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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Migraine Headaches Linked to Celiac Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Am J Gastroenterol. 2003;98:625-629

    Celiac.com 04/29/2003 – The findings of a recent study published in the March edition of American Journal of Gastroenterology indicate that around 4% of those who suffer from migraine headaches may have celiac disease, and in such cases a gluten-free diet can reduce or eliminate migraine symptoms. According to one of the researchers, Maurizio Gabrielli, MD (Gemelli Hospital in Rome, Italy), if further studies confirm these findings it could alter the current range of migraine treatments to include serological screening for celiac disease and the gluten-free diet for those with positive test results.

    Maurizio Gabrielli, MD and colleagues studied 90 patients who were diagnosed with idiopathic migraine, and found that 4.4% had celiac disease compared to 0.4% of 23 controls. The four migraine patients found to have celiac disease were treated for six months with a gluten-free diet and their symptoms decreased or were eliminated. The patients also showed an improvement in their cerebral blood flow on a gluten-free diet that was confirmed by using single-photon emission computed tomography scans.


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    The article, though too brief, provides credibility. My neurologist is treating me for migraines. A recent endoscopy revealed early/mild celiac (serology was normal, but CD3 immunostain supported the diagnosis). I doubt that my neurologist has ever made the connection. Now I can approach him with evidence-based research and hope he'll work with my gastroenterologist to treat both conditions and alter my diet instead of pouring so much medicine down my throat!

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    The article, though too brief, provides credibility. My neurologist is treating me for migraines. A recent endoscopy revealed early/mild celiac (serology was normal, but CD3 immunostain supported the diagnosis). I doubt that my neurologist has ever made the connection. Now I can approach him with evidence-based research and hope he'll work with my gastroenterologist to treat both conditions and alter my diet instead of pouring so much medicine down my throat!

    Just stop eating gluten. A gluten free diet alone with symptom relief is enough to achieve a diagnoses. Your doctors won't tell you that because they would put themselves out of a job. It sometimes takes years for doctors to swallow their pride and think outside the box. Best of luck to you!

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  • About Me

    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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