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Can Constipation Cause A Migraine

Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome


In this often difficult to diagnose disorder, there is a temporary narrowing or spasm of a blood vessel surrounding the brain. The resulting loss of blood flow, although not usually permanent, causes a sudden, very painful headache, often, but not always, accompanied by other symptoms such as temporary changes in vision, consciousness, strength, or sensation. The cause of this phenomenon may be related to an individualâs blood vessels 1563 Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain VC 2016 American Headache Society Published by JohnWiley & Sons, Inc. doi: 10.1111/head.12950 being prone to spasm, or the spasm may come from a medication such as birth control pills, or from marijuana, cocaine, or stimulants. Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome can be difficult to diagnose without immediate magnetic resonance angiography , really an MRI of the blood vessels, or CT angiogram , basically a CT of the blood vessels, imaging of these blood vessels. Once the problem has resolved, the blood vessels can appear completely normal. Medications may be used to decrease the tendency for blood vessels to spasm, but the effectiveness of these treatments is not completely known. Avoiding substances that increase the likelihood of spasm may be the best option.

Top 10 Gift Ideas For People With Migraine

As the holidays are approaching, its time to start thinking about holiday shopping. I know what you are thinking. It’s not even Thanksgiving and we are talking about holiday shopping?! Ugh. All of the ‘experts’ in retail sales are recommending shopping early this year due to the supply chain issues many of us are facing. Many people, especially those of us with migraine or other chronic illnesses find holiday shopping overwhelming and stressful. And that’s without having issues with finding gifts or getting them delivered on time. We have assembled some options for the person with migraine on your gift list !

Constipation And Headaches Can Coexist In Many Medical Conditions


Migraines are a debilitating type of headaches that mainly affects young people. Migraine causes severe, one-sided headaches, visual disturbances, nausea, and headaches.

Some experts believe that straining at defecation can trigger migraines. This article mentions that if you open your mouth when straining on the toilet, you can prevent migraine headaches. I am not convinced about that. In my opinion, constipation is a symptom of migraine, not a cause.

Also Check: How Common Are Visual Migraines

Headaches Constipation And Preexisting Conditions

One link between headaches and constipation is celiac disease, says NIDDK. This digestive disorder affects people who are hypersensitive to gluten. Gluten is a protein most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley, and it is a key ingredient in pasta, bread, cookies and cakes.

When people with celiac disease eat gluten, they can develop bloating, diarrhea, nausea and constipation. And among adults with celiac disease, headaches are not uncommon. A study reported in the November 2014 issue of Frontiers in Neurology found a link between celiac disease and a heightened risk for migraines.

The solution to preventing a celiac-driven bout of constipation and headaches is straightforward, if restrictive. “The only way to treat celiac disease is complete avoidance of foods with gluten,” says Lona Sandon, PhD, RDN, program director and associate professor of clinical nutrition at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. That means there’s absolutely no room for leeway: “You cannot sometimes eat gluten with celiac disease,” she stresses.

Premenstrual syndrome is another common source of both headaches and constipation, according to the National Headache Foundation. So are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, a painful muscular disorder, according to the University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.

Read more:Does Oatmeal Help Cure Constipation?

Ibs Treatment And Home Care

Can constipation cause a headache? What to know

Nearly all people with IBS can get help, but no single treatment works for everyone. You and your doctor will need to work together to find the right treatment plan to manage your symptoms.

Many things can trigger IBS symptoms, including certain foods, medicines, the presence of gas or stool, and emotional stress. Youâll need to learn what your triggers are. You may need to make some lifestyle changes and take medication.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Usually, with a few basic changes in diet and activities, IBS will improve over time. Here are some tips to help ease symptoms:

  • Avoid caffeine .
  • Add fiber to your diet with foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
  • Drink at least three to four glasses of water per day.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Learn to relax, either by getting more exercise or by reducing stress in your life.
  • Limit how much milk or cheese you eat.
  • Eat smaller meals more often instead of big meals.
  • Keep a record of the foods you eat so you can figure out which foods bring on bouts of IBS.

