IBD & Migraines: Increased Risk?

March 2, 2013 at 7:46 pm 2 comments

Did you know that people with inflammatory bowel disease may be at a higher risk for migraines than those without the diseases?

That’s what a new study from researchers at Columbia University are reporting.

Dr. Peter Green of Columbia University conducted a study of patients with Celiac Disease, IBD, gluten sensitivity, and those with none of the conditions and the prevalence/frequency of migraine headaches. Originally trying to find a link between Celiac and migraines, the researcher soon was surprised by the rate of migraines among patients with IBD.

In an article in Medscape Medical News, Dr. Green said,

“We primarily wanted to study migraine rates in celiac patients as there have been several reports suggesting celiac patients may have an increased prevalence of headaches, but no studies have included a control group. We included two control groups — one made up of healthy volunteers and another made up of patients with inflammatory bowel disease because we wanted a GI [gastrointestinal] disease control as well. We didn’t think the inflammatory bowel disease group would actually show a high rate of migraine too.

Dr. Green looked at 502 participants in the study: 188 with Celiac, 111 with IBD, 25 with gluten sensitivity, and 178 controls (without any of the aforementioned conditions). The results of the study showed that chronic headaches were reported by 23 percent of patients with inflammatory bowel disease ( as well as 30 percent with Celiac, 56 percent with gluten sensitivity, and 14 percent with the controls).

Dr. Green states that the increased risk of headache in IBD patients suggests it could be inflammation.

You can check out the full study as published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain here.



Entry filed under: General Disease, IBD News, Treatment.

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