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Migraines. Better gluten-free? How Long gluten-free?

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My 12yo daughter has just started a gluten-free diet. (I've been on it almost 4 weeks.) One of the reasons is that she gets migraines. They make her VERY tired, dizzy, nauseous, etc. The last one lasted several days. (Fortunately, we homeschool, so we can work around them somewhat.) I know they're hormonally related for her, but our neurologist believes they can be made worse by food.

I was wondering if your migraines got better gluten-free? If so, how long did it take gluten-free for you to see a difference? I know nitrates and other foods can be implicated in making migraines worse, but my daughter is such a picky, picky eater that I wanted to change one thing at a time for her.

Thanks!

Sharon

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My 12yo daughter has just started a gluten-free diet. (I've been on it almost 4 weeks.) One of the reasons is that she gets migraines. They make her VERY tired, dizzy, nauseous, etc. The last one lasted several days. (Fortunately, we homeschool, so we can work around them somewhat.) I know they're hormonally related for her, but our neurologist believes they can be made worse by food.

I was wondering if your migraines got better gluten-free? If so, how long did it take gluten-free for you to see a difference? I know nitrates and other foods can be implicated in making migraines worse, but my daughter is such a picky, picky eater that I wanted to change one thing at a time for her.

Thanks!

Sharon

I had my last migraine at 2 weeks gluten-free. I have not had a migraine since June 2010! I had 9 plus a month before going gluten-free! I would go through all my migraine meds every month. May 2010 was the last time I had to purchase them and didn't need them! For me, it has been amazing not to have them anymore! I only get a mild headache now when I get CC. My migraines were blamed on hormonal issues and foods such as nuts. Best wishes to you and your daughter! It is so worth going gluten-free to get rid of the migraines. Keep us updated with how you both are doing.

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I used to get migraines, but I'd usually get really intense migraine auras including visual anomalies, losing all vision, aphasia (saying wrong words), fatigue, intense tingling moving through arms and fingers, face and tongue, nausea, etc. They did seem correlated with hormones and other foods to some extent.

I had my last one in November shortly after going gluten-free. We were traveling at the time and hadn't learned how to avoid cross-contamination yet. That was my worst one ever.

Since then I've been completely aura and migraine free. btw, I'm not celiac, and have made other dietary changes as well. You can see about them in my sig and other posts.

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I still get them, though I think they're a bit better. Mine are hormone related (occurring around ovulation) and eating chocolate during that 2-3 day timeframe makes them infinitely worse.

Whether she keeps getting them will depend on if gluten helped trigger them & if you've tracked down other causes and eliminated them.

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Interestingly I had been a long time migraine sufferer, and since going gluten free only had one in the past 8+ months. This past week I accidentally glutened myself, and bam--migraine on Saturday. It was a mild one, but got the aura and everything.

There definitely seems to be a connection.

ps: I'm trying to convince my 18yo daughter to go gluten-free--as she suffers horrible headaches and monthly migraines. She's not "ready" for the lifestyle change!

Good luck with your gal. :)

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Migraines were almost daily for me for years. A month into gluten free, no more migraines except menstrual migraine which is actually worse now. It is actually common for menstrual migraine to get worse after going gluten free. Something about the hormones coming back or working better after gluten is eliminated. But the daily migraines are definitely gone and only come back when I get glutened.

I have a friend whose 12 year old daughter was having migraines and the gluten free diet eliminated hers. She had been taking migraine medicine daily...something for prevention, but she no longer needs that medication. It can work, just depends if it is gluten related or hormone related. But worth a try.

