Association between gastrointestinal disorders and migraine: an integrative review


  • Carla Cristina Kanazawa
  • Juliane Soldi Malgarin Faculdades Pequeno Príncipe
  • Bruno Bertoli Esmanhotto



Migraine, Brain-gut axis, Inflammatory enteropathies



Migraine is a highly incapacitating type of primary headache, characterized by high prevalence and symptoms lasting from 4 to 72 hours. It is typically unilateral and pulsatile, often accompanied by nausea, hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, vomiting and intense fatigue, and it may or may not be preceded by an aura. Although the pathophysiology of migraine is not completely understood, several mechanisms involving the gut-brain  axis may explain the association between migraine and gastrointestinal disorders.


This review aims to analyze the influence of gastrointestinal disorders on migraine.


An integrative review was conducted by surveying articles in the LILACS, PubMed, and Scielo databases using relevant descriptors related to migraine and gastrointestinal disorders.


The research identified 31 articles, of which only 11 met the previously established criteria. All eligible articles demonstrated a correlation between migraine and gastrointestinal disorders, with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) being the most frequently mentioned condition.


Gastrointestinal disorders influence migraine, possibly through tryptophan metabolism and its associated pathways. Understanding these mechanisms may lead to new treatments. IBS stands out among the disorders associated with migraine, suggesting an integrative approach. Changes in diet and lifestyle, along with medications, are recommended. Early  identification of comorbidities can facilitate more effective migraine management. However, further research is needed to develop more effective treatments.


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How to Cite

Cristina Kanazawa C, Malgarin JS, Esmanhotto BB. Association between gastrointestinal disorders and migraine: an integrative review. Headache Med [Internet]. 2024 Jun. 29 [cited 2024 Jul. 14];15(2):47-53. Available from:




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