Colitis Expert Forum
Headaches
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Headaches

I have Ulcerative Colitis with constipation( rarely, diarrhea), diverticulitis, and chronic proctitis. I use Rowasa enemas when I start to get a rectal flare of bloody mucus. They usually help those symptoms calm down quickly.
For years I have had this headache scenario once to several times a month and can't figure out what causes it. I've paid attention to diet, stress levels etc. but have found no common denominator, can make no connection to what might trigger an episode.
It goes like this:
I wake up with a severe headache, I guess something like a migraine but the headache fills my head and goes all  down my spine. I will have a bad low backache and the pain goes right down to my rectum where it hurts and feels like there is a baseball bat sitting inside. I feel lots of pressure like I need to pass rectal gas but I can not pass it. I usually have constipation or diverticulitis pocket poops that are hard round  balls ( think dum dum candy) when I am in this mode, but have the same happen with out headaches too. Nothing I do alleviates these headaches. I drink lots and lots of water everyday, it makes no difference.
This kind of headache never clears up  before I go to bed. I just wake up the next morning and it's gone. Now and then it will last through two days.
I am so tired of dealing with this, it is very painful.Tylenol doesn't do anything for, nor the TramadolI have been on for chronic back  and neck pain.
  I have never been able to get an answer from my doctors as to what to do or why it happens.
Is this just caused by my colon issues?
Any insight on this problem?
Related Discussions
Avatar_m_tn
Hi Simonuse,
5 ASA group of drugs used in the treatment of IBD can cause head ache as one of its side effects. Rowasa belongs to 5 ASA group of drugs.
Your head ache might be due to that drug.
Discuss with your gastro doctor regarding change in the treatment.
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The information provided is for patients’ education only and is not a medical advice. Always consult your personal physician for complete evaluation of your health problem.

- Ratnakar Kini M.D.
4 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm just wondering if anyone is active here?
Any feedback to my post?
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the reply.
This headache "syndrome" goes way back before I ever used Rowasa.
But I know what you are talking about , because my  CRS put me on both Asacol and Rowasa last year. They were very effective in bringing a long and horrible ordeal of mis- diagnosed active UC under control.(Previous Dr said I had hemmy's.) Long story!
The Asacol in  particular gave me bad headaches and turned my urine a brick color,  and the Rowasa enemas sometimes gave me a backache with in minutes of using it. The Dr however, did not agree these things had anything to do with the meds. Those effects are listed on the pt info sheet so I do not know why this Dr did not take that into consideration. He said no other pts complained of these side effects.
Basically, I just stopped taking the Asacol of my own accord and now I only use the Rowasa for a week when the rectal symptoms of bleeding return. I could not go along with staying on the Asacol for the full year he was reccommending.I knew it was not doing me good to have those side effects.
I am allergic to steroids so my options for a flare up are limited.
I try to go a little holistic by using Fish Oil, Flax oil, Tumeric and try to avoid constipation.
Somehow there  seems to be a connection to the headaches with constipation, because now and then a successful BM will stop the headache in it's tracks..... but not always.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Simonsue,
Constipation do not cause head ache by itself. Not many with constipation complain of head ache. What I feel is that your head ache might be secondary to stress.
But anyway, if  head ache persists, you consult a neurologist.

Fish oil, flax oil, turmeric have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects by a number of studies.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The information provided is for patients’ education only and is not a medical advice. Always consult your personal physician for complete evaluation of your health problem.

- Ratnakar Kini M.D.

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