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Migraine before bowel movement
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Migraine before bowel movement

I am 24 and have been having Migraines for 2 years now. It started with the worst migraine I have ever had, non stop vomiting and delirium followed by a trip to the ER with CAT scan, MRI of my brain, and blood tests. All came back normal. After that I would get Migraines 1-4 times a week, severely effecting my work ability. I soon started seeing a neurologist that tried me on a variety of medicines including amitriptyline, nortriptyline, Depakote, and Topamax, and a blood pressure medication I forgot the name of. Nothing worked and I had horrible side effects to Topamax. 6 months ago she started me on Lyrica and I have been down to about one migraine a month. It has been a godsend!
Suddenly over the last 4 weeks I have been having a lot of headaches and a few migraines that all seem to happen about 15 minutes before I need to have a bowel movement. As soon as I start to get the headache, I can also feel that stool is being moved down, but I will not actually be able to have a bowel movement for several minutes after the headache starts. Also during this time I have been very irregular in the frequency and consistency of my stool. It has been softer than normal (though not diarrhea) even though I feel constipated at times. The headache will get much worse if I am unable to make a bowel movement immediately. For example my ride to work and back is one hour long and I am often unable to stop due to traffic. By the time I get to work it is a full blown Migraine, but as soon as I make a bowel movement the Migraine is gone within minutes. I feel like my stool is toxic and my body wants it out immediately.  
Some other random background info: I am a vegetarian (have been for 9 years) and have had no change to my diet recently. The only dairy product I consume is cheese.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? This could also be due to exertion headaches which present with generalized head pain of short duration during or following physical exertion such as running, jumping, and even sexual intercourse.This can also occur with passive exertion like sneezing, coughing, or bowel movements.  Check with your doctor for proper evaluation. Migraine medications taken prior to bowel movement may help. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
Kolet.
I am 50 and have been having the same experience for several years now. I get migraine headaches (relieved with sumatriptin).  The headaches improve after a bowel movement. The way you describe it is exactly how I experience it.  Last year I did some thorough googling on it and ran across an article or post that talked about serotonin reuptake inhibitors being stimulated/released during bowel movements.  If this is true, this may be an explanation for any migraine headache relief you may feel after a bowel movement.
Currently, I am suffering with a sinus headache and am having the same expereince of relief after BM.  I am also eating a mostly vegetarian diet (since about 2 months ago), but had the same experience when eating a regular diet as well.
Please post if you learn anything more about this.
Thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
I have exact same problem. Most the time the headache triggers after 4, 5 hours sleep. The headache gone right away after bowel movements. I do not know the trick to improve it, yet. I hope someone can find out a cure.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello Kolet!
I had (please note the past tense) the same problem until 1 year ago and had been suffering from this problem for almost 2 decades. I still remember the first attack when I was 14 years old (I am now 30). My parents thought it came from watching too much TV and playing computer games. They were wrong.
For years I could feel my neck gettins stiff and the slight hammering in my head started to annoy me and I knew "BM is on its way". Just like you wrote, it's not always possible to go to a toilet immedialty and the longer I waited the worse it got: the hammering in my brain was unbearable, my eyes were poking, nausea, vomiting some times, I was unable to speak properly or enjoy life. It was a mess. This pain was constantly with me and followed me around every 2 days, so just like you, between 2-4 times a week. The difference between you and me is that I felt sick even after the BM. This is why for years I did not realize the connection between the pain and the BM.
A couple of years ago I read somewhere that chocolate can cause headache. Out of curiosity I stopped eating it for a week and the headache disappeared. Not having a headache for a whole week was simply liberating! I stopped eating it for 6 months and started slowly again after this period. The pain came back. I then started to write down what I ate and made a list of things which could cause the severe pain: crisps, fried food in general, chocolate, certain cheeses, eggs. Still, it was not always possible to find out exactly what the problem was. Looking after what i ate certainly gave me the chance of avoiding feeling unwell.
Last year I moved country. Here in the UK I got invited to Sunday roast and as I arrived at my friend's place I could feel the hammering starting. I did not want to use their toilet and thought that the day was over for me. This was until they offered me what saved me: Black tea (Yorkshire tea is a really strong blend) with a bit of milk. The first mug did not really do much, but as soon as I drank the second one I felt my neck becoming softer and the hammering stopped.
I have been drinking the tea almost every day now and it has been a true blessing! I can feel the difference almost immedialty after the first sips. The hammering became less and less notable until it utterly disappeared. I truely believe that the pain and food intollerance (maybe even an allergy) are connected. I want to have some tests done soon and hopefully find out more.
Please give the black tea a try (but make sure that you have a toilet nearby as it is highly diuretic) and let me know if it works for you as well.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes, I have this problem about 2 times per week.

