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Avoiding Migraines with Wheat-Free Diet

Q. I suffered from migraine headaches for more than 10 years. I saw several neurologists, but my intense headaches forced me to take early retirement.
In the fall of 2002, I went from 3 headaches a week to almost non-stop. That November, I had only 3 days without headaches. I took migraine meds like Frova, Maxalt and Imitrex, but I mostly lay in bed in a dark room.
I was at my wit’s end. Then my family doctor suggested a gluten-free diet. Gradually my headaches became less frequent, and after several months I was 98 percent headache-free.
I feel I was given a new life! Please share my story so others can benefit.

A. Migraine is not often recognized as a symptom of celiac disease, but we have heard from others like you who suffered until they eliminated gluten from their diets. Celiac is more common than many physicians realize.
In this condition, sensitivity to gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye) can result in symptoms such as fatigue, anemia, nerve pain, memory loss, osteoporosis, infertility, flatulence, diarrhea and digestive tract distress.
We recently spoke with Peter Green, MD, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. He confirmed that migraines can be a symptom of celiac disease. Anyone who would like a CD of this hour-long interview show may send $15 in check or money order to: Graedons’ The People’s Pharmacy®, No. CD-558, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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