Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2014 Nov 21;5:241.
doi: 10.3389/fneur.2014.00241. eCollection 2014.

Migraine Associated With Gastrointestinal Disorders: Review of the Literature and Clinical Implications

Free PMC article

Migraine Associated With Gastrointestinal Disorders: Review of the Literature and Clinical Implications

Saskia van Hemert et al. Front Neurol. .
Free PMC article


Recent studies suggest that migraine may be associated with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel syndrome, and celiac disease. Here, an overview of the associations between migraine and GI disorders is presented, as well as possible mechanistic links and clinical implications. People who regularly experience GI symptoms have a higher prevalence of headaches, with a stronger association with increasing headache frequency. Children with a mother with a history of migraine are more likely to have infantile colic. Children with migraine are more likely to have experienced infantile colic compared to controls. Several studies demonstrated significant associations between migraine and celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and IBS. Possible underlying mechanisms of migraine and GI diseases could be increased gut permeability and inflammation. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to investigate these mechanisms further in migraine patients. These mechanisms also give a rationale to investigate the effects of the use of pre- and probiotics in migraine patients.

Keywords: celiac disease; colic; gastroparesis; inflammatory bowel disease; irritable bowel syndrome; leaky gut; migraine; probiotics.


Figure 1
Figure 1
The microbiota-gut-brain axis.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 19 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Launer LJ, Terwindt GM, Ferrari MD. The prevalence and characteristics of migraine in a population-based cohort: the GEM study. Neurology (1999) 53:537–42.10.1212/WNL.53.3.537 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Bond DS, Roth J, Nash JM, Wing RR. Migraine and obesity: epidemiology, possible mechanisms and the potential role of weight loss treatment. Obes Rev (2011) 12:e362–71.10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00791.x - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Waeber C, Moskowitz MA. Migraine as an inflammatory disorder. Neurology (2005) 64:S9–1510.1212/WNL.64.10_suppl_2.S9 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Wang SJ, Chen PK, Fuh JL. Comorbidities of migraine. Front Neurol (2010) 1:16. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Monteith T, Goadsby P. Acute migraine therapy: new drugs and new approaches. Curr Treat Options Neurol (2011) 13:1–14.10.1007/s11940-010-0105-6 - DOI - PMC - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources