Food is an overrated headache trigger, but since I’ve identified that nuts and legumes are problematic for me, I’ve approached food triggers with a more open mind.
Completely fed up with nearly nine months of nightly migraines, I decided to subsist on boiled chicken, romaine lettuce and rice for three days, then add other foods back in slowly. In usual fashion, Hart helped me see how absurd that plan was. Cutting out wheat and dairy seemed like a sufficient start. My diet is heavy in both, so this was reasonable.
I’m now on my third wheat-free round. Whether it has been useful for my migraine and chronic daily headache is up for debate. (I am, however, pretty convinced that there is a correlation between giving up gluten and eliminating my omnipresent canker sores.) The story so far:
Wheat/Gluten- and Dairy-Free Attempt #1
This lasted a week. The first five days, I felt awful. Then I figured out that almond butter was triggering some of that agony. Interestingly, I remember a low migraine phase with lots of energy. Looking at my post on almond butter, things weren’t as rosy as I thought.
I reintroduced wheat and dairy with a slice o’ triggers from Pizza Hut. Duh, of course I got a migraine. I had the pizza on a Friday and the headaches didn’t kick back in until the following Tuesday. This could mean that I can have small amounts of wheat over two or three days without triggering a migraine.
Saturday we went for cupcakes with friends (no migraine after that), but I just couldn’t stop eating wheat after that.
Wheat/Gluten and Dairy-Free Attempt #2
I re-eliminated wheat and dairy on May 25. I felt awesome — low pain, lots of energy and a clear mind — until June 11. I have no record of how I felt those days, so I can’t be sure how accurate my memory is. I did accomplish a lot and Hart noticed a substantial improvement.
Then my brain returned to its usual self. Even though I still wasn’t eating wheat or dairy, I had three weeks of as much pain, fatigue, nausea and foggy-headedness as before. I did really push myself during the good two weeks.
On June 29, I discovered that 10 pounds melted off me in four weeks (not a desired effect). I looked haggard and was exhausted. Having just read the virtues of milk, I bought pasteurized, unhomogenized whole milk from pastured cows that afternoon.
By July 1, I felt great. Wheat slipped back in on July 3. Still, I felt good until the until the 8th, when the migraines came back with a vengeance.
Gluten-Free Attempt #3
Still eating dairy, I cut wheat again on July 9. I’ve felt pretty awful for the last week. Whether this is related to heat, diet or something else is up for debate. After a doozy of a migraine on Sunday, my pain has been low yesterday and today, but the exhaustion and sluggish mind are full force.
Who knows what this all means. Some people will read this post and think that wheat is a clear culprit. Others will think just the opposite. It is fuzzy enough for me to keep trying. I do wonder about what Laurie brings up:
What if part of the reason people who do not have celiac disease but feel better when they go GF has less to do with their physiological sensitivity to gluten and more to do with the fact that the GF diet is, on the whole, a lot healthier?
My diet is still pretty healthy when I have eaten wheat and dairy again. I haven’t gone overboard when I have eaten wheat. A cookie here, a slice of french bread there. Besides, having found some awesome cornflakes and corn chips, I can eat plenty of junk even without gluten.
What’s next for me? I’m back to being gluten-free but still enjoying dairy. I’m toying with an anti-inflammation diet (that’s another post. . .), which doesn’t include wheat, so I’ll keep going without it. I’m officially in the wait-and-see stage.
Gluten and dairy are oft vilified. What are your thoughts? Have you tried going without one or both?
I used wheat and gluten interchangeably even though they aren’t the same thing. I avoid non-wheat gluten sources without a problem. I haven’t been able to resist the seductive call of wheat. I do come from a family of wheat farmers.
72 thoughts on “Wheat/Gluten- and Dairy-Free Diet for Migraine & Headache”
I haven’t read all the comments to this post, but wanted to say I started a grain-free (not just gluten-free) diet a couple of months ago. I have built up to chronic daily headaches for 30 years (getting more frequent as the years went by until this year it seemed I could never be rid of them and I was worried about continuing to function). I also want to mention I read Wheat Belly and am reading Wheat Belly Total Health. I saw an immediate reduction in headaches (after the first week, felt wonderful), but am having more than I would like at this point. My conclusion, so far, is that it depends on how severe your wheat sensitivity is and how much damage it has done to your body. I think mine is quite severe. I do believe I am getting better, but I also think it is going to take me more than a couple of months to feel totally better. I am going to get other testing (thyroid, hormone, etc.) to see if there are issues there (wheat is very destructive). I need two knee replacements and have severe sciatica because of arthritis. I know the inflammation that caused these things is not going to disappear overnight, and some things will never “heal” — once your cartilage is gone, it won’t come back — so there will be surgery in my future to fix my knees and possibly my back. But I do believe I am on the right track. Weight loss for me has been very slow and I strongly believe I have thyroid issues, which can also contribute to headaches. All-in-all, though, I think wheat is gone from my life and I am okay with that as long as I start feeling better.
