When you’re among the many 1 billion individuals on the planet who’ve migraines, you’ve most likely tried nearly all the things to really feel higher. You keep away from recognized triggers like chocolate, MSG, pink wine, citrus fruit, and aged cheese.

You may even have reduce out gluten, a protein primarily present in wheat, barley, and rye. However does skipping sourdough bread assist ease your signs?

Migraine and Celiac Illness

Numerous sufferers ask that query, says Lauren Natbony, MD, an assistant scientific professor of neurology specializing in headache drugs at Mount Sinai in New York Metropolis.

There’s a transparent connection, she says, between migraine and GI problems — together with celiac illness.

“Sufferers with recognized celiac illness who swap to a gluten-free weight loss plan are inclined to have fewer and fewer extreme migraine assaults.”

In celiac illness, gluten triggers the immune system to assault the physique, damaging the small gut. However when you have psoriasis however not celiac illness, skipping glutens received’t enable you to.

What if You’re Gluten-Delicate?

Your physician may name you “gluten-sensitive” in case you don’t have celiac illness however nonetheless react to gluten. It’s unclear how many individuals fall on this class.

Natbony says she’s seen a handful of non-celiac sufferers whose complications obtained higher after quitting gluten. She provides that these good results don’t appear to final, and sufferers can have bother sticking to the weight loss plan.

Nonetheless, she says, gluten may set off intestine irritation that results in migraines in gluten-sensitive individuals.

Maria Vazquez-Roque, MD, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, says some individuals who appear gluten-sensitive may very well be delicate to FODMAPS (quick for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols).

These are carbs discovered in lots of wholesome meals that some individuals can’t digest, resulting in bloating, diarrhea, and complications. She suggests individuals with migraine who take a look at detrimental for celiac illness work with a dietitian to attempt a low-FODMAP weight loss plan for a month or two.


Natbony doesn’t take a look at each migraine affected person for celiac illness. She does display screen for gluten sensitivity signs, like diarrhea, smelly stools, and more-than-normal fuel. She normally doesn’t advocate a gluten-free weight loss plan to individuals who don’t want it.

“Gluten-free merchandise are typically increased in fats, carbohydrates, and sodium, and they are often costly,” she says.

Plus, it’s arduous to keep away from gluten fully. It’s not solely in apparent meals like bread, pasta, and cake. It lurks in a whole bunch of merchandise you’d by no means consider, together with soy sauce, canned soup, and salad dressings — even toothpaste.

Nonetheless, she says weight loss plan modifications are an essential a part of therapy. Individuals could make numerous modifications on their very own, corresponding to avoiding recognized meals triggers like caffeine, nitrates in cured meat, and aspartame.

Natbony says chasing down headache triggers may be anxious, which in flip could cause migraine, too. Right here’s what she suggests:

  • Maintain a headache diary and a meals diary to see if there’s any connection between what you eat and a migraine assault. A food-related migraine can occur proper after you eat or as much as 48 hours later.
  • If there appears to be a hyperlink, reduce that meals out of your weight loss plan for about four weeks and see in case you really feel higher.
  • Slowly add the meals again in — not an excessive amount of at first. If it triggers a migraine or you’ve got extra complications, it’s greatest to cease consuming it fully. 



Photograph Credit:

SMarina / Getty Pictures

Justin Ong / Getty Pictures


Migraine Analysis Basis: “Elevating Cash for Migraine Analysis.”

Lauren Natbony, MD, assistant professor of neurology, Heart for Headache and Facial Ache, Mount Sinai, New York Metropolis.

Headache: “The Position of Food plan and Diet in Migraine Triggers and Remedy: A Systematic Literature Overview.”

American Migraine Basis: “What to Know In regards to the New Anti CGRP Remedy Choices.”

Maria Vazquez-Roque, MD, gastroenterologist specializing in non-celiac gluten sensitivity, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.

Harvard Well being Letter: “Going gluten-free simply because? Right here’s what you have to know.”

The Journal of Headache and Ache: “Intestine-brain Axis and migraine headache: A complete assessment.”

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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