Jump to content
Celiac Disease FAQ | This site uses cookies GDPR notice. Read more... ×
  • Sign Up
0
Lisa16

How Does Celiac Cause Migrains?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Just out of curiosity, does anybody know what the mechanism is that causes migrains from gluten?

Is it a vitamin deficiency? Or is it a nerve thing? Or maybe something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the specific reasons, but migraines are reported as a symptom of celiac disease. Prior to my diagnosis, I had severe migraines from time to time. After being on the gluten-free diet for some time, I realized that I had not had a migraine in over a year. I know I didn't directly answer your question, but this might be of some help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to ask my doctor about this and report back, but my understanding is that gluten acts as a neurotoxin, which is why some people have seizures if they're undiagnosed. I'll check it out, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Psawyer-- you always do your very best to be helpful and answer the question. I used to get them frequently-- so bad I was on my knees and rocking. I was missing work because of them and they were getting worse and worse.

Now they are gone. But I recently got glutened and I got the beginning s of one again and I started to wonder what causes it. If it is a vitamin deficiency, maybe one could just take a pill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you FMcGee!

I will be very curious to find out when your doctor says :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cause of migraines, period, isn't entirely understood. Current thinking is that some trigger causes a change in various levels of chemicals in the brain, the brain responds with inflammation, the inflammation causes the blood vessels to dilate, which presses on nerves and causes horrid, horrid pain. (My bad migraines require me to be stone still, or the nausea is overwhelming.)

There are a couple of ways a gluten intolerance could affect that. Perhaps when either the fragments of gliadin, or products of the autoimmune reaction in the intestines which escape a leaky gut, manage to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect chemical release/take-up. Perhaps the intestinal damage signals for an inflammatory response in the body, and the whole body kicks in, including the brain. Perhaps there is some other mechanism of blood vessel dilation that occurs for some people.

No one knows for sure, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so new to this, forgive me. Migraines are a symptom of Celiac too?

I have had them forever. And yes I haven't had one since I started eating gluten-free.

I am interested in how Celiac causes migraines but I am thrilled to know that the diet will keep them from coming back! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could have to do with Histamine levels. Several of the problems associated with Celiac's disease are also associated with either low or high histamine levels in the blood.

I haven't been gluten free for all that long, but I have not had a headache since I started, nor joint pain...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm guessing going gluten-free isn't going to stop my migraines. It's been six weeks and I still get them sometimes. Sigh. I'm happy for all of you, though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm guessing going gluten-free isn't going to stop my migraines. It's been six weeks and I still get them sometimes. Sigh. I'm happy for all of you, though!

The worst of my migraines came on long after I went gluten free (and dairy free, and I don't eat a whole lot of soy or corn). They got worse when I moved to Washington, and I think they are at least somewhat triggered by weather changes. (Recent study has backed up the "related to the weather" theory.) I had to go on daily preventatives (Topamax, for me), and OMG! I am so glad I did. The frequency of the migraines went from 1-3 migraines a week, each lasting 2-3 days (yeah, do the math, it sucked), to maybe once a month, on a bad month. The severity of them also went from something around an 8 or 9 to a 4 or 5. (As in, going from "Don't talk becauseit hurts to much. breathing... breathing isn't very pleasant either, pain wise." to "Gah, my head hurts. I don't want to drive, but I can. Where are my sunglasses so I don't squint all the way to closed eyes?")

I'm coming off of it at the moment, and so far, it's not been too bad. But I also have to regularly see my chiropractor, as at least some of the migraine trigger is chronic neck tension from a forward head position, which puts a lot of stress on the muscles and joints in the cervical spine, which can inturn promote inflammation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B12 deficiency (which is common with malabsorption problems) can cause all kinds of neuro problems, including headaches, hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness, brain fog, etc.

Meniere's Disease (which is not really a disease but a collection of those symptoms) is sometimes referred to as an aural migraine (migraine of the ear).

You might look into a sublingual B12 supplement, which is absorbed under the tongue rather than through the damaged intestines, and see if that helps your migraines.

If not, there are some supplements out there that may help. My neurologist recommends Petadolex, riboflavin, and coEnzyme Q10. Reducing chemicals, additives, and sodium are also likely to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
B12 deficiency (which is common with malabsorption problems) can cause all kinds of neuro problems, including headaches, hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness, brain fog, etc.