Sheryl, I’m glad you’ve found something that is helpful. Going off gluten is definitely a great help for some people. I hope you find even more relief the longer you’re on the diet.
I have just been reading all your writing about GF and dairy free diets. I am the worst migraine sufferer I know. I have never met anyone worse than me, yet maybe if they are they don’t leave the house. I have been on the tyramine diet now for nearly two years and it has changed my life. I have gone from a migraine a day to no migraines at all unless I eat something on the tyramine list. I don’t know if it works for everyone but I think it is worth looking into. It might make some sense as to why GF sometimes gives you migraines and at other times not. Because with me it is the yeast and the sourdough and not the gluten itself. Same with the milk it is something that they put in the milk not the milk itself that give some people migraines. But with the tyramine diet you cannot eat any aged cheese.
Anyway I might be telling you something you already know. Good luck and happy pain free days.
Hi Sarah, I’m glad the low-tyramine diet has worked so well for you. I’ve been through many dietary changes since I wrote that post. I’ve been on a low-tyramine diet for nearly three years and low-histamine for almost two. The food restrictions combined with a digestive enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO) have made my migraines far better than they have been in ages. I’m still sleuthing and am not sure what role gluten (or other components of wheat) may play.
I quit dairy for a whole year now after a two month long migraine brought on by eating whey protein shakes 2x a day. I love cheese but the illness nearly killed me so I steer clear. Macaroni and cheese was the saddest part, the vegan version just isn’t the same!
Hi, just felt the need to comment here in the hopes my experience might help someone. i suffered with migraine headaches for 20 years. as a supportive spouse i joined my wife on the atkins diet and noticed some improvement. Through years of trial and error i discovered my my migraines are triggered by wheat and yeast. Whats important is “wheat or gluten free” diets will give me the exact results i see in so many of the posts above. This is because, at least in my case, it takes a very tiny amount of wheat to trigger the headache, so i was getting wheat in things i thought were wheat free. We have learned to check EVERY label very carefully. Foods you would be sure are safe are not necessarily. For example, sour cream, Fanta orange soda and some ham all have modified food starch, derived from wheat and will absolutely trigger a migraine for me. I hope this helps someone!
I went on an elimination diet and found foods containing tannins gave me migraines. This includes annato which
Is added to things like butter, cheese, and ice cream. so it wasn’t dairy giving me a migraine but the annato that is added to dairy for color. Tannins are in nearly everything. I have learned which fruits and veggies to avoid.
Sorry, I put gluten free I meant lactose free!
Hi there, this has been interesting to read. I myself started getting migranes some years back and knew the triggers were red wine, strong dark chocolate, green grapes and cheese. I gave up red wine, ate less chocolate but could not kick the cheese. However I noticed if it was near my period If I ate any from the list a migrane would follow. As I have got older mynmigranes became so much worse to the point that if I got one I would get them once, twice or even 3 times a day with no tablets being able to stop them for up to 2 weeks. Someone at work told ne to go gluten free and I gave up cheese easily as the retain to it had been so negative. The response was so quick I have never looked back. I eat no cheese, have lactose free milk and butter. It was that simple. I have had one migraine since when I ate a cream dessert! Try it, you won’t regret it!
I’ve been getting migraines for 20 years (since I was 11). I cut out ALL dairy in 2007 and found a 100% reduction- It totally cured me until I became sensitive to strong chemicals like turpentine and liquid silicone. I had to quit my job in a hardware store as I was violently ill each and every shift, and wearing a large P2 gas mask became unbearable after 6 months.
Now even a tiny trace of milk (even in wine, salami, lip balm, cocoa etc) triggers a 3 day migraine. A few minutes in a hardware store or near oil based paint gives me a 2 day migraine. Oranges don’t really trigger them for me, but they do make them much worse if I’m already suffering. Gluten gives me gas but not migraines!
