I have known a few people with celiac disease who get headaches when they have gluten, now there’s a little scientific support to back it up as a possible symptom.
New research reported in the August Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology looked at headaches in children and what, if any, relationship they have with celiac disease. The study looked at both children diagnosed with celiac disease and other children as well. 79 of the healthy kids who complained of headaches were tested for celiac and four (or 5%) tested positive. A gluten-free diet improved the headaches in all four children. More generally, the children who were already diagnosed with celiac who had complained of headaches before the diagnosis, most of them said their headaches felt better after starting the gluten-free diet.
According to the study’s abstract, researchers found, “…a high frequency of headaches in patients with [celiac disease] and vice versa with a beneficial effect of a gluten-free diet.” They say screening for celiac “could be advised” in patients with headaches.
When I surveyed celiacs back in late November about what their symptoms were before being diagnosed with celiac disease, both children and adults complained of headaches. It wasn’t a huge enough number to register in the top ten for either category, but headaches were there for a few people. One mom mentioned her daughter missed school up to two times a week with headaches and stomach aches before her diagnosis.
This is a good study to get out to the medical community! Thanks for doing it!