Meniere's Disease (which is not really a disease but a collection of those symptoms) is sometimes referred to as an aural migraine (migraine of the ear).

You might look into a sublingual B12 supplement, which is absorbed under the tongue rather than through the damaged intestines, and see if that helps your migraines.

If not, there are some supplements out there that may help. My neurologist recommends Petadolex, riboflavin, and coEnzyme Q10. Reducing chemicals, additives, and sodium are also likely to help.

Thanks for that info Fiddle-Faddle. I have Meniere's Disease too. Your list of symptoms for B12 deficiency is a partial list of MY symptoms! I also have the typical digestive issues related to celiac, depression and anxiety.

No one has ever been able to tell me why I have these problems. I have truely doubted my sanity and my ability to survive the rest of my life this way.

This is such a revelation after not knowing why I felt so bad for so long. Now its a combination of relief that I know what is going on and dismay that it took so long to figure it out....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have Meniere's Disease, there are some VERY interesting discussions on some of those forums.

In particular, there are two unrelated ideas for alternative treatments that seem to be helping a lot of people. One involves chiropractic neck adjustments. I showed the thread to my chiropractor, and he already knew all about it--I had just never complained about the symptoms to him before. And the neck adjustments WERE helpful.

Only problem is, there are unfortunately lots of chiropractic quacks out there, and I don't know how to narrow down the search for a good one. I just happened to luck into this one--my doctor recommended him after I had an accident, broke my tailbone, and knocked two discs out of place.

The other treatment was developed by a high school biology teacher. (Google "John of Ohio regimen") It involves some very interesting and compelling studies linking herpes viruses (simplex and zoster) with Meniere's symptoms. He recommends a regimen of supplements that happen to be gluten-free, with no side effects. Lysine is one--it inactivates the herpes virus. Vinpocetine is another--it's supposed to help with circulation and permeability to the blood vessels to the brain (and ear). And citrus bioflavonoid is the third main component.

I had a terrible couple of months earlier this year, but with the help of this regimen, the chiropractor, and B12 (methylcobalamin sublinguals), I am doing much better.

The herpes connection seems valid. Interestingly, my first Meniere's attack was within days of my husband coming down with shingles (herpes zoster--the chicken pox virus), and my second was within days of his having a post-shingles neuralgia attack (by the same virus).

Personally, I think Meniere's is even worse than celiac, so I'm very grateful to have found something that's more promising than what the ENT offered me (a cortisone shot to the ear, with a statistical chance of remission equal to that of a placebo).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It could have to do with Histamine levels. Several of the problems associated with Celiac's disease are also associated with either low or high histamine levels in the blood.

I haven't been gluten free for all that long, but I have not had a headache since I started, nor joint pain...

TK-- I find it interesting that you mention this because the ONLY thing that would help me was taking a couple of benadryl. I used to think it was because it made me sleep. but maybe histamines are involved somehow. Huh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The worst of my migraines came on long after I went gluten free (and dairy free, and I don't eat a whole lot of soy or corn). They got worse when I moved to Washington, and I think they are at least somewhat triggered by weather changes. (Recent study has backed up the "related to the weather" theory.) I had to go on daily preventatives (Topamax, for me), and OMG! I am so glad I did. The frequency of the migraines went from 1-3 migraines a week, each lasting 2-3 days (yeah, do the math, it sucked), to maybe once a month, on a bad month. The severity of them also went from something around an 8 or 9 to a 4 or 5. (As in, going from "Don't talk becauseit hurts to much. breathing... breathing isn't very pleasant either, pain wise." to "Gah, my head hurts. I don't want to drive, but I can. Where are my sunglasses so I don't squint all the way to closed eyes?")

I'm coming off of it at the moment, and so far, it's not been too bad. But I also have to regularly see my chiropractor, as at least some of the migraine trigger is chronic neck tension from a forward head position, which puts a lot of stress on the muscles and joints in the cervical spine, which can inturn promote inflammation.