I hope this is helpful. Milk is in SO MANY things, and its traces are all through everyday products. I say, make it from scratch if you can. All the best to my fellow migraneurs! xx
As a physician, I have tried to deny the existence of my chronic daily headaches ( and daily Tylenol, advile etc.) and increasing migraines. Imitrex helped substantially over past 2 years. I think most anecdotal remedies are hokey.
I stopped dairy and orange juice (weird huh?) 4 weeks ago and have been completely amazed at the reduction in headaches. Hope this helps someone out there.
Your frequent canker sores may be from a yeast overgrowth. Cutting out sugar and adding a probiotic (as found in Kefir) may help, but be prepared to feel worse for about a week, and then better.
I suffered from chronic daily headache for ten years (transformed from episodic migraine). I found out that the daily headaches came from taking OTC painkillers every day. I also found out that my food sensitivity is mainly tannins. I found this out by accident when I started eating cinnamon on my daily oatmeal and the migraines increased. I stopped the OTC cold turkey in November, and stick to a tannin free diet as best I can. After about three months of being off the tylenol and advil I stopped getting the daily headache. I now have a migraine about every ten days. It sometimes lasts three days, so when I need to I take a Treximet. However, I can usually trace my migraine back to an offending food, or too much sugar/wheat. I am thinking of trying a GF diet, but I know it will be hard. I want to eliminate my migraines altogether.
I am 41 have suffered from migraines since childhood, I have had MS for 11 years. I recently started a GF diet and have significantly reduced my migraines. I find that eating gf snacks and veggies gives me a lot more energy and I feel more active.
IT’S BEEN ABOUT A YEAR SINCE I WENT GLUTEN FREE. A WEEK AGO, I STARTED EATING SOME BREAD. THE HEADACHES CAME BACK LIKE GANGBUSTERS. I’M DONE, ONE MORE TIME
My husband and son are required to be gluten free because of allergies. My 6 yr old daughter was just recently diagnosed with migraines. She has passed out several times and the dr thinks that she passed out due to migraines. Anyway, reading about how people have found some success with a gluten free diet makes me curious. I can’t help but wonder if she too is allergic to gluten and her allergy to it is showing as migraines. For my husband and son the gluten intollerance was seen through stomach problems. Right now the dr has my daughter pretty much not eating anything. He eliminated just about everything from her diet (except milk) and in a few weeks we can add back 1 food item at a time. Someone has also suggested to me that the migraines could be caused by a vitamin D deficiancy. We plan to have her vitamin D levels checked soon too. I mayb try making my daughter completly gluten free. As of now the only gluten she gets is from sandwich bread and a few snacks so taking it out of her diet completly won’t be too hard. Thanks for the ideas. I will try to remember to come back and post our outcomes.
59 years old. Been getting migraines for 47 years. Got more frequent in my 50s. I has a food allery test in my 20s and was told I was allergic to wheat. I didn’t stop eating it though. I am not going to experiment with it first, I am going to make an appointment tomorrow to get tested allergies again. Interestingly, I have had acne the whole time too, any connection?
Totally by accident, I found that wheat is a clear headache trigger for me. I stopped eating wheat when I turned pre-diabetic and had to start monitoring my blood glucose levels. I discovered that wheat raises my blood sugar to diabetic levels and keeps it there for hours. When I stopped eating wheat, my blood sugar returned to normal.
AND I stopped having acid reflux and weird skin rashes, and my asthma improved by about 90%. I lost weight without trying (a good thing for me). Now when I stupidly eat wheat, I get a nasty headache (not a migraine, though) and clogged nose and ears. I used to get a lot of headaches before I went on the diet, but don’t get very many now.
starch-free, that’s the ticket. thank you my dear sweet Lord, all glory be unto You!
