Food & Nutrition

Ought to I Strive a Gluten-Free Eating regimen?

Welcome to Ask the Migraine Knowledgeable, a column about managing life with migraine from Deena Kuruvilla, MD. Dr. Kuruvilla is a board licensed neurologist and Director of the Westport Headache Institute in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Obtained a query for the migraine knowledgeable? Submit your query by way of this way.

Pricey Migraine Knowledgeable,

Will going gluten free assist my migraine and even each day complications?

— Sarah, Migraine Healthline neighborhood member

The curiosity in gluten-free diets has been steadily rising among the many normal inhabitants, in addition to these dwelling with migraine.

Gluten is a kind of protein which is present in wheat, rye, and barley.

Wheat is often present in bread, soups, pasta, cereal, and completely different sauces. Barley is often present in malt, which is used to make milkshakes and different syrups, meals coloring, beer and yeast. Rye is often present in cereals and bread equivalent to pumpernickel.

Whether or not reducing these meals out of your eating regimen will enhance your migraine is just a little difficult.

About 1 in 100 Individuals have celiac illness, and as much as 6 in 100 individuals have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Folks with both situation could expertise bloating, belly ache, fatigue, diarrhea, weight reduction, and constipation when consuming meals with gluten.

These situations shouldn’t be confused with true allergic reactions to wheat or gluten, as these are separate situations that may end up in anaphylaxis and is usually a medical emergency.

With celiac illness, a tiny quantity of gluten may cause an individual’s immune system to assault the liner of the small gut, leading to irritation and difficulties with diet.

A biopsy of the small gut is the gold customary for diagnosing celiac illness. There are additionally blood assessments which might be checked, equivalent to tissue transglutaminase and endomysial and deamidated gliadin peptide antibodies. The one therapy for celiac illness is a gluten-free eating regimen.

The time period “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” is used for individuals who report signs after they eat gluten. Analysis has proven that non-gastrointestinal signs of non-celiac gluten sensitivity embody:

  • headache
  • anxiousness
  • reminiscence loss
  • numbness within the legs and arms
  • joint and muscular ache
  • despair
  • anemia
  • pores and skin points

It’s estimated that 26 % of individuals with celiac illness expertise complications. Headache might also be a presenting symptom of celiac illness. The commonest headache kind seen in celiac illness is migraine.

Based on the third version of the Worldwide Classification of Headache Problems, persistent migraine is seen in those that expertise 15 or extra headache days every month for greater than 3 months and migraine options on a minimum of 8 days every month.

Continual migraine impacts 2 to 4 % of the U.S. inhabitants, is related to greater ranges of incapacity, and is 2 occasions extra probably in individuals with celiac illness and gluten sensitivity.

A gluten-free eating regimen might be an efficient therapy for complications related to celiac illness and must be monitored carefully with the assistance of a healthcare skilled.

A survey examine confirmed that folks with celiac illness who caught to a gluten-free eating regimen have been capable of scale back their headache frequency by 48 %.

There’s not sufficient proof within the scientific literature to at the moment suggest a gluten-free eating regimen to individuals with out celiac illness for the therapy of headache issues.

Finding out gluten sensitivities might be difficult as a result of there might be quite a lot of variability inside one’s eating regimen and different doable gastrointestinal situations, equivalent to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Gluten-free diets have a couple of doable downsides, equivalent to costly grocery prices and a scarcity of sure nutritional vitamins and minerals equivalent to zinc, calcium, phosphorus, B nutritional vitamins, iron, and fiber.

If you happen to’re contemplating a gluten-free eating regimen, it’s vital to have an prolonged dialogue with a dietitian about how you can make up for a few of the vitamins it’s possible you’ll be lacking whereas on the eating regimen.

Analysis has additionally discovered that the physique mass index (BMI) could improve because of a gluten-free eating regimen. Ladies with migraine have the next danger of heart problems. Rising your BMI from a gluten-free eating regimen could additional improve this cardiovascular danger. Research have proven {that a} greater BMI may also end in worsening migraine illness.

A gluten-free eating regimen is most useful for individuals recognized with celiac illness. If that’s you, then it’s doable that your migraine frequency and severity could enhance with a gluten-free eating regimen.

If you happen to’re contemplating a gluten-free eating regimen, communicate with a gastroenterologist to first solidify your analysis and ensure your want for the eating regimen. It’s additionally key to satisfy with a nutritionist to debate the professionals and cons of the eating regimen.

If you happen to don’t have celiac illness, reducing gluten is probably not definitely worth the effort and doable unintended effects. There’s restricted proof about the usage of a gluten-free eating regimen for the administration of migraine in these with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.


Deena Kuruvilla is a neurologist who’s keen about all issues headache. She has made it her life’s mission to deal with, educate, and produce consciousness to headache situations equivalent to migraine. She is the director of the Westport Headache Institute and has carried out analysis on medical gadgets, complementary and integrative drugs, and procedures for headache therapy. She has been featured in Prevention Journal, Neurology As we speak, the Hartford Courant, and the Wall Road Journal. She lives in Fairfield, Connecticut, along with her husband and two youngsters and loves watching “The Masked Singer” along with her household. Join along with her on Fb or Instagram.

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