Wow-- mine were sometimes in conjunction with a drop in pressure before a storm or hormones. Sadly, I could not do the Topamax because of other allergies. This is so interesting. But since going gluten-free, these too are gone. Perhaps there are multiple factors going on with these?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The worst of my migraines came on long after I went gluten free (and dairy free, and I don't eat a whole lot of soy or corn). They got worse when I moved to Washington, and I think they are at least somewhat triggered by weather changes. (Recent study has backed up the "related to the weather" theory.) I had to go on daily preventatives (Topamax, for me), and OMG! I am so glad I did. The frequency of the migraines went from 1-3 migraines a week, each lasting 2-3 days (yeah, do the math, it sucked), to maybe once a month, on a bad month. The severity of them also went from something around an 8 or 9 to a 4 or 5. (As in, going from "Don't talk becauseit hurts to much. breathing... breathing isn't very pleasant either, pain wise." to "Gah, my head hurts. I don't want to drive, but I can. Where are my sunglasses so I don't squint all the way to closed eyes?")

I'm coming off of it at the moment, and so far, it's not been too bad. But I also have to regularly see my chiropractor, as at least some of the migraine trigger is chronic neck tension from a forward head position, which puts a lot of stress on the muscles and joints in the cervical spine, which can inturn promote inflammation.

I'm glad you're feeling better! I was on Topamax for about a year, and then I started having really horrible side effects from it and had to go off. Also, the doctor never told me it cancels out birth control. Fortunately, nothing unexpected happened, as it were, but I was very annoyed at not having been told. I have to go to the chiropractor for exactly the same reason as you, and I think that's helping. I try to be conscientious about my posture, which might not fix the headaches, but can't hurt!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm guessing going gluten-free isn't going to stop my migraines. It's been six weeks and I still get them sometimes. Sigh. I'm happy for all of you, though!

My daughter and a few others I know have had great relief with a natural product called Migrelief. You can order it online or we just call WalMart pharmacy to order it. They get in in within 24 hours. It contains magnesium, riboflavin and feverfew. It has proved very effective for the persons that I know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My daughter and a few others I know have had great relief with a natural product called Migrelief. You can order it online or we just call WalMart pharmacy to order it. They get in in within 24 hours. It contains magnesium, riboflavin and feverfew. It has proved very effective for the persons that I know.

Thanks for the advice! I'll give it a try. I've been meaning to go by Wal-Mart to see if they have the new Betty Crocker goodies, anyway!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

  • Top Posters +

  • Upcoming Events

    • February 27, 2019 04:00 PM Until 08:00 AM
      0  
       
       
       
      Celiac Emotional Healing Support Group
       
       
       
      Again you are invited to join Johnny Patout, LCSW for Baton Rouge's first emotional healing support group meeting to assist those living with celiac disease manage the emotional challenges so many of us face. Most often the emotional disturbances include depression, disinterest in normal activities, insomnia, grief, mood changes, anxiety, inability to concentrate, extreme concern about managing a gluten-free lifestyle and other emotional and behavioral challenges.
       
      The professionals at Jamestown Avenue Counseling Center created the emotional healing support group to give us a safe place to begin to process our emotions and support each other as we heal emotionally while managing celiac disease and the resulting autoimmune disorders.
       
      The emotional healing support group meets every Thursday, 6:00-7:00pm, at the Jamestown Avenue Counseling Center of Baton Rouge. Jamestown Avenue Counseling Center is located at 4637 Jamestown Avenue, Baton Rouge, Suite B-1. Suite B-1 is upstairs.
       
