Migraines and Autoimmune Disease: Are They Connected?

migraines and autoimmune disease

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Migraines and Autoimmune Disease seem to go hand in hand for some women.

Is there a connection?

Living with migraines is no simple task. 

You may find yourself tiptoeing around life praying you won’t trigger another migraine.

Being a migraine sufferer myself, I’ve spent many days in a fog of pain waiting for it to break.

Often I could feel the symptoms coming on early before the head pain started.

I had mood disturbances, neck pain, and temperature changes before my migraine.

Common migraine symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and smells
  • Neck pain
  • Feeling warm or cold
  • Intense pain in your head
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Mood disturbances

I’ve learned how making dramatic changes to my lifestyle stopped future migraines and wanted to share them with you.

What you need to know about migraines and autoimmune disease

Migraines have triggers

Migraine triggers can be different for everyone. It’s important to know your body and learn what your triggers are.

I used to think my migraines were random but that wasn’t the case.

After using a journal to detail every day, I began to see a pattern of triggers that were causing migraines.

Sometimes it was a day or two before that would cause inflammation leading to a trigger.

Keeping a food journal is vital for finding out your migraine triggers.

Chemicals and migraines

Many people who suffer from migraines are sensitive to chemicals.

If you even light a candle or spray perfume around me I will leave.

Fragrances are a huge trigger for me and can be found in candles, cleaners, perfume, lotions, air fresheners, and laundry detergent.

I will not risk getting a migraine so I can smell your perfume. It’s not worth days of pain and nausea.

If you spend any time with me you will notice I buy unscented in most products.

I have a small exception, I do tolerate most essential oils since they are not chemicals but actual plant oils.

Inflammation and migraines

Every person I’ve seen work on reducing inflammation has an improvement in their migraines.

Inflammation is the main reason for migraines and most inflammation comes from food.

Your body wasn’t designed to handle buckets of chemicals, additives, food coloring, sugar, and preservatives. 

Constant sugar will spike inflammation because we were not meant to consume that much.

There is talk about classifying migraines as an autoimmune disease since many that suffer from migraines have other autoimmune issues as well.

For me, it turned into a constant guessing game of what food would cause me another migraine.

Migraines and Autoimmune Disease

I don’t think its coincidence that autoimmune disease and migraines affect mostly women.

It’s very common for migraine sufferers to also have autoimmune symptoms.

Even more common for migraine sufferers to display Lupus symptoms. (source)

I personally deal with Hashimotos and lupus symptoms with migraines.

Most autoimmune diseases have migraines listed as a symptom and it’s a common complaint among women.

Seeing how closely these are connected prompted me to try the AIP Diet for my migraines.

The AIP diet greatly reduces inflammation so I didn’t see how it could make my migraines worse.

It also cuts out any foods that you could possibly be allergic to so surely that will reduce migraines as well.

AIP Diet for Migraines

If you suffer from chronic migraines, you can’t just live life as normal and hope they go away.

If you don’t make dramatic changes you will continue to get migraines and lose days of your life away from family and friends.

I speak from experience.

I’ve tried many of the prescription migraine medications on the market and I have to report with sadness I haven’t found the magic pill.

I’m not against pain meds during a migraine, I know the pain can be intense.

There wasn’t anything out there that I used that stopped future migraines except for dramatic changes to my lifestyle.

The Autoimmune Paleo Diet is the only thing I have found that stops me from getting a future migraine.

It removes all of the possible foods that can trigger inflammation or autoimmune symptoms.

You can actually feel the inflammation leaving your body while on Autoimmune Paleo. 

I wish I could go back and talk to my younger self and explain the importance of reducing inflammation for migraines.

Starting the AIP Diet

Beginning any new diet can be very difficult depending on where you are at with food.

If you are eating the Standard American Diet, changing to AIP is going to seem overwhelming but it is absolutely possible.

The Autoimmune Elimination Program takes women from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to the Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP).

It’s a step by step program for women who suffer from autoimmune symptoms including migraines.

You will be assisted every step of the way and meet a loving community to share your wins and struggles with.

It’s a proven fact you will stick to any diet longer if you have others to surround you and support you.

That’s why I love this Autoimmune Elimination Program.

Yes, you could look up the AIP foods list on Pinterest and try to eat according to the list.

I’ve tried that and failed.

I NEEDED a meal plan, recipes, videos, and help from a program to guide me through those first 30 days.

You owe it to your body, your family, and your loved ones to start feeling better and put migraines behind you.

At least hop on over to the Autoimmune Elimination Program and see some of the amazing testimonies!

You could have full support for your migraines with this program tomorrow!

If you have migraines and autoimmune disease please comment below so we can hear your story.

migraines and autoimmune disease



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  1. I have had migraines for a year sand a half/ to which I have had this strong one for 7 days now. I have gone to 2 different ER’s with no relief. I asked about Auto Immune disease and they told me they can’t test for that with migraines. I was given Fioricet which I found out can give a small relief but then bring the migraines back on even stronger which was so true. I need help with these migraines.

    1. I’m sorry you are struggling because I know how painful migraines can be. There really is no great tests for autoimmune diseases. They can look for inflammation markers, antibodies, and use symptoms to narrow things down. I would suggest going on an elimination diet like AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) and keeping a journal of everything you are eating. You should find cutting out certain foods to be very helpful in your migraines. Dairy and gluten being the biggest culprits for most people.

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