Celiac Disease and Headaches

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migraine pain
© GETTY IMAGES PLUS/ ISTOCK/ BRIJITH VIJAYAN

A research team in the UK recently explored the relationship between celiac disease and headaches. Using a systematic computer-based literature search, they found that 26 percent of adults and over 18 percent of children with celiac disease have headaches. The headaches are predominantly migraines.

Brain imaging can be normal. But cerebral calcifications and white matter abnormalities are frequently seen in patients with headaches related to celiac disease; patients with these findings should be tested for celiac, the researchers said.

The gluten-free diet is a very effective treatment for headaches associated with celiac disease, resolving headaches in up to 75 percent of the celiac patients who have them. The researchers recommended that patients with headaches of unknown origin be screened for celiac disease,

The study was published in Nutrients.