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Higher Rates of Migraine Headaches in People With Celiac Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Celiac.com 04/10/2013 - People with celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease have higher rates of migraine headaches than their counterparts without those conditions, according to a new study.

Photo: CC--Bored-NowThe research team included Alexandra K. Dimitrova MD, Ryan C. Ungaro MD, Benjamin Lebwohl MD, Suzanne K. Lewis MD, Christina A. Tennyson MD, Mark W. Green MD, Mark W. Babyatsky MD, and Peter H. Green MD.

A team of researchers recently set out to assess the rates of migraine headaches in clinic and support group patients with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and to compare those with a sample group of healthy control subjects.

A number of European studies have shown higher rates of migraine headaches in patients with celiac disease and IBD compared with control subjects.

For the study, participants all answered a self-administered survey containing clinical, demographic, and dietary data, as well as questions about headache type and frequency.

They also used both the ID-Migraine screening tool and the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6).

The research team analyzed five hundred and two subjects who met exclusion criteria. Of these, 188 had celiac disease, 111 had IBD, 25 had gluten sensitivity (GS), and 178 healthy subjects served as controls.

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Thirty percent of celiac patients, 56% of gluten-sensitive patients, 23% of IBD patients, and 14% of control subjects reported chronic headaches (P < .0001).

Using multivariate logistic regression, the team found that all subjects with celiac disease (odds ratio [OR] 3.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.78-8.10), GS (OR 9.53, 95% CI 3.24-28.09), and IBD (OR 2.66, 95%CI 1.08-6.54) had significantly higher rates of migraine headaches than did control subjects.

Migraine rates were influenced by female sex (P = .01), depression, and anxiety (P = .0059) were independent predictors of migraine headaches, whereas age >65 was protective (P = .0345).

When it came to grading their migraines, seventy-two percent of celiac disease subjects reported having migraine that were severe in impact, compared with 30% of IBD, 60% of GS, and 50% of C subjects (P = .0919).

The number of years on gluten-free diet had no influence on the severity of migraines.

Migraine headaches were more common in people with celiac disease and IBD patients than in control subjects.

The team points out that future studies should screen migraine patients for celiac disease and assess the effects of gluten-free diet on celiac disease patients with migraines.

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6 Responses:

 
sallyann
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
15 Apr 2013 8:48:40 AM PDT
Great article! For me, no gluten... no migraines...

easy-peasy...your article confirmed my findings.

 
Loke
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said this on
15 Apr 2013 11:17:45 PM PDT
I am a chronic sufferer of migraines. The migraines I experience from gluten contamination are completely debilitating and no migraine abortive works for this type of migraine in my experience of suffering for 25 years and diagnosed 15 years ago with celiac!

 
Gill
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said this on
16 Apr 2013 3:45:21 AM PDT
After a lifetime of migraines (from about age 11 until now, 65), they disappeared completely after going gluten-free last year!!

 
Lauren
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said this on
16 Apr 2013 1:40:35 PM PDT
I find it interesting that "the number of years on gluten-free diet had no influence on the severity of migraines." The study should have looked at the frequency as well. For me, avoiding gluten results in fewer migraines (as well as less joint pain).

 
Anita Saget
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said this on
21 Apr 2013 11:37:20 AM PDT
The study states,"The number of years on gluten-free diet had no influence on the severity of migraines." A migraine is the first clue I have been gluten, no gluten, no headaches. I have been gluten-free for 6 months.

 
Liam A
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said this on
04 Feb 2014 7:27:11 AM PDT
I spent a lot of my childhood through to young adulthood with debilitating cramping sitting on a toilet and often not getting to sleep for many hours over many nights due to migraines.

I cut gluten out of my diet at 22 and rarely if ever suffer gut pains or migraines today. Except for the surprise attacks when eating out and a chef has incorrectly listed ingredients or is ignorant to them though I find most eateries really know what they're about these days. Thankfully!




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Hi! My daughter is 19 was diagnosed at age 16. It took about 12-18 month s for her to fully heal from the damage and feel "normal" again. Also because of the damage done she had reactions to dairy, so you may want to try no or minimum dairy until youre fully healed. Just a suggestion. Hope you start feeling well soon!

Hi yall! New to this blog, but really glad it exists because I have lots of questions. First off, I'm Allie! I'm 17 and newly diagnosed Celiac after about 3 years of searching for answers. I initially went gluten-free on the recommendation of a friend, I felt better in about a month and then my pediatric gastroenterologist had me do the gluten challenge, and my symptoms were the worst they have ever been, and ones I barely noticed before became very present. I did the biopsy and was diagnosed, it's been about 2 weeks and my symptoms are still pretty bad, although my diet has no known sources of gluten or cross contamination. Wondering if anyone has any input on healing post gluten challenge, any tips or how long it took for you would be quite helpful! Thanks

Might want to look into a keto diet, I have UC on top of celiacs and keto is working great Yeah I have major nerve and brain issues with gluten, gluten ataxia with nerve issues and brain issues. Seems to cause my body to attack my brain and nerve system. My brain stumbles fogs, and starts looping, the confusion causes me to become really irritable, I call it going Mr Hyde. Like my mind will start looping constantly on thoughts and not move driving me literally mad, or it used to. Now days it is primary the numbness anger but the gut issues and sometimes random motor loss limit me motionless to the floor now days for the duration of the major anger effects. Used to be a lot more mental then painful gut. I did a mental trauma post on it on while back where I came out about all my mental issues with gluten.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.

Hello I was diagnosed Dec 15 of last year and went totally gluten-free the next day. I actually got worse before I got better - it's a steep learning curve - but now, 4 1/2 months later I'm finally seeing improvement. Hang in there.