Okay, here it is day 107. If I would just behave myself, quit those things that i know give me a headache. Here I go, I will never quit trying………………. all glory be unto God.
day 30. I’m still having headaches, they are not as severe and they go away quickly with half an imitrex. The trigger diet I’m on is well worth the effort, it has helped immensely. I think the barometric pressure is a factor, it seems to be when there is a cold front coming and maybe even when a heavy rain coming, i’ll keep taking notes. I think this headache thing is like arthrits, you can do things to not make it worse, but it seems to be physiological. I aint worried, life is great and GOD is the greatest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bad-beer, wine, processed foods, rice, sorbet
day25, had a headache. half an imitrex sorbet
day26 had a headache half an imitrex. sorbet and brown rice crackers and wine
day 27 monday slight headache sorbet, crackers
trigger foods– brown rice, brown rice crackers, sorbet, wine. eliminated today mon. 1/25/10
day 24. am, no headache, non-trigger seems to be the way to go. I am in the praying position, giving thanks, hoping and praying.
still day 23, still no headache @5:20pm and hoping for the best. eating from the non-trigger list.
day 23. no headache yesterday. I didn’t have any question mark food. those are the foods that i either know will give me a headache or that might give me a headache, when in doubt do without. there seems to be a lot of food, (which is the fuel that our internal engines run off of), which is not good for my system. By God, I am going to find them all. It is not hard to give up the food and the things in life that are not good for you. All this I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen. And, I did have some sorbet with fruit, that is a deliciuos treat that won’t give me a headache.
triggers-dairy, soy, shellfish, nuts, beer, wine,rice, gluten
non triggers- potato, meats, eggs,corn,vegetables, fuits, olive oil
day 22, had a bad headache last night and night before at night, mon. I had a little beer, tuesday night I had shrimp. I will eliminate those two.
day 20. don’t care if i have a headache or not. I feel good. thank you Lord!
I am not going to worry about a headache, I am going to take an imitrex if i feel a headeache coming on on, I am going to enjoy life!
day 16. had a killer headache last night, ate processed chili yesterday an had sorbet last night and night before. took a whole imitrex 50mg.. then I felt better. my diet is whole foods, nothing processed. carrot sticks,etc. it is 1:05 pm slight sinus pain
day 15. took half imitrex last night @ 12, don’t know if i really needed it. feel good today.
still day 14, just had deer burger and salad. no headache at this point. 12:40pm
headache on day 13 @ night, took imitrex deer meat
day 14 no headache
day 13, no headache for 4 days. staying on my diet. need to exercise.
took an imitrex @ 11:30pm I did a [pain pill last night, I’m thinking it may have given me a headache of the migraine persuation.
day 10, gluten, dairy and rice free. no migraine.
9th day. took imitrex last night. I have eaten a lot of rice in the past 3 days, not today, eating corn for my whole grains. 12:26 pm feeling okay. a little discouraged. I haven’t excersised in 3 days, I will start back in the morning. Thanks Lord, I know you have a plan.
8th day. took imitrex at midnight last night.
felt good when I woke up, feel good now, it is noon. I think I am on the right track.
dairy and gluten free, this is my 7th day, this is my 5th day imitrex free. I am feeling very good about this glutenfree thingy. yahoo!
quitting time. slight sinus pressure, of course it is 20 degress and cloudy. I still don’t feel the need to take an imitrex.
new years eve, gluten-free for 2 days, played in Jackson, small headache, took an imitrex.
woke up new years day, no headache, no gluten, went to bed no headache.
no headache sat. or sun.
no headache, so far, today. feeling good. I’ve got my fingers crossed,maybe just maybe.
Thank you Lord, for everything. I love You!!
3rd day, no imitrx, i’m goin’ for a record!
ooo, had a bad headache last night around 10, i’m hoping it was gluten withdrawal, took an imitrex, woke up no headache.
2:30 pm feel good, no gluten. keep on keepin’ on!
I went gluten free today, I already quit eating dairy, soy, artificial sweetners, nuts. God, please let gluten be the culprit, i know i can quit it. There really isn’t much left, not really, there is aqlotta good stuff left.
Migraines/Headaches — Likely Celiac Disease, not dairy. Celiac is an allergy to gluten, and there are a lot of articles about giving up gluten to cure migraines.
Today is the first day of my gluten free diet. Unfortunately I am medicated for my migraines so can’t accurately tell if any diet helps. One thing I’ll say—I’m going to just have a blood test done (hoping that my triggers are also allergies) because the only thing I’m for certain I can’t have is Centrum vitamins. Strange. I wanted to say I heard when you eliminate certain foods (especially ones you have a sensitivity to) you may feel terrible for a few days or so… even have headaches… maybe that’s part of the problem.
