Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2015-08-07
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
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Can your “diet” provide relief from migraines?
Kristin shared her 6-month Wheat Belly experience:
“Thank you for your books and blog. They have changed my life for the better. I have been a yo-yo dieter all my life, each time gaining more weight back. I was always tired and had migraines several days a week. Now 6 months in and 55 lbs lighter, I feel great and rarely get migraines!”
Kristin’s experience once again highlights that, yes, the Wheat Belly lifestyle achieves substantial weight loss in the majority (who don’t begin with hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction, substantial dysbiosis, etc.), but it also eliminates a source–wheat and grains–of so many health problems such as chronic migraine headaches.
While we know that there is an association between migraine headaches and celiac disease, we’ve had far too many people experience total or near-total relief from migraines to believe that they all have celiac disease, a condition that applies to only 1% of the population. Many have also been tested for celiac disease via antibody testing (endomysium or transglutaminase antibodies) and are negative.
My suspicion is that migraine headaches have nothing to do with celiac disease, but they have everything to do with some component of wheat and grains that provokes the vasospasm that defines this condition–gliadin, gliadin-derived peptides, the absorbed microgram quantities of wheat germ agglutinin, or one of the other dozens of proteins/peptides that result from wheat and grain consumption. An autoimmune mechanism, as in celiac disease, seems unlikely. But some blood-borne inflammatory, endothelial-disruptive (the endothelium lines blood vessels), or other mechanism seems more plausible. There are triggers for migraines beyond some component of wheat and grains in others, such as the tyramine of cheeses or MSG, though it’s tough to discern why such disparate triggers exist.
Nonetheless, whether or not we understand the “why,” we see this wonderful story play out over and over again: the impressive relief from migraine headaches by banishing all wheat and grains–the seeds of grasses, indigestible by humans–from the diet . . . while dropping weight without effort, losing the visceral fat of the waist, reversing inflammation, and looking and feeling better than you have in years.