There’s a battle raging, and gluten and migraine are a part of it. The question at the heart of the battle: Is gluten harming people – people that don’t have celiac disease (coeliac disease)?
Some just aren’t convinced by the evidence. But a growing number are convinced, and some of those people are migraineurs.
Many of us as migraine patients have been asked if we’ve tried giving up gluten – found in wheat, rye and barley. Some of us have tried it. And the surprising thing is – for some people, it worked.
But why? These weren’t people with wheat allergies, or with celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, and the most common treatment is the gluten-free diet.
But a growing number are arguing that there is a wider problem – gluten syndrome – or gluten insensitivity or intolerance – that the common tests aren’t recognizing. Some of the common questions and arguments can be found at GlutenSensitivity.net if you’re interested in going into more detail.
One of the advocates of this point of view is Dr Rodney Ford, a paediatrician who has focused his career on food allergies and intolerance.
Last month Dr. Ford wrote this helpful summary:
… The crucial point, however, is that gluten-sensitivity can also be associated with neurological symptoms in patients who do not have any mucosal gut damage (that is, without celiac disease). Gluten can cause neurological harm through a combination of cross reacting antibodies, immune complex disease and direct toxicity. These nervous system affects include: dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, cerebella ataxia, hypotonia, developmental delay, learning disorders, depression, migraine, and headache …
In other words, you might have a problem with gluten which is not technically celiac disease.
Have you tried a gluten free diet? For how long? Did it help with your headache or migraine symptoms?