According to the results of a small new study, some people may experience migraine headaches due to an unexpected culprit: wheat.
The investigators found that limiting gluten -- a protein found in wheat, oats, barely, rye and spelt-
Reduced symptoms of severe headache in seven out of nine patients.
Gluten sensitivity can include celiac disease, an inherited inability to digest gluten that results in abdominal distention, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle wasting and lethargy.
Other conditions can also develop, including neurological problems or dermatitis herpetiformis -- blister-like lesions on the elbows, buttocks and knees.
The only treatment is strict avoidance of gluten.
The study showed that these patients had a sensitivity to gluten, and magnetic resonance imaging scans suggested they had inflammation in the central nervous system.
Nine of the ten patients tried a gluten-free diet, and seven stopped having headaches. Two other patients had some -- but not complete -- success by switching to a gluten-free diet. One patient did not follow the diet.
Neurology February 2001;56:385-388
Admittedly this is a small study, but out of ten patients 7 had their headaches stop completely. Two had them improved and I have to wonder about their compliance to the gluten. Only one did not improve and that was the person not following the program.
Wheat is not good for most of us. Some of us tolerate it, but most would benefit by avoiding it. The unfortunate problem is that most of us are addicted to it