Final piece of the puzzle - Can gluten be linked to sinus pain?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 06, 2013 at 9:31 PM

I've been a long time lurker here and I'm hoping someone out there can help me with this last issue. I'll try and keep the back story short!

I started experiencing stabbing pains above my left eyebrow about three years ago. The pain was intense, brief, but strong enough to take my breath away. The pain seemed to come in clusters, happening a couple of times a day then a day without. It was accompanied by pressure behind my eye and pain radiating down to my top molars as well as dizziness and a general sense of there being something very wrong. Unfortunately it all also coincided with the onset of birth control related migraines (which I had to stop taking), so the pains were all grouped together as one issue. The pain continued and thinking I had a blood-clot, tumor, or an absorbed twin fetus growing in my head, I went to the doctor. Had MRI, blood work, CT scans, the works and was diagnosed with either "ice pick headaches" or "trigeminal neualgia" both of which have no cure or real treatment. Great.

While all this was going on, I was working at Subway and consuming a footlong sub pretty much every day. I started to experience blood sugar issues wherein I couldn't go more than a few hours without eating something or I'd start to get hypoglycemic. (Side note - it got so bad that I fainted a few times during exercise. Doctor's recommendation was to eat a candy bar half way through my workout...) I also ate a SAD, mostly whole grains and little veggies.

About 6 months ago I went to a new doctor, an osteopath about a sinus infection. I mentioned my chronic issues and he just offhandedly said, "Sounds like you're allergic to something." This led me down the path to Paleo via an elimination diet and I've never felt better! It's like a complete 180 from how I felt before and I'm convinced that I was literally ODing on gluten.

So my question (thank you for reading this far!!) is this: Has anyone else experienced these or similar symptoms because of gluten? The doctors I have spoken with are hesitant to link them and aren't very supportive of paleo in general. Listening to my body and tracking my food is enough proof for me, but it'd be great to hear if anyone else has the same reaction. I "cheated" last night with half a Red Lobster cheddar biscuit and I've been paying for it today with a few stabby pains (totally worth it).

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on February 06, 2013
at 10:50 PM

Gluten can create migraines, allergies, you name it. If it's better on gluten-free, then you were gluten-intolerant and you didn't know it. Just like 90% of us around here.

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on February 06, 2013
at 11:13 PM

In general, I think many people here have had similar symptoms and experience: gluten is ingested, inflammatory pathways are upregulated, and discomfort occurs in the most vulnerable body part.

Specifically, I've had similar brief stabby pains with pressure behind the left eye, often accompanied by increased heart rate and uneasy feelings, except that mine has tended to radiate upward. I get migraine throbbing there, and that's a separate but related sensation, which is not worth any amount of Red Lobster biscuits or Subway sandwiches.


on February 07, 2013
at 12:49 PM

Migraine for me.

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