      The support group is free and open everyone managing celiac disease. For more information: emotionalhealingforceliacs@hotmail.com
    • March 24, 2019 Until March 27, 2019
      0  
      NEW ORLEANS GOURMET GLUTEN-FREE mini GETAWAY    March 24 ~ 27, 2019   We have arranged a fun and Gluten-free food filled mini in the city known for it's food and fun.  We have arranged to eat many of the famous dishes that aren't usually Gluten-free at a few of the World Renown restaurants.   Staying at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street in the center of the French Quarter, you'll be able to enjoy the ambiance of the city at all hours.   Our itinerary will include a Luxury Coach tour of the city and surrounding area - Admission to The National World War II Museum, including the Tom Hanks" 4D film "Beyond All Boundaries" - an exciting Airboat ride and tour through the Bayou.      This it the 3rd time we have visited New Orleans and it has always been well attended, so join us even if you've been there before.  Check out our website for the complete itinerary and cost.    Due to contractual obligations we must have 20 participants by October 31, 2018 to make this a go.      If you have any questions just give us a call at 410-939-3218.  Bob & Ruth info@bobandruths.com (410) 939-3218
    • March 30, 2019 Until March 31, 2019
      0  
      Nourished Festival is a family-friendly event with 10 locations across the US. Attendees will be able to sample food, health and beauty products, meet with companies, learn about the most current food lifestyles, receive coupons and attend educational sessions with industry experts. 
      Nourished Festival, managed by The Nourished Group and presented by Enjoy Life Foods, is the largest gluten-free, allergy-friendly and specialty diet event in the US, with 10 locations including.
      ABOUT THE NOURISHED FESTIVALS
      Managed by The Nourished Group, formerly The Gluten Free Media Group, The Nourished Festivals are the largest and fastest growing special diet consumer events in the United States. Started in 2007, the events have expanded from one to ten cities throughout the country. The festivals cater to anyone looking to lead a healthier lifestyle or those who follow a specialty diet due to autoimmune conditions, food sensitivities, allergies or intolerances. Offerings including Paleo, Keto, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Allergen-Friendly and Nut-Free products. The events provide the opportunity for attendees to sample and purchase new products, receive coupons, meet with brand ambassadors and attend educational classes with industry experts. For more information, visit http://www.nourishedfestival.com 
       
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      86,552
    • Most Online
      4,125

    Newest Member
    Grammie4
    Joined
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      111,822
    • Total Posts
      955,922
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Forum Discussions

    Report on Gluten Free Foods & Beverages Market (2019) gives complete outlook of ... non-celiac patients with more number of new product introductions in ... Awareness of Celiac Disease and Gluten – Intolerance Consumers 3.1.2 ... View the full article
    Okay, thanks. Re: MTHFR - I don't really know yet... I only started reading about it yesterday and it is pretty overwhelming. But it does seem to be common advice that if you have a close relative with it you should be tested, and I guess having 2 copies of the "C" variant, as my sister has, is the "worst" variety of it.  It came to light for her when she was going through infertility and miscarriages.  They discovered that her homocysteine was high, which led to the MTHFR testing. So that is one thing I know I would then want to proceed to do, if I do have it - get my homocysteine tested. My dad died of early-onset Alzheimer's, and apparently there is a link between high homocysteine as well as the MTHFR mutation and Alzheimer's. It also seems like it would be worth knowing if I have it since it could be the cause of my lower levels of B12. And I guess maybe I would need to start taking methyl-folate? I mean, to answer your question, I am not entirely sure what I will do if I do have it.   Probably read a lot more about it... and take supplements like methyl-folate if I really think I need to.  Check my homocysteine & control that if I need to, hopefully to lower my risk of Alzeheimer's.  It seems like a frustrating area because there appear to be limited official medical websites that really even talk much about it (so far).  I have found one article on the NIH that focuses on the link with high homocysteine. I already eat a very healthy diet.  Whole grains, lots of fruit & veg, mostly organic.  I am a vegetarian except for very rare seafood. I avoid processed food and, above all, foods with added sugar...  To me, sugar is by far the worst culprit in the SAD.  I think RA has been ruled out by my 2 negative Rheumatoid Factor tests (one done several years ago, one just this year at my physical).  Also, the way this started in my elbows, and was really only there for years, is just... weird... and definitely doesn't really fit with arthritis.  And there is no swelling to speak of, just mild pain - sometimes aching, sometimes burning, sometimes sharp...  It may or may not fit with any systemic diagnosis versus a mechanical one, but nowadays I do also have pain in my hands, feet, and knees.  So then I think, well maybe it is/was something systemic, but it was worse in my elbows for some mechanical reason but now has progressed elsewhere.  I thought Crohn's was just digestive?  (Of course, many people think that of celiac.)  So I haven't really investigated that one much. My ANA was retested and is back down to "negative," so I think that pretty much rules out lupus.  I believe fibromyalgia is still on the table. Anyhow....  Your point is nonetheless taken.  I do want to rule out celiac and go from there.  At this point I'd sure love to find out it is something I could control through my diet!
  • Blog Entries

  • Blog Statistics

    • Total Blogs
      1,158
    • Total Entries
      2,010
×