Migraine/headache/neck-tightness occurs (often when I wake up) and I will go and with 10 minutes the headache goes away.
Other times the symptoms will happen during the evening or night. It's worth sharing that the size of the bowel movements can vary but sometimes a great deal of pain seems to be related to ones that are quite small (eg: size of a pen cap). Sometimes I will go again 10 minutes after if the headache persists and then finally feel relief. This is not related to constipation.

Info about me:
- Fast metabolism
- Male
- 30 years of age
- Healthy weight (6' x 160 lbs)
- Eat regular meals 3x day

I will be monitoring my diet and exercise more closely to determine if there is a correlation but any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
I should also note that I don't experience the vomiting.
But I do agree it feels like my stool is toxic and needs to get out. Every last bit of it.
Do you drink coffee daily? Alcohol? Sugar?
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Avatar_m_tn
Do you drink coffee daily in addition to the black tea? I have 1 theory that this is partially related to caffiene withdrawal.
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Avatar_m_tn
How interesting.  I thought it was just me.  It's a weird thing to think taking a crap relieves my excruciating headache in the morning.  I have the sense that my stool must be toxic, but the relief of the headache subsequent defecating seems to be too immediate.  There don't seem to be any answers given above, but it's nice to know that I'm not the only one.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow I thought I was loosing my mind on this one .But it is a very real  problem with a lot of people I guess. Usually within a half hour of going to the toilet, my headaches go away.
If only my Dr. would recognize this as  a problem. He thinks this makes no since but its so real. Please if you know of anything that would help to explain this, it would be so welcoming.
Please contact me on email, for I can't always get in this site.
***@****

Thank You for letting me know I am not crazy here.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Mekka,

Whatever you have written, same thing I am also experiencing...I am offering every minute detail to my doctor but he is just not listening but after I saw this post I am now a bit relaxed as few others are also there who are experiencing the same effects....nobody takes it seriously....they asks for soo many tests and everything came normal.....I knew my problem but everybody laughs on first instance.

But seriously everything which other people have mentioned here ...each of those have been experienced by me too.
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Avatar_m_tn
Perhaps taking a multivitamin with iron, b6, b12, and vitamin c may help.  I had aura (blind-spots mostly) that was usually relieved by bowel movements.  I was told it was migraine related, which it may have been but I think the more direct link was to anemia.  Perhaps anemia causes migraines.  Anyway, the doctors did blood tests but amazingly missed the possibility of anemia.  I had to ask for iron, b vitamins, and blood counts to be tested because it wasn't standard.  The results showed borderline anemia.  My understanding is that anemia can be caused by iron or b-vitamin deficiency.  Something that can be an issue for those who don't eat much red meat.  I'm not sure whether my condition was caused by an iron deficiency, a b-vitamin deficiency, or both.  Regardless, I started taking a multi-vitamin with iron, b6, and b12 and the symptoms went away.  I also drink juice with the vitamin c, because vitamin c helps with iron absorption.  Luckily this simple solution has worked for me but can take a couple of months to kick in (it takes time for blood count to return to normal).  I have been symptom free for about a year.  This post is not medical advice but rather based on my personal experience, as always, do your own research and seek medical advice from a professional.  Good luck.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I experienced a neck/headache and had a big craving for ice tea. I ate lunch and drank the unsweetened ice tea and my headache went away, maybe the caffine had something to do with it? Also, sometimes my headache goes away after a bowel movement too. I mainly eat fruit, vegtables and beans and have been know to be anemic. I take vit B 12 & vit D daily and iron supplements about once a week. I don't take other vitamins because they actually GIVE ME a headache.
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