Common food “triggers” are red peppers, green onions, red wine, wheat, and cow’s milk. If you’re concerned about getting enough calcium, you can try to get it from other foods, like broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, tofu, yogurt, sardines, salmon with bones, calcium-fortified orange juice and breads, or calcium supplements.


The following types of drugs are used to treat IBS:

Other treatments can help with symptoms of IBS:

Belly pain and bloating


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Check Your Medicine Cabinet

Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs caution that constipation and headaches are both possible side effects. Opiate pain medicines are one example, according to Harvard Medical School. These powerful painkillers are notorious for making it difficult to move your bowels. And frequent opioid use can boost your risk of chronic migraine, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

Indeed, sometimes medications specifically designed to treat one of the two conditions can occasionally trigger the other. That is the case with triptans, including sumatriptan , according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Prescribed for the treatment of migraines, in some cases the drug can cause both constipation and rebound headaches.

Other drugs that sometimes cause both headaches and constipation include cholesterol-lowering statins such as atorvastatin and simvastatin , and high blood pressure diuretics, such as chlorothiazide and amiloride , according to the U.K. National Health Service. Headache and constipation are also side effects of calcium channel blockers, another type of blood pressure medicine, says the American Heart Association.

Get Educated About Ibs And Migraine

When it comes to controlling migraine and IBS, different treatments work for different people. As a first step toward finding relief for your IBS and migraine symptoms, talk to your healthcare professional.

You can also learn more about IBS online at the website of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and at AboutIBS, the website of the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders.

Additional reporting by Ashley Welch and Becky Upham.

Recommended Reading: Migraine Equivalent Symptoms

Tip : Stimulate Your Stomach Points With Acupressure

The best thing about acupressure is that you can do it at home.

You can start to assist your constipation with self massage and by using this targeted acupuncture point for the stomach – Stomach-25, or ST25, .

To locate the Stomach-25 point, “place three fingers parallel and alongside the center of the bellybutton. The point is at the edge of the last finger, three fingers away from the center of the bellybutton.

In order to stimulate Stomach-25, use your finger tips to firmly and gently massage the area. The best time for this massage is from 5am-9am, which is when the energy runs strongest through the Stomach and Large Intestine acupuncture channels.”

1.Using small counter-clockwise circles, massage the point directly for several minutes until the area feels warm.

2.Next, massage the entire abdomen. Create a circle, moving from right to left. So from your right hip, up towards your ribs, across the top to the left and then down the left side. Following the shape of the intestines.

3.Continue using this gentle circular massage until the area feels softer and warm and you may find that your breath deepens giving you a more relaxed feeling.

And a pressure point routine for migraine headaches here – A Pressure Point Routine: How To Get It Right

Natural Remedies For Dizziness Relief That You Need To Know

Poor memory , prostate,swelling , constipation , bronchitis , migraines , insomnia ,eczema

One of the hardest parts about living with a vestibular disorder is dealing with constant dizziness. Its such a terribly unpleasant and unsettling sensation. Feeling dizziness daily is exhausting more than most people know. Our brains use so much energy in attempting to compensate for dizziness. Did you know doctors actually consider ‘Dizzy’ to be an all-encompassing, vague word to describe the many types of symptoms we experience. Dizziness can include anything from feeling faint, disorientation, general imbalance, rocking and swaying, dropping and bouncing sensations to full on whirling vertigo. I’m hoping the many natural remedies for dizziness relief discussed here will help ease all of these symptoms for you.

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Other Common Causes Of Constipation

Constipation is also one of the noted side effects of Aimovig, a new preventative drug that blocks the neuropeptide CGRP.

Lastly, constipation is related to stress, dehydration, and decreased appetite. All of these factors can lead to Migraine attacks or tension headaches.

