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No one knows exactly why headaches occur, but there are some triggers and risk factors. For example, a person with a family history of headaches has an increased risk of having headaches. The headache can develop gradually or suddenly and can last from less than an hour to a few days. The headache may be felt as a sharp pain or a throbbing pain located on one or both sides of the head.

People with headaches usually have other health problems, and new research indicates that people with celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and gluten sensitivity have a higher risk of headaches than the general population. Headache can even be an early symptom of celiac disease in some people. Many people with celiac disease report having a headache after eating gluten. Some people with celiac disease say that the headache improves after starting a strict gluten-free diet.

It is important to test for celiac disease before starting a gluten-free diet. Your doctor may recommend specific blood tests or an endoscopy to see if there is any damage to the small intestine.

If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet can help you reduce the number and severity of headache episodes or even eliminate them completely. It is not yet clear why eliminating gluten from the diet could influence headaches, but it is probably related to the inflammation caused by ingesting gluten (inflammation is thought to play an important role in headaches).

If you want to find out about infertility, check out our article on this topic: Is there a connection between infertility and celiac disease?

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