Gluten Sensitivity Can Cause Severe Headaches

November 19, 2009

Gluten Free Cupcake

In 2004 a research study was published examining the link between gluten sensitivity and severe headaches.

The research was focused around “soft” neurologic conditions such as headaches in young adults and children. Headaches were the most commonly found neurologic disorder in the 111 patients with celiac disease. Out of the patients in the study; 64.5% with headaches had late onset symptoms of celiac disease or were gluten sensitive, and 35.5% had the early infantile form of celiac disease.

The study broke down the type of headaches the study participants experienced:

  • Migraine 45.1%
  • Non-specific 35.5%
  • Tension-psychogenic 19.4%

Sixteen study participants were put onto a gluten free diet which relieved them of there symptoms.

Imagine the results if all patients who showed gluten sensitivity (not only the ones diagnosed with celiac disease) had been placed on a gluten free diet.

Another study conducted in 2001 followed 10 patients who suffered severe headaches and who all had MRI tests suggesting inflammation of the central nervous system, were each found to be gluten sensitive. These patients were told to start a gluten-free diet and all but one patient found relief. Seven out of the 10 patients recovered completely from their headaches, while 2 experienced partial improvement. The one patient who continued to suffer from headaches? Well he refused to try the gluten-free diet.

The next case from the study illustrates the power of a gluten-free diet.

A 50 year old man whose medical history did not show a disposition towards migraines experienced unexplained headaches for 4 years. When his headaches increased in severity and frequency, he agreed to take a blood test, which showed that he had anti-gliadin antibodies.

When he started on a gluten-free diet, his balance improved and his headaches disappeared completely. But 2 years later his symptoms had returned. When questioned, the man confessed he had stopped following a gluten-free diet. Another blood test was taken and this confirmed the return of anti-gliadin antibodies.

The results convinced the man that gluten was the reason for his headaches. He took up his gluten-free diet and has remained headache free to this day.

If this isn’t enough evidence to show that gluten can be the reason for headaches consider the following case.

One patient said that he had suffered from migraine headaches for more than 10 years. Neurologists that were consulted could find no cure, and the migraines continued to intensify so much that he had to take early retirement. By 2002 his 3 headaches a week had increased to an almost non stop headache, during one particular month he was headache free for only 3 days. Migraine medications did not work to help the patient’s pain.

The patient’s family doctor then suggested a gluten-free diet. The headaches slowly became less frequent and after several months he was 98% headache free.

Gluten-free wins again.

When parents discover they have an autistic child they often take drastic measures including drugs to control or offset their child’s autistic patterns. The Autism Research Institute (ARI) in the US, collected information provided by more then 23,700 parents who completed the questionnaire. ARI wanted to find out which remedies were the most effective in treating autism.

They found that one of the most effective treatments was following a special diet: removing gluten and casein from the autistic child’s diet, with 65% of parents reporting that their child got better.

Parents themselves report excellent results from a gluten-free, casein-free diet (Casein is the major protein in milk).

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Related posts:

  1. Conditions Associated with Gluten Sensitivity – Autism
  2. Conditions Associated with Gluten Sensitivity – Neurological Diseases Part 2

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2004 research study examined link between gluten sensitivity and severe headaches « CeliacFacts
January 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm

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