Skipping meals, not getting enough water, and allowing stress to take over are all Migraine triggers. Since constipation can indirectly trigger a Migraine attack, it makes sense that staying regular leads to better overall health and fewer attacks.

Changes In The Weather

Storms, excessive heat and changes in barometric pressure are common weather-related migraine triggers that can lead to a migraine attack. High humidity and heat can easily lead to dehydration, another common trigger.

How to cope: We cant control the weather, so if the current conditions are not favorable for your migraine, stay inside or adjust your schedule accordingly. If theres an errand you need to run and its the middle of July in Arizona, take care of it in the morning before it gets too hot!

Recommended Reading: Do Migraines Ever Go Away

Head Injury Causing The Later Onset Of A Severe Headache

Depending on the age of the individual, a severe headache can occur hours to days after a mild-to-moderate head injury. This can result in what is called an epidural hemorrhage or bleed, most common in younger patients, or a subdural hematoma or bleed, more common in older people. A thrombosis or clot in the veins surrounding the brain can also be triggered by an injury. This is why people, even those who have already been to the emergency department, had a CT, and had normal neurological examinations, need to be re-evaluated immediately if they develop a new or worse headache, or any new weakness, decreased awareness, speech problems, or unusual symptoms in the days following an injury.

How Are Migraines And Constipation Connected

Does Constipation Cause Migraine Headaches?

serotonin –

The second shared trait is the prevalence of psychological disorders, like depression, in people who experience both migraines and constipation. Depression also involves serotonin in the brain, so it appears there is some connection with Migraine and other serotonin-related disorders.

It’s a virtual pain party to which depression, touch sensitivity, Migraine, and constipation are all invited.

Recommended Reading: Verapamil Migraine Side Effects

Pregnancy And Sudden New Headaches And Pituitary Apoplexy

In pregnancy, sudden new headaches may signal different disorders, particularly late in pregnancy. Dangerous and unexpected elevations in blood pressure can signal a condition called eclampsia, also requiring immediate evaluation and treatment. During pregnancy or soon after delivery, the pituitary gland, controlling many important hormones, can bleed causing changes in blood pressure, vision, and severe pain. This cause of thunderclap headache is called pituitary apoplexy.

Ibs Symptoms Should Be Considered When Choosing Migraine Medications

When I have a person with symptoms that sound like IBS, I usually recommend that they see a gastroenterologist to be evaluated, says Spears.

If you see two different specialists for your migraine and IBS, make sure to tell each doctor about the medications you are taking and the symptoms you are experiencing, he says. There are some medications used for migraine that may exacerbate IBS symptoms, such as constipation or diarrhea.

The treatment plan for migraine can depend on the symptoms of the IBS, says Spears.

If constipation is a symptom, Ill try to stay away from migraine preventives that are going to promote that, such as some of the tricyclic antidepressants or calcium channel blockers. If the person is prone to diarrhea and has a hard time keeping things down, Ill stay away from certain antidepressants such as SNRIs , which tend to speed the gut up, he says.

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Ibs Migraine And Constipation

This type of GI upset is sometimes referenced as part of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Constipation . According to a comprehensive article in the Annals of Gastroenterology, 10-20% of the adult Western countries have IBS symptoms. From that same article, it was estimated that IBS-C has an estimated prevalence of 35% of those with IBS.

Women are 3 times more likely to have constipation than men. And, as you probably already know, women have a much higher prevalence of migraine than men. But, maybe there is a causative link or behavior that leads to more frequent attacks of both. Might constipation cause migraine headache attacks? Maybe its part of prodrome .

** This article is written for information purposes only. It is not medical advice or a substitute for medical advice. Consult your doctor for any changes to your care plan.**

Diseases That Commonly Coexist With Migraine

Can constipation cause headaches

Migraine is a complex brain disorder that is believed to result from a slew of factors including trigeminal nerve fiber activation, serotonin release, structural brain changes, genetics, and a phenomenon called central sensitization, to name a few.

