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Suffer from Migraine Headaches?

Posted on November 1st, 2008 by Alison Read 7 Comments - Add Your Own »

“Look at the underlying causes!” says a reader named Annie who is sharing her story of years of symptoms and finally a diagnosis that has changed her life. (If you would like to submit a story to Your Stories please email me.)

Annie, 28 years old, writes:
Since I was six years old, I have had debilitating, chronic migraine headaches, pain that would, and could occur every day, depending on what I ate, although I didn’t know it at the time. Through the years, I also have developed severe IBS-like symptoms, chronic sinusitis, recurring bronchitis, tingling in my fingers and feet, extreme fatigue, rashes, difficulty breathing, and major depression. In the past few months, I lost a significant amount of weight, and have been hospitalized on several occasions for dehydration, believing that I was suffering from severe migraines, when, in fact, I really had a severe wheat allergy. I have recently been diagnosed with non-Celiac gluten intolerance with a wheat allergy.

Since I stopped eating wheat, gluten and even dairy, I have seen a 180-degree turn-around in my health. I consider it to be a miracle. I have spent my life being very ill, believing that I would be in pain forever. I haven’t had a single migraine and I have had a huge increase in energy. I now see every day as a blessing and feel that I can enjoy my life, all because of an avoidance of certain foods. With my doctor’s guidance, I am now decreasing my doses of migraine medication and anti-depressants.

I would urge anyone who has debilitating migraine headaches to check out the DVD: Allergies: A Natural Approach produced by Wellspring Media, and delve deeper to discover the root cause of the problem rather than simply taking medication.

Take care and best wishes to all of you,

Thanks, Annie, for your story!
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Gluten and headaches
Could you have celiac disease?

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  1. Does anyone suffer from vascular migraines? I have the type of migraines that involve blurred/shadowed vision with aura, slurred speech, and right arm/leg/side of face go to sleep for 20 – 30 minutes, then I get the headache on the right side, pretty close to stroke like symptoms. These began when I was 12 and occured monthly right before my cycle. They were intensified when I took the pill, which I tried twice in my early 20’s. In my 20’s they subsided, but when I got pregnant at 35 I had 3 very intense migraines that ALL doctors attribute to my hormones. These are not taking a “Excedrin” type of migraine. I am wondering if anyone else has these extreme type of migraines and if going “gluten free” helped them.

  2. Dear Annie,
    Thank you for writing this for people to become more aware of how foods can affect them. I love the part where you say, “I now see every day as a blessing and feel that I can enjoy my life, all because of an avoidance of certain foods.” I think that if more people realized that they would feel so much better with the elimination of certain foods, they might be more apt to give it a try.

    I haven’t had migraines, but I have dealt with digestive problems and depression my whole life – until I finally eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet. For me, it was one thing to have a stomach ache here or there. But the depression was very debilitating and affected my life in so many ways.

    I too feel so blessed to have discovered this for myself. I hope many other people do too!
    thanks again,
    Sarah Schatz

  3. Hi. My name Christna and i am 15 years old. I have suffered from severe head aches for almost a year. I have them every day and no doctors knows the reasoning for this. These head aches have caused me to miss 2 months of school. I have had many tests including a spinal tap and nothing was wrong. I have many sympotoms for this and i have a famliy history of gluten intolerance. my question for the people who had had head aches before knowing that a gluten intolerance caused them,is did any medication work at all for your head aches? And did you have them close to every day?

  4. Christina,
    My 12 year old daughter is going through the same situation you are. We just got her allergy tests back and Wheat, eggs and cows milk were the most likely culprits and so we start on eliminating these foods to see if that helps. Acupuncture is helping some with the pain but the topamax and frova have not yet been able to eliminate the headache she’s had since Oct. Keep persisting and being an advocate for yourself, I do believe there are answers out there! Good luck.

  5. I have had the same experiences as outlined above, frequent childhood headaches, almost daily headaches which concentrated behind one eye (could vary which eye!) Aspirin helped but I have become intolerant of all anti infammatory drugs (gastritis). I got severe gastritis at 42 years and had several years of investigations, endoscopies and acid suppressant drugs. None of which helped at all. It was suggested by a work colleague, who was diagnosed coeliac at 18 yrs, that I should cut out dairy and gluten for two weeks and just see what happens. Two weeks!! Within 4 days my gastric pain and headaches stopped!!! That was 16 years ago. I have stayed on the diet ever since, supported by the gastroenterologist who I had been referred to. I did find one medication that helped reduce or stop pain of the migrains and that was Propain, available over the counter in England. It contains: paracetamol, codeine, caffein and interestingly- antihistamine! I ocassionally have to take it if I slip up with diet (now rarely). It has been suggested by doctors that I am coeliac, but I cant bring myself to come off my diet long enough for a blood or gut biopsy test to give a positive! Don’t lick envelopes. Glue may contain gluten!!! Hope this helps someone! Val

  6. Val,
    Thanks for your story — I am sure it will help a lot of people suffering from headaches.

  7. from 2002 up to this date I have not been diagnosed with “Wheat allergy, gluten intolerence, or celiac. when I begin describing my symptoms by the time I’m finished the doctor looks at me with skeptism on his face and does the required blood tests but since they are all negative I am labeled a Kook and ignored or pacified. I became disgusted with the medical care I was not getting and did my own research. gluten intolerence fit so I put myself on a gluten free diet and I feel alive again. My symptoms include neurological symptoms such as severe right sided headache with right eye muscle paralysis( cranial nerve six inflammation) and double vision and nausea and vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bloating, gas, cramps, loose “stinky” stools, staggering gait, dizziness, foggy, unfocused thought process, severe fatigue, severe right upper quadrant pain, night sweats, weight loss.
    within six weeks after I had been off gluten I no longer have these symptoms. They instantly reappear if I ingest an unknown source of gluten.
    I am 71 years old, a retired Nurse, and have been having these symptoms for about ten years but always to a lesser degree with increasing intensity till I wound up in the ER. NOT ONE DOCTOR HAS SUGGESTED A GENE TEST. In fact very few of them even know what I’m talking about. Including the gastroenterologist!!!

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