Celiac.com 02/15/2001 - According to a new study published in the February issue of Neurology, severe, chronic migraine headaches can be triggered in gluten-sensitive individuals who do not exclude gluten from their diets. The study examined ten patients who had a long history of chronic headaches that had recently worsened, or were resistant to treatment. Some patients had additional symptoms such as lack of balance. Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou, from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, UK, and colleagues tested each patient and found that all were sensitive to gluten. . The patients were tested and each was found to be gluten-sensitive. Additionally, MRI scans determined that each had inflammation in their central nervous systems caused by gluten-sensitivity.
Results: Nine out of 10 patients went on a gluten-free diet, and seven of them stopped having headaches completely. The patients heightened immune responses, which are triggered by the ingestion of gluten, could be one of the factors causing the headaches. The other two patients who were on a gluten-free diet experienced significant relief, but not complete relief.
Conclusion: According to Dr. Hadjivassiliou, removal of the trigger factor by the introduction of a gluten-free diet may be a promising therapeutic intervention for patients with chronic headaches. Further studies are needed to confirm Dr. Hadjivassilious preliminary findings.