Headaches and gastro intestinal disorders

Posted by Puteri | 2/27/2008 07:27:00 PM | 2 comments »

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The prevalence of headache is higher in people with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as nausea, acid reflux, diarrhea, and constipation, than in people who don't have these bothersome symptoms, new research indicates.

Both headaches and GI symptoms are common in the general population and eat up substantial healthcare dollars, note the researchers. "However, the scientific literature about the comorbidity of headache and gastrointestinal complaints is scant," they point out in the medical journal Cephalalgia.

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"The association between headache and gastrointestinal complaints increased markedly with increasing headache frequency," Aamodt told Reuters Health.

These results have implications for the treatment of headache patients. "It is important to consider the total burden of discomfort in these patients and to avoid headache medication with adverse gastrointestinal effects in those with much gastrointestinal discomfort," Aamodt said.

Full story here.


Most mornings I wake up with a headache. I always blame my pillow for the cause of the headaches. Usually after I wake up, I would rub my head and the tense muscles on my neck, take a shower and I feel fine after that.

I do have some gastrointestinal disorder and am currently taking medication for acid reflux. Before I read this article, it never crossed my mind to associate my morning headaches with acid reflux.

Hmm. At least now I can also blame my acid reflux for some of my headaches!

2 comments

  1. Bob (The Traveller) // 10:56 PM, March 01, 2008  

    Hi Puteri

    I suffered from very frequent headaches for the most part of my life. It cost me a lot in terms of being able to do what I want to. About a year or so ago, I went to 4-5 sessions of full body massage (at different places) focusing on the back, neck and shoulder area. Two of them were quite painful sessions as they used hard strokes but I let them be as it was quite a reputable massage specialist. At the same time, I changed the position I sleep. Any other position except the ones that I usually do - ones that do not compress my neck and shoulder area. The good news, the headache spells are now next to gone! - Right after about 4 massage sessions, spaced about 3 weeks apart. I concluded that it was caused by my tight neck and shoulder plus bad sleeping position :-D .

  2. Puteri // 5:24 PM, March 04, 2008  

    Yes, a good massage does not alleviate headaches. I have a friend who doesn't like to take pain killers for her headaches. She prefers to go for a whole body massage instead.

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