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Migraines and Headaches Community
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537974 tn?1213744915

intense headache with bowel movement

i had a bowel movement last night and in the midddle i got the most intense headache that creeped up my neck then felt like it exlopded in the top of my head!!! throbbing burning pain, lasted for about 4 hours, then subsided. had another bowel movement today, with the same headache but not as intense and didnt last but 1 hour. can you help me??? why? how? what can I do? im afraid to got to bathroom now!!!
155 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL

Hi

Were you constipated?

Did you strain hard?

One differential here is exertion headaches. This type of headaches  are associated with exertion or straining. It may persist for several minutes after straining or exertion. I suggest however that you still have this assessed by your physician. If you have underlying hypertension and risk factors in the family ( eg stroke, heart problems and diabetes) ,then it is important that you be further evaluated.
Avatar universal
Hi,

There is also a possibility of this being a sinus headache. Do you have a runny nose, fever or a postnasal drip?
This could also be as rightly mentioned an  exertional headache which occurs on straining or exerting. I would suggest you to take enough fibre in your diet and also an OTC stool softener so that you don’t have to strain during bowel movement.


Avatar universal
This is strange, the same thing happened to me last nigt.  I got cramps, went to have a bowel movement and the most intense headache came on, throbbing, ringing in the ears.  I took medication and tried to sleep but it was still pounding for hours.  Today I feel achy and a dull headache.
Avatar universal
Research in Switzerland links straining w/a BM w/ Migraine and possible heart conditions. May want to check this out.
620923 tn?1452915648
A condition called chiari malformation can  also cause the same type of headache with straining for a BM....
I am sure there r many different conditions that can result in this pain. See ur dr and he can determine with other symptoms if an MRI is needed.

"selma"
Avatar universal
I too suffer from this and the common misconception is that the person is straining too hard.  This problem happens when my bowels are loose, I have never had this problem with a solid BM.  Though one is not straining in the sense of pushing but with every BM solid or loose, there is a little pressure with every expulsion.  However, this would not explain the splitting, throbbing headache that accompanies the small push.  In my case right before the expulsion, I get a hot/painful/nauseating pressure that feels like it is pushing up under my stomach, then the expulsion, then the headache.  Sometimes the headache stays, but more than not after 20 horrible minutes or so it is gone.

I has nothing to do with stress or post nasal drip or sinuses.  It may have something to do with food allergies and intolerances.  Just a guess but that is all I have right now to work with.

MMP  
2 Comments
ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Avatar universal
what if nothing comes up on your MRI?? I am so confused. The doctors still cannot find anything wrong with me or why i am having such agganizing pain when i make a BM. they have even taken some spinal fluid to see if it was my medication i have been taking. i just want to know why eveytime i make a BM i get a really bad headache that lasts for days not just minutes?
Avatar universal
happens to me sometimes too it is so scary i really feel like i am gonna die.. no one will even listen to me casue i apear to be a healthy 41 year old..  i hurt for days after and if my blood pressure goes up at all in the following days it hits again : (
Avatar universal
I can't believe that I get on the internet and google headaches with bowel movement and found you guys!  I have actually vomited twice in a week during and had to grab a towel to use. Then tonight I had just the headache.  I have never been one to get many headaches but these are horrible.  (Mine are loose as well. ) I take some medications too.  I guess I better find a new doctor since mine stop taking my insurance coverage.  
1 Comments
same here. how is it that so many of us can have that issue and the health professionals have no clue?
Avatar universal
Same symptoms here & was just told it was constipation but doesn't seem related to me. Only happens with some BMs & headache subsides in 15-20 minutes
Avatar universal
So I just had surgery on Thursday.  My first bowel movement after the surgery was on Wednesday.  I got such an intense headache after I thought I was gonna have a stroke or a blood vessal was gonna burst.  Thought it was maybe just a coinscidence, but today I had another bowel movement (no straining for either movement) and the same exact thing happended.  The pain started on the left side of my neck and exploded up through me head.  Since then, I have been terrified to have another BM.  I am truly scared that I will end up having a stroke.  To any of the others that this has happend, or is happening to, have any of u had surgery prior to this happening?
Avatar universal
This happened to me this morning! What intense pain, I too thought I was going to die sitting on the toilet having a stroke!
Headache has subsided but not gone. I googled headache with BM and shocked to find this site. I am not constipated either, but am now petrified it will happen again.
1 Comments
me too. i had it so bad once that i thought i was going to die. it felt like almost the same nerve that is effected when u freeze your brain on a cold drink
Avatar universal
My wife started having the most excruciation headaches last Sunday night. But what is so strange about it is it happened right as she was having a BM  after taking an enema. We didn't have a clue as to what was going on. I myself was scared out of my witts.She thought  she had blood vessels bursting in her head,But it eventually eased off.So the next night she needed some sort of relief from her constipation so she tried it again and ths time it was 10 fold as far as the pain goes. She screamed out as loud as she possibley could for help and I could not do a thing accept stand there and watch the person I love the most suffer with this terrible terrible pain. I got so scared I called the paramedics.They came and looked her over and took her to the ER. There they did a cat scan of her head,Blood work,and also checked her Uren.Too our surprise there was nothing wrong with her!! I called our doctor who is a doctor of all trades so to speak and he said that the enema could have caused her spinal fluid to drop really low and I needed to get lots of fluids into, So I did for four or five days this was our routine drink drink drink!!! I got her a bottle of stool softeners and she took four or five like the bottle said and  after about 6 or 8 hrs she had a BM. And GUESS WHAT!!! just as she was in the middle of the BM here come the splitting headache again!!!! CAN ANYONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE?? This has never happened before the folks at the local ER was looking at us like she was on some sort of drug or drugs!!! which she wasn't unless motrin or Goody powders count!!! IS THERE AN EXPLANATION FOR THIS? IF ANY ONE I MEAN ANY ONE CAN HELP ME TO HELP MY WIFE WITH THIS PROBLEM PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ME 478-892-3288 ASK FOR WADE AND PLEASE SPECIFY WHY YOUR CALLING..***@**** PLEASE HELP ME HELP MY WIFE!!!!
Avatar universal
Google search for [ strain bowel headache aneurysm ] and review the results. Aneurysm is only one possibility. But it is significant enough that it should be eliminated as a cause.
Avatar universal
I've had a "tight scalp / band around the head" headach, with sore neck & shoulder muscles and a bit of disequilibrium, minor visual shakiness since I strained my gut & entire body moving something 24 hours ago. Any one want to tell me why I should not ignore this until it passes?
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,
How are you? You should not ignore this especially if you have other co-morbid conditions like hypertension or heart disease. If this is exertion headache, it usually is prevented by taking analgesics prior to bowel movement. However, if the headache recurs despite taking abortive medication, you may need to have this checked for further evaluation. Take care and best regards.
Avatar universal
I took your advice; right after the site told me about your post. Sorry for the delay in responding. A CT & checkup resulted in a diagnosis of "Tension Headache", no other organic cause was indicated; they gave me 3 tylenol & a prescribed percocet. Hydrocodone has caused mental confusion, dizzyness, and significant nausea in the past; I tolerate Darvocet aka Propo-N/APAP quite well and don't know why they went with percocet instead.