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Thanks so much for everyone's replies. I let her know what y'all said. She just started gluten-free on Monday (we had meant to on Saturday, but she wanted to eat at a fair on Sunday), so it's too early to tell. She always gets migraines before her cycle, which I think may not happen for a little while longer since she was in such an incredibly good, helpful mood today! LOL! She's not terribly regular yet, so it's hard to know when the next one will come. I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

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Thanks so much for everyone's replies. I let her know what y'all said. She just started gluten-free on Monday (we had meant to on Saturday, but she wanted to eat at a fair on Sunday), so it's too early to tell. She always gets migraines before her cycle, which I think may not happen for a little while longer since she was in such an incredibly good, helpful mood today! LOL! She's not terribly regular yet, so it's hard to know when the next one will come. I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

I've had migraines for the past 20 years... since I was 3 years old. I feel like I've done almost everything and nothing helps. Topamax, Nortriptyline, nerve blocks... nothing helps. It's been almost 2 weeks since I've been gluten free. I still have migraines. But my doc said it takes 3 weeks to get the gluten out of your system and headaches can get worse during the 1st few weeks going off gluten, kind of like withdrawal. So hopefully it will work. Did it help your daughter?

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i had migraines my entire childhood until i found a really good chiropracter. now with regular visits i dont get them. its worth a try!

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I've had migraines for the past 20 years... since I was 3 years old. I feel like I've done almost everything and nothing helps. Topamax, Nortriptyline, nerve blocks... nothing helps. It's been almost 2 weeks since I've been gluten free. I still have migraines. But my doc said it takes 3 weeks to get the gluten out of your system and headaches can get worse during the 1st few weeks going off gluten, kind of like withdrawal. So hopefully it will work. Did it help your daughter?

She had one a little while ago that I think was caused by hormones due to its timing. BUT it only lasted a day instead of 5 days like the ones she had before going gluten-free. She's going to stay gluten-free for awhile to see if it helps next month as well. Just this week I determined that gluten definitely causes my neuro symptoms (did a gluten challenge for myself), so our household will definitely stay gluten-free. I just don't know if she will need to stay gluten-free outside the home, too.

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Don't know, if this answer comes a little late. Just wanted to add part of my story. I had migraines for 7 years every single day. After going glutenfree on 07/21/2004 it took about a week and I've been migraine free every since. Now I haven't had one single migraine in almost 7 years. Just a slight to middle headache, whenever I get glutened, which is rare.

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Throwing my 2 cents in - It is nice to see so many whose migraines went away so fast - wish I was that lucky!

I have had severe migraines for several years - prior to being on maintence preventative meds i was haveint 4 or 5 a week. After going gluten free, it wasn't until I hit the 6 month mark that I saw a real reduction in frequency. I have gone from 8-9 a month to 3 a month - sooo exciting! I can't wait to see what the next 6 months will do!

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fyi, I had my first (and only) migraine since going gluten-free a couple weeks ago. It was the morning after having balsamic vinegar for the first time since starting GAPS. I think the sulfites combined with a lack of sleep set it off.

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AmandaM83

I see this post was back from May. I would love to know how your migraines have improved since then?

I have had chronic, debiliating migraines for the last 10 years of teen and early adult years and no one could ever figure out why. I'm on preventatives, birth control and have a few different prescriptions for when I actually get the migraine. I went gluten free about 2 months ago, and the headaches were much worse at first, but i think that was due to the withdrawl (i had VERY bad withdrawl symptoms for the first few weeks) but those have since decreased. However, just had a migraine yesterday that was the worst i've had in over a year. I'm just trying to gauge if it's worth sticking out this diet and if it could really take SO long for me to see my migraines improve.

 

Throwing my 2 cents in - It is nice to see so many whose migraines went away so fast - wish I was that lucky!

I have had severe migraines for several years - prior to being on maintence preventative meds i was haveint 4 or 5 a week. After going gluten free, it wasn't until I hit the 6 month mark that I saw a real reduction in frequency. I have gone from 8-9 a month to 3 a month - sooo exciting! I can't wait to see what the next 6 months will do!

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I went from having an average of three migraines a week when I was eating a lot of wheat in my diet to maybe one migraine a month when I started avoiding gluten.  :)  When I DO get migraines now, they are much less severe. 

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I also had an improvement with migraines gluten free, both in frequency and severity.

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Like so many I also have less frequency and no longer take any medication for them.  If I do get glutened, migraine is a hugh symptom and only over 4 hours of medicated sleep will stop the severity.

 

Colleen

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