for some a few weeks. Make sure you give it a reasonable amount of time. But if you are allergic to gluten, as your DR says, you really should stay away from it. That may very well be the cause of your sinus problems, as allergies and sinus problems are so closely related.

Hope that helps!!!

Oh yeah, I am currently reading "Living gluten-free for Dummies" by Danna Korn. It's pretty informative and has some recipes in it. I have to say though, when I realized what was making me feel bad, it wasn't so hard to cut it out.

Liz

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many here who have had migraines in the past found theirs to go away when they went gluten free. it doesn't work for everyone, and I presume that they did a sinus CT and all that as well. mine got worse (when I moved, long after I went gluten free) and I'm on daily preventatives, and I'm not the only one here who didn't find it was connected, but many did, so you may find it helps.

if you had blood work that showed you were gluten intolerant, however, you should be going gluten free regardless of anything else. (ironically, I know that dairy gives me headaches, and I've been completely dairy free for over three years.)

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I haven't had a migraine or even an aura since I went gluten-free 5 years ago. Unless I get glutened. I 'lived' with them for years and can't say I miss them.

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Me too - Had terrible migraines until I went gluten free, none since. And to prove it, this week I had a terrible migraine - turned out some tablets I'd been taking had gluten in.

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The neurologist has rotated me through a veritable pharmacy of "samples" trying to stop the headaches, and NOTHING has worked, aside from the Vicadin which knocks me out, if it doesn't make me vomit first.

I've had migraines for years, just started getting auras in the last few. I didn't notice fewer migraines when I went gluten-free; however if I accidentally poison myself with gluten, I almost always get a migraine from that. Bottom line is, for me anyway, I don't think there's any correlation.

Re: the Vicodin - migraines rarely respond to narcotics. Has your neurologist tried you on a prophylactic migraine med long term? Most of them take at least a few weeks to take effect, which I know can seem like an eternity (I've been there), but for a lot of people can offer significant relief. I take a daily migraine prophylactic, and I have a triptan "rescue" med for when I get a migraine. Best combo I've used. The triptan knocks me out, so I don't take it unless I absolutely have to and if I am somewhere I know I can konk out, but it almost always kills the migraine.

Hang in there. Migraines bite the big one but you'll find something that works for you. Don't hesitate to find a second neurologic opinion, too.

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I still get my migraines. But not nearly as frequently as I used to before going gluten free.

I used to get migraines 2-3 times a week and they were very intense.

Now I get one maybe 2 a month and they are most definitely sinus/environmental allergy related.

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I am too reading Living Gluten Free for Dummies, I am learning so much from that book and this forum,

unfortuneatley, i am still getting the migraines. I am gluten free, for 3 months about, and so i am wondering if it is from something else, but am cutting out dairy and say, starting sunday, gotta do it at the beginning of the week, since we plan our meals out weekly(easier for me to get home and start cooking if its already decided on what we are having).

so we will see if it is just that i have not given it enough time, or if it is something else causing the headaches.

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I had debilitating migraines for well over 30 years and since going super strict gluten free they are now gone. To me it is something of a miracle.

I only get a migraine if I eat gluten... even the smallest amount, like cross-contamination can trigger it. That is why I said 'super strict' since I think even a trace will keep the migraines coming.

It is a true joy to see them behind me. I lost a lot of time to my migraines and auras over 3 decades.

I actually heard somewhere that celiac and migraines are so common in Ireland that if you get migraines you are automatically tested for celiac.

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Yes, going off of gluten stopped my migraines completely. I began experiencing terrible migraines, complete with auras that were sometimes temporarily blinding, at age 10. (Apparently it is very unusual to get them at such a young age.) For the next 8 years I got at least 1 to 2 migraines per month, and had non-migraine headaches on an almost daily basis. In the nearly year and a half I've been on a gluten free diet, I have not had a single migraine - and very, very few normal headaches. I think that's a strong enough correlation to prove something!

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Does anyone get optical migraines? Just the eye syptoms of the migraine and not the head pain?

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I had migraines for 40 years (I am 50) and they have been almost completely eliminated after going gluten and mostly casein-free. I haven't had any auras (quite common before) since going gluten-free.

Laurie

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Does anyone get optical migraines? Just the eye syptoms of the migraine and not the head pain?

I did. I was thankful in the long run that while I would get the headaches only once a month or so, if I had the pain everytime I had the aura's that would have been almost as debilitating as the day and night D. It took a while for the doctors to figure out that the vision issues were migraines as they thought I had MS for quite a while and that the eye issues might be related to that.

I don't miss the 'sparkles' at all.

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I have been having severe headaches for about 25 years. I am 49 years old and a confirmed celiac for 3 years. I also started having severe sinus problems 3 years ago and have had 6 sinus surgeries, by a sinus specialist at Stanford Hospital in San Francisco. My doctor cannot figure out what is in my sinuses and it just keeps coming back. I have been on a strict gluten-free diet for 3 years which has made no difference with my sinuses. Since having all these surgeries I now have severe nerve damage to my face which causes constant pain in my face and behind my eyes. I take a pain medication called Levorphanol, which is like a morphine, every 8 hours or I would not be able to function. My ENT specialist is not the only specialist I am seeing about all this, as I see many doctors here in my hometown of Redding, CA, in San Francisco, CA and in Mt. Shasta, CA and none of them can find what this is. I have no idea if any of my sinus problems are related to the Celiac and no doctors can tell me either, but if any of you that have responded to this forum have any ideas please let me know. Thank you very much.