I still have a low grade headache when unmedicated; and frequent sensations of being off balance (woozy, dizzy) which don't interfere with movement. I'll just have to watch what develops. Thanks for your advice.
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,
It is good that the CT scan was fine. This rules out organic causes such as aneurysms or  tumors that are 10 % cause of exertion headaches. Tension headaches responds well to rest and pain management. . Avoidance of stress. Use of biofeedback, relaxation techniques or avoidance of stress. The use of biofeedback relaxation techniques has been proven to help also. Take care and all the best on your recovery. Best regards.
Avatar universal
It has been a few years since you posted this, but since I found your post after suffering the worst headache in my life during a bowel movement yesterday and today (thanks to GOOGLE) I was curious if anything else came of this and have you had the same symptoms since? After an examination, my doctor has advised me to take Tylenol and Advil and to increase my fiber. Today when it occured, my bowel was pretty easy-- no straining.  

I was not straining and exercise strenuously with no problems like this. I have had no nausea or vomiting. It hurts so intensely at the moment of onset that I fear the worst. I would hate for someone to find me on the floor by my toilet with my pants around my ankles, and that may seem silly, but it is a real fear because it is that painful and intense when it happens.

If anyone else has had success through any treatment or anything else that could help me stop this or find a specialist, please let me know.  
Avatar universal
The same thing happened to me last Wednesday at work. My co-workers took me to the ER. Severe pounding headache, worst in my life.  Blood work was done, EKG, and CT scan. All were nornal. ER doc gave me 4mg of morphine, headache still did not subside for another 24 hrs.  Four days later, another BM and another severe headache. I do not know what to do. I can't keep missing work. Please HELP!
Avatar universal
The absolutely paralyzing pain brought on by a very regular  bowel movement ( no straining) is not only cataclysmicly painful, but very frightening.
Avatar universal
How wonderful to know that I am not going insane.  Just to find this site and to know that other people have suffered the same excrutiating pain - with no straining at all - while having a BM helps. At least now I know I am not dying, and I am not alone.  I do suffer from migraines, but these things, and it has happened four times in the last couple of weeks, are just way off the scale.  I will try taking an analgesic before going to the loo in future.  

One thing I have been doing when it happens is taking panadeine forte and then laying down with an icebag on my head.  I do think the ice helps.
Avatar universal
I got a severe, excruciating, throbbing headache upon having a bowel movement. The second one was worse so they took me to the ER. They did a CT scan, spinal tap and MRI and it was all negative. I had a neurology appt schedule for this past Monday and made the mistake of having sex Sunday night which led to a terrible long lasting headache -- same thing, severe throbbing head pain at the back of my head. So I made it to the neurologist for the follow up. He said these are called exertion headaches and that people get them all the time and they don't know why they happen and that the only thing that helps is going on BP medication for about 3 weeks and he usually never hears back from the people because they get better. I have done a lot of reading on the internet and I think there is a stress correlation as well. Let me tell you that those headaches were hell. Even taking Lortab on Monday barely helped and it took all day for the headache to completely subside. Now my body is trying to adjust to the BP medication but so far no more throbbing headaches. I highly recommend you go see a neurologist ASAP.
Avatar universal
I just had this happen as well. Loose bm no straining, but severe cramping. The pain crawled up the back of my neck and I thought I was going to have a stroke. Throbbing, and my vision was a lil crazy for a few moments. I now just have a dull headache, but I am very worried. I am glad I am not alone, and I will be seeing the Dr first thing in the morning.
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