I have been getting migraines for about 10 years and they are due to dairy, ALL dairy. Lactose pills used to work, but all they do anymore is dull the pain and not that much. I have no allergies to food, so I figure is must be some kind of enzyme or such that causes these excruciating migraines. And I can’t even drink soy milk. The problem started at my stomach and has progress to my lower intestine, where I can not get any relief until I make a bowel movement, which can be 18 or more hours. I read every word in the ingredients and if I see “LAC……..” I don’t buy it. I have good days and very bad days.
I really have a tough time with eating out, because you never know what is made with dairy or has cheese, so I take lactose pills before and after eating.
Heres to Migrainers.
My migraines were due to gluten in my diet. Once I removed all gluten from my diet I felt better, but it was not an easy task. When I was diagnosed with a food intolerance I went cold turkey. It was hard because I grew up on pasta and bread.
The best thing that I could do was educate myself on a gluten-free diet and how to make my favorite foods via gluten-free. I started to eat different brands of gluten-free foods and found that ‘Bob’s Red Mill’ was the best in baking. They have great breads and baking items you can buy and bake. Also they are cheaper then most gluten-free products. The taste is great.
I love their chocolate chip cookies and old-fashioned bread. You can also make their breads in a bread machine.
I have been gluten free for five years and have been virtually pain free. Good luck to anyone that is trying to be free from the pain. 🙂
I’ve got a couple observations, with some possibly annoying suggestions-from-a-stranger.
1. It doesn’t sound like you’ve really tried a gluten free diet; you’ve got to read labels carefully and avoid products with likely cross contamination (like, “Made on equipment shared with wheat”). Look for products labeled “Gluten free” instead.
2. Going gluten free is not actually that hard if you do some research. This really surprised me! First, find a local gluten free bakery — there’s one here in Portland, OR which has awesome breads, cupcakes, cookies, and the like. There may be one near you, too. Second, you can buy Glutino pretzels (really are better than “real” pretzels) on Amazon, along with Peanut Butter Panda Puffs, an amazing GF cereal (if not the best cereal ever).
In my case, I’m not sure if gluten was causing my migraines for sure, but besides not having gotten a bad headache since I cut out gluten 5 weeks ago, I’ve had tons more energy.
Good luck with your migraines!
Hi – I, too, have chronic migraines and chronic pancreatitis. After a year of daily headaches, I finally got serious about managing my diet – no wheat, rice, grains, dairy, foods high in tyramine, foods high in salicylates, etc. It’s hard because I essentially eat eggs, fish, or potatoes every meal. That combined with Lisinopril has decreased the intensity and frequency of my headaches. If you read this, Margaret, I am convinced that this diet has also improved my pancreatitis symptoms and I am taking less enzymes now (sometimes even able to forego any enzymes with meals), but I’m suspicious that the enzymes may be a migraine trigger.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and hang in there with the diet.
Hi, I have had migraines for over 40yrs. I also have chronic pancreatitis. I have to have a low fat diet, cant digest pulses and raw fruit and veg. Cant tolerate anything with acid. I have now tried cutting out wheat and dairy as they seem to be the triggers for my migraines. Its getting very hard to find food that I can eat. Maybe I should just accept the migraines and continue with wheat but the pain is so bad and its every day that I am not getting much of a life. Doctors and dietitians have been of no help
Thanks for listening
I’ve enjoyed reading the above posts. After 20 years of menstrual migraines, I have found a speicalist that has suggested that I cut Gluten and Dairy from my diet (I never thought diet had anything to do with it, but Im starting to think now it has). He said diet needs to be the foundation, and migraine treatments if still necessary, come next.
The longer you have eaten gluten/dairy, the longer it takes to come off it. At least 6 weeks to start with the specialist has recommended to me.
No dairy means anything that has come from an animals mammory glands!!! that means goat, cow, sheep whatever! It does not include eggs, which I initially thought it did.
Tomorrow I start the diet!!! Apparently if Im feeling like crap around Day 5, it means its working!
Best wishes to all the migraine/headache sufferers looking for a cure 🙂
I’ve identified several food triggers myself. I have suffered from migraines for a better part of my life and I am still learning what some of the triggers are. Some of you may be interested to know and try eliminating some of these foods from your diet for a while and see what happens.
Legumes: peanuts, soy nuts, peas, beans, etc.
Onions & garlic
Horseradish, wasabi & mustard seed
Green or unripened bananas
Once you’ve identified a trigger you can try reintroducing it slowly, you might find you can tolerate small amounts of some while none of others. It’s hard to identify any trigger if you only eliminate one suspect at a time, on the other hand you need your sustenance. Don’t be satisfied with just a few days or even a week, you’ll just be fooling yourself.