In addition to migraine’s fascinating and tangled biology, this neurological disorder is also believed to coexist with a number of health conditions.

Gaining knowledge about these conditions may provide clues into your migraine and overall health, and potentially even affect your treatment plans.

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Don’t Miss Interviews With Dr Amaal Starling + More Experts On The 2019 Migraine World Summit

Paula: Are there any other non-oral treatments, like some of the neuromodulation devices, that would be appropriate for somebody who’s got nausea and vomiting with their attacks?

Dr. Starling: Yes, so the other concept is that if we can treat early, then we may be able to prevent nausea and vomiting from occurring. Some of the neuromodulation devices, like the single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation device, are recommended for early treatment.

Studies have shown that if we treat early with that device, we’re able to prevent nausea and vomiting from even occurring.

Paula: Are there any options that might work for a stomach ache with a Migraine attack, like ginger?

Dr. Starling: I’m a proponent of anything that is not a medication that can be added onto medication treatments or non-oral treatments for pain as well as for nausea and vomiting. Ginger can be helpful.

Some patients have used B6 which can be helpful as well for nausea. Other patients have used the Sea-Bands that activate acupressure points. Other individuals will simply use acupressure points and acupuncture to help with nausea and vomiting.

Paula: Anything else you would like to add about overcoming nausea and vomiting?

Dr. Starling: The one thing that I really would like to emphasize is how debilitating nausea and vomiting is. I want to emphasize this to empower patients to make sure that when you meet with your doctor, that you talk to them about your treatment options for your GI symptoms.

A Great Place To Get Quality Enzymes

This is what I take now… it’s been about 10 years and I am very happy with the results:

1 Bio-Gest with each meal, and 2 or 3 Betaine HCL & Pepsin. That might be way too much for you, so check with a naturopath or your nutritionist.

Amazon is a very reliable place to buy reasonably priced vitamins.

I hope you found this information useful to help determine if you feel poor digestion is a migraine trigger for you. There’s more on migraine management in my course, here’s the link.

Digestion Problems References:1. Barron, Jon Digestive Enzymes – Raw Food Newsletter. , Available at: Accessed Feb. 24, 2012. Material originally published at Copyright © 1999-2011. Baseline of Health® Foundation. Used by permission of the Baseline of Health® Foundation. All rights reserved worldwide.2.Barron, Jon Choosing Your Digestive Enzymes Newsletter. , Available at: Accessed Feb. 24, 2012.3.Kirschmann, G.J. and Kirschmann J.D. Nutrition Almanac McGraw-Hill International Editions: Sydney. pp.224 – 238.4.Pitchford, P. Healing with Whole Foods . North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, CA. pp. 572 and 643.


Also Check: Aventyl For Migraines

What Causes Constipation

Any number of things could cause constipation. Stress is a big one. The question started as does constipation cause migraine headaches… well migraine headaches can sure cause constipation too. With slow stomach motility and side effects from medications… you are vulnerable.

Here are a few more things that can cause constipation:

  • Inadequate or low stomach acid
  • Overconsumption of alcohol, sugar, birth control pills, or NSAIDs
  • Digestive diseases like Celiac, Crohns, ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Botulinum Toxin Type A

Can constipation cause a headache? What to know

In June 2012, NICE recommended the use of a medicine called botulinum toxin type A by headache specialists to prevent headaches in some adults with long-term migraine.

Botulinum toxin type A is a type of nerve toxin that paralyses muscles.

It’s not exactly clear why this treatment can be effective for migraine.

NICE recommends that this treatment can be considered as an option for people who have chronic migraine that has not responded to at least 3 previous preventative medical treatments.

Under the NICE guidelines, botulinum toxin type A should be given by injection to between 31 and 39 sites around the head and back of the neck.

A new course of treatment can be given every 12 weeks.

Recommended Reading: How Common Are Visual Migraines


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