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I have "electrical charge" pain all through my face, and my sinuses are always hurting, although not infected.

Is this "electrical charge" pain on only one side of your face, or only on one side at a time? It actually sounds a lot like trigeminal neuralgia, and there's a fairly high correlation between trigeminal neuralgia and untreated celiac disease. Often people who have trigeminal neuralgia also get migraines since both seem to result from a functional problem with the trigeminal nerve. You may want to talk to your doctor about it. I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia a few years after my celiac diagnosis, so controlling the diet does not control the pain for me. But it's fairly common to prescribe anti-seizure medications. I take neurontin, but usually Tegretol is the first thing they'll try for trigeminal neuralgia. I often get migraines associated with my trigeminal neuralgia as well.

Also, a few years back, I got a status migraine--one which did not let up for over 48 hours, and I had good results with taking predisone to get the inflammation under control.

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Hello all

I think I am reallly glad to have found this board. I am really hoping also that some of you have some insight for me as well as the others I have read.

First of all, I have been recently diagnosed with Intractable migraines, as I have suffered with debilitating/excruciating headaches for almost 2 months now. They are actually getting much better, but different since going to an accupuncturist a few times now. The neurologist has rotated me through a veritable pharmacy of "samples" trying to stop the headaches, and NOTHING has worked, aside from the Vicadin which knocks me out, if it doesn't make me vomit first. Since going to the accupuncturist, I have been released from the severity of the headaches, although they are still "there". At least I can function; I am a full time teacher, and wife/mother of four children and one tall hubby. The accupunturist has also helped me realize that a lot of my symptoms are sinus related; I have "electrical charge" pain all through my face, and my sinuses are always hurting, although not infected. This is what he feels is causing the migraines. So, he has given me some homeopathic things to use which ease the symptoms, such as menthol. Now, the Neurologist confirms the sinus issues by letting me know that my blood work has revealed that I am "allergic" to gluten. This allergy which may have been "developed", or "triggered" by a traumatic surgery I had in October, may be the cause of the sinus issues, the headaches, and also the nausea/diarrhea/constipation problems that I have had for several days/weeks. For several years, I have also suffered from milk allergies which essentially causes the same symptoms, as you can damage the villi inside your intestines which make the ability to eat dairy worse and then the villi heal and you can eat some again until it gets better again. It all makes sense now.. or maybe I just want it to make sense? Soooo. My question is this, have any of you had this migraine issue, and have you been told that you are "allergic" to gluten, and if so, did you go "gluten free". and did it help????

I am willing to try anything... hey, I tried accupuncture... but my dh thinks I'm crazy...... He has IBS, and I think this could help him too.

Thank you for all your help.

I appreciate it.

Oh, any books you would recommend?

I've only taken the gluten and casein tests at Enterolab. gluten was positive, casein negative.

Healthier without Wheat - good book for you and your spouse

My Chronic Daily Headache (24/7 for over a year) is gone since going gluten-free. My migraines improved then and improved even more when I went dairy free in support of my spouse.

My main triggers now are monthly hormone shifts and barometric pressure shifts. I eat a very "clean" diet (no msg or hydrolyzed anything). however, I can eat things like cured meats and dark chocolate, which I could not eat before without a big headache.

I do take a small dose a preventative med, much less than I used to. I do still use triptans, but overall my med use is way down.

Good luck with your and your spouse's health issues.

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The person with the sinus issues may want to try saline spray like Ayr(or generic brand) because they have buffers to prevent the salt from stinging and adding to your pain. But this helps me a lot with sinus issues.I still have migraines after going gluten free, but I am still trying to weed out the hidden gluten sources in other things, like makeup, soap, etc.

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The person with the sinus issues may want to try saline spray like Ayr(or generic brand) because they have buffers to prevent the salt from stinging and adding to your pain. But this helps me a lot with sinus issues.I still have migraines after going gluten free, but I am still trying to weed out the hidden gluten sources in other things, like makeup, soap, etc.

Might want to read the previous post. Casein in milk can cause the same headaches as gluten. My wife continued to have headaches until off of casein as well. Don't take the headaches too lightly, her's ended up in frontal lobe dementia.

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    • It sounds like you're doing great. That's amazing that your anxiety has decreased like that. You're obviously doing something really good for your health. With the other things I'm sure they will get better in time. After I gave up gluten I had a bad year but overall it got better. Things like anxiety and insomnia massively improved over time with being gluten free. However, going Paleo (which you are on your way to with the no dairy too) really helped my anxiety, as did running and self-taught acupressure. In particular I found processed gluten free foods were awful for my mood. I know you have to find your own way but I really want to encourage you to see how you feel without that if you haven't already. I also can't afford therapy but when I did have it, that helped too but just being well, gives you the chance to sort your own thoughts and feelings out even without a therapist. Good luck
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