Not all dairy is the same…I can tolerate milk and ice cream with no problems. I eliminated *aged* dairy (i.e., yogurt, cheese, sour cream) a year and a half ago when I realized that I would get a migraine within an hour of consuming them.
I have not noticed a difference from cutting out gluten but dairy has dramatically improved my headaches. Cutting out alcohol and adding more water also helped improve my health. I have been feeling better for 2 months now! No headaches!
Just my experiences!
I can’t help but point out that none of the people who commented really ever did a 100% gluten-free diet for a dedicated period of time. You cannot judge whether gluten is the culprit (probably is) if you are getting any gluten in your diet at all. And wheat-free doesn’t count! I think you are all crazy for not really trying a gluten-free diet considering how miserable you feel. My husband suffered from migraines until he cut out gluten – he used to live on Excedrin. Now no more migraines. You can read more about gluten-free at my website: http://www.surefoodsliving.com.
Just trying to help here!!
I have made several attempts to stop eating wheat and dairy. I don’t think I’ve ever made it long to tell a difference. I have discovered goat milk and goat yogurt and I think they are fantastic. Apparently it is molecularly similar to human milk and is easier to digest and causes less inflammation and allergy. I’m leary of soy products and this has made cutting the dairy much easier. Not so much with the wheat…
After 20 years of migraines I quit ingesting refined sugar. After 5 days my headaches decreased 80%. After 3 years of sugarless living I only need an occasional Maxalt, usually for a hangover. During the week I can take 2 Excedrin Migraine to stop any mild symptoms. Please try it! And read food labels carefully – did you know sugar is added to spaghetti sauces?
Just a comment here: A few of my patients have had success with headache control following the glycemic impact diet, even though they do not have wheat or gluten issues, nor were formally hypoglylcemic. So there is something about carbs for some people.
It hasn’t worked for everyone, of course.
I followed a wheat & dairy free diet for a year-and-a-half. It was the first year-and-a-half of a 6 year chronic daily headache with migraines, (so far). It didn’t make a bit of difference, so I eventually gave it up. Sometimes I wonder, however, if the diet was sabotaged by the fact that I replaced dairy with soy milk, because years later I was told that soy is often a migraine trigger.
Sometimes I think I should at least cut milk out again, because of the energy boost that gave me another time. But it’s just so hard to be restrictive with comfort foods when you’re in so much pain. 6 years ago, I was more motivated. But after all this time, I’m just too worn out to do all the work of a restrictive diet. It’s EXPENSIVE too!
I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. You make a great point about it being hard to restrict comfort foods when you don’t feel well. I find the same thing — and I always go for carbs.
I have found that a diet with more whole foods, especially fresh fruits and veggies, reduces the frequency of my migraines. However, when I added a completely gluten free diet (due to other issues)the migraines completely went away. I think it’s definitely worth trying.
For those of you having trouble with staying on a gluten-free diet, there are a lot of great gluten free blogs. Check out my blog at http://www.glutenfreecookingschool.com for recipes and links to other gluten free blogs.
I’m glad it helped you so much. Great blog, by the way!
Thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s helpful to read what you all have been through. I’m not surprised that we’ve had mixed results. If only it were the magic bullet so many make it out to be!
Going wheat-free is certainly a sacrifice, so I hope that this latest attempt helps clarify things a bit in terms of identifying triggers!
I find the way our bodies respond to food so interesting. Since I have celiac, obviously I noticed some pretty marked results when I went totally GF–for example, my pounding sinus headaches (and I’ve had numerous sinus surgeries) disappeared, and I had a lot more energy. My father, who isn’t celiac but is diabetic, saw huge improvements in his blood sugars during the 6 weeks he tried it.
Yet other people who have chronic conditions but are not celiac who try going GF don’t seem to notice much difference in their symptoms…You’re right, it is definitely a “wait and see” kind of thing, but I hope you get some answers soon!
I’ve never gone entirely off dairy, but I’ve been trying to eat gluten-free for over a year now. By trying, I mean that sometimes I “cheat” and have a slice of pizza (it’s really the only gluten/wheat-based food I miss.
Despite sticking to the gluten-free diet most of the time, my headaches, if anything, are worse than they were a year ago.
