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Headaches/Migraines Related to Large Bowel Problems.

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Hi

 

Does anyone else get headaches or migraines related to (nerve pressure?) their large bowel? I have EDS and also IBS and gastroparesis. If I have bowel gas or a stool in the lower bowel I get severe headaches and migraines (nausea, poor vision, delirium). They affect the whole of my head and I get pulsing pain around my eyes, usually the left one and around my temples. I also get lots of sharp shooting pains. They started to come on in 2013, after seeing a chiropractor, and this last two months have gotten increasingly worse. Even if a small amount of soft stool is in my lower bowel, then I get excruciating headaches. When I have passed anything, I get pain for another two hours or more. The only thing I can do is lie down and wait for it to subside or sleep if I can. I have tried anti-spasmodics and anti-inflammatories. I am already taking Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Nortriptyline and even if I up my doses nothing touches it. I have removed as many gas-creating foods as is possible from my diet and I take a probiotic. I'm not sure what else to do. Any ideas welcome. 

 

Also around the time the headaches came on the pressure in my eyes indicated Glaucoma. Is there a connection? I have had my intracranial pressure checked and it's fine. My headaches are more crown, temple and eye area. My sinuses are fine. 

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Hi,  tcp...  Have you ever looked into abdominal migraines?   Also,  not sure if this past thread will be helpful to you: 

 

My gastroparesis has been awful lately. The pain is horrible.  My gi doctor scheduled a breath test to look for any bacteria. Have you had one of those?  

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Hi SarahA33

 

Thanks for your reply and link. I have read through it and I'm not sure that it fits with me as I don't have abdominal pain and vomiting etc. It's the nerve pain and pressure in my head that figure with me. I have made a note of it though to check it out more. I don't see any consultant except my cardiologist and although he's really into many aspects of POTS, he isn't clued up about the various causes.  I shall read up some more to see if that could be the answer. 

Many thanks! 

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I've just had another check and most symptoms are supposed to be around the epigastrium, where my problem is with the large bowel/descending colon. 

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I don't have exactly the same thing. But, the lead up to my migraine pain in my head usually starts with severe nausea and often includes a bout of diarrhea right around the time my head pain starts. I don't necessarily have pain with the diarrhea. I don't believe the GI symptoms cause my migraines though. I think they are part of the migraine symptoms. The GI symptoms as well as my head pain are often relieved by taking Maxalt (rizatriptan) which is a migraine rescue medication.  The meds you mentioned are preventatives, not rescue meds. Have you tried any of the triptans as a rescue med? 

Regardless, what you're saying doesn't necessarily shock me. The GI tract and whatever goes on during  migraines are definitely linked.

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Hi Katybug

Thanks for your reply. From your symptoms, it sounds like other people I know who get migraines and nausea and diarrhoea are part of it. I am guessing that is what you are referring to in your case.  

Mine isn't like that, in respect that the head pain comes on with my bowel filling up in lower section. I don't get much bowel pain only twinges  and the last section of my lumbar spine sometimes gets very sore, but the head pain comes on and gets worse and then I do a bowel movement and the gut goes into spasm, then after 2+ hours the nervy pain in bowel and head generally subsides. Well, that's how it has been until more recently. 

I have had IBS since 1984 and I always had bowel spasm and constipation, from gastroparesis and adhesions (I rarely get diarrhoea). Since the POTS symptoms came on I have had nausea every single day from the time I get up until mid-pm and that's been for 10 years. The worsening headache issue came on after chiropractic work on my neck in 2013 and I wondered if that was linked. Then I was getting a headache when I had wind or a stool in my lower bowel, but it was fleeting. Going to the loo mainly eased it, although the gut spasm did affect my head. Now I seem to have head-gut pain everyday if I have hard or soft stools or gas. I have removed all gas producing foods and foods I am intolerant to, so I wonder if it is EDS, POTS, IBS or MCAD was behind it all? I am trying to figure out what is going on.

My sister is exactly the same and she has some signs of autonomic dysfunction, IBS and intolerances, too. No one else shows the signs of EDS like me or POTS, but IBS is in 3 generations of the family and other similar issues show. I do take a probiotic, but it hasn't helped. 

It is very strange. I will try a migraine medication. The worst head pain didn't budge when I took an anti-inflammatories, extra Nortriptyline and Gabapentin etc, as they were listed on several websites as being the best thing to take. I was already taking the meds as I am on them all the time for neuropathic pain (that I have all over my body) and they didn't stop the 3 day migraine from coming on. Once my bowel was settled again the head pain diminished although my head was very sore for days. 

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I haven't read through the other responses, but having stool in your intestines lowers blood pressure.  Sometimes when I'm constipated I don't feel well for days including headaches and other increase POTS symptoms.

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On 1/13/2017 at 8:45 PM, yogini said:

I haven't read through the other responses, but having stool in your intestines lowers blood pressure.  Sometimes when I'm constipated I don't feel well for days including headaches and other increase POTS symptoms.

You're the first person who has similar issues. I was beginning to think that it was just me. Rotten thing to put up with. I think my large bowel is the epicentre of my problems as head and neuropathic pain all get worse with bowel issues. 

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I think its sort of like having extra symptoms when your stomach is too full - blood flows there and not to your brain.  Same with the bowel.  I don't have gastroparesis.  I try to manage these symptoms with my diet, but I certainly get stuck in a rut with this every now and then, sometimes for a few weeks.  I used to take probiotics which helped, but got lazy.

I think dysautonomia is the main reason why my digestive system doesn't work well, and then the poor digestion makes my POTS symptoms worse. So frustrating!

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