A study, appearing in the journal, Headache (2013 Feb;53(2):344-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02260.x. Epub 2012 Nov 5) compared the incidence of migraine headaches in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease with healthy controls. Other studies have shown an increased prevalence of migraine headaches in patients with celiac disease compared to patients without celiac disease.
Subjects filled out a survey containing clinical, demographic, and dietary data, as well as questions about headache type and frequency.
Of the 502 subjects, 188 had celiac disease, 111 had IBD, 25 were sensitive to gluten. The other 178 acted as controls. Chronic headaches were reported by 30% of patients with celiac disease, 56% of those with gluten sensitivity, and by 23% of the patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Only 14% of the control subjects reported headaches.
The authors concluded, ” Migraine was more prevalent in celiac disease and IBD subjects than in controls. Future studies should include screening migraine patients for celiac disease and assessing the effects of gluten-free diet on migraines in celiac disease.”