I commented on your previous post, and you replied asking if I ate wheat now. The answer is yes, but I wish I didn’t. I have never felt better in my life than when I was on a low-carbohydrate diet, which by definition, eliminates wheat, but also eliminates a lot of other junk like sugar, corn, and potatoes. (I think Sugar, Corn, and Wheat are some kind of Unholy Trinity of Poison.)
Why don’t I follow the diet now? I wish I could get my mind around it. I know I should, and I seem to follow it for three days, then stress kicks in, and I’m back to Bagel Land, with a side of pasta, and Haagen Dazs for dessert.
I have no problems whatsoever with dairy, by the way.
Last summer, I did 3 months of a gluten-free diet. Ohh boy was that hard – mainly because I just love bread and bread products. I didn’t feel any changes whatsoever in my daily headache (NDPH – New Daily Persistent Headache for curious parties) but I stuck with it for that 3 months to really give it a try but to no avail.
I do have food allergies – fresh fruit and soy – so we wouldn’t have been surprised if the whole gluten thing was a culprit, but I didn’t have any luck. The end of the summer, when I was still on the diet actually, was when my headache docs admitted me into their inpatient hospital program for 10 days because I was hurting so badly… Oy.
Just my experience 😉
I think some of us are just doomed to pain. For some people, migraines are triggered, for others, it is chronic. (As in my case… my father and his mother have it … it’s just genetics here) That’s not to say we shouldn’t try to mitigate the pain – but, in my case anyways, I haven’t found a dietary change. I am lactose intolerant by nature and I don’t consume milk directly. I do have a penchant for cheese though. Cutting cheese for a month did not improve my situation. In fact (counter to what some people will tell you) the only ‘dietary change’ that improved things whatsoever is a regular intake of caffeine – I find it mitigates some of my smaller migraines. I feel better with it than without, anyways … good luck to you.
A few months ago, I stopped eating wheat and refined sugars to lose weight. (Though, for the record, I still ate loads of carbs in the form of veggies.) My headaches improved dramatically, although – of course – I still had some bad ones. I’ve since gone off the diet and my head hurts all the time again. Like you, I don’t think the relationship is simple, but I do suspect that there’s something to it…
Here’s one theory: eliminating simple carbs can help stabalize blood sugar throughout the day. Could that be helping? I have no idea – but i should probably go back to my diet.
I was wheat-free for 9 days (as a part of a diet, not because of my headaches) and didn’t notice a difference in them. Now, the only gluten I’m getting is from cereal, and still no change.
However, I’ve been getting more frequent “mini-migraines” ::sigh:: I don’t know if it’s the heat or summer in general (more frequent rain).
I have to say though, trying a food elimination diet isn’t a bad idea, or at least trying to eliminate processed food/chemicals.
I hope you find some pattern so you can find relief.
I am obviously a bit biased on the non-dairy side (as you can see from my website), but my sister isn’t. I have never suffered with migraines, but she was tortured by them since her teens. I suggested she cut out dairy, and she did for one month. Her migraines vanished, but she has trouble sticking with the diet. Each time she cheats, the migraines return. This is obviously her sensitivity, though milk is a common trigger.
On the gluten-free side, I have been toying with the diet myself, and though I am not certain if it has helped me, I do feel much better when I eat the wider variety of grains that seem to come with a GF diet. So, I kind of have to agree with the healthy comment. Just a note!
Hey there, well my month gluten-free was definitely interesting. I think I had significant improvements – and now that I’m doing a month on a regular diet, I can really see the difference. But even during my GF month, I still had bad bad days. So I think that while it might be better overall for somethings, it’s no magic bullet for everything. But I keep playing with it… probably will go GF again in August. Good luck with it – thanks for writing about it!
I read your post with interest, as after thinking foods as a headache trigger were overated, I’ve been trying to move to an all-organic diet in hopes of a lower headache pain level.
After being in Spain for a week with very low cdh pain, my doctor thought it might be because they are less perservatives and additives in European food, in general.
So, I’ve been trying my best to stick to an organic diet for about three weeks now. Besides feeling healthier, I haven’t noticed much of a difference in my headache pain.
The other night, after eating all natural ice cream, my migraine came on strong! So, I’ve cut dairy out of my diet for the past two days. I haven’t had a strong migraine, but the cdh pain level hasn’t gone down significantly either…
I haven’t tried to be wheat or gluten free.