Does Constipation Cause Headache?

Does Constipation Cause Headache?

Typical Symptoms and Triggers that Causes Headache due to Constipation

Normally, people have bowel movements at regular intervals, and stools pass out easily without any discomfort. The normal frequency of bowel movements varies from person to person, and research studies suggest that about 95% of adults have a pattern that ranges from three times a day to three time a week. Whereas, in the case of constipation, bowel movements either are less likely than expected or the stool is dry, hard, and difficult to pass. In most cases, constipation is not associated with a digestive disorder or other illness. The problem is more commonly occurred due to diet, lifestyle habits, and medications that harden the stool or interfere with the bowel movements and the ability to pass stools comfortably. Here are some common triggers hat triggers constipation in adults:

  • A diet low in fibre
  • Not drinking enough water
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Ignoring the bowel movements
  • Laxative overuse
  • Traveling and scheduling factors
  • Medication side effects
  • Pain or discomfort around the anus

Constipation is a common health issue that affects around 80% of people at some point in their lives. In the United States, more than 2.5 million visits to the doctor’s clinic every year for getting the medicines for constipation. Adults of all ages can suffer from constipation, but the risk dramatically increases with age in both males and females.

The symptoms of headache vary depending on the type of headache. The most common type of headaches is tension type that occurs with symptoms like pressure or tightness that feels like a band around the head. Tension-type headaches often accompanied by neck pain. Migraines are the next most common headaches. Symptoms of migraine may vary but include one-sided head pain often accompanied by nausea. Some people with migraine may also experience light-headedness and visual disturbances.

The link between constipation and Headache

Headache and constipation are two ailments that can be symptoms of another underlying medical threat. Premenstrual syndrome is a common cause of headache and constipation in women. Fibromyalgia, a painful muscular disorder may also be the culprit. People with fibromyalgia are likely to have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is associated with the simultaneous occurrence of headaches and constipation. Chronic fatigue syndrome is another example of possible causes of headache.

People with celiac disease, a condition in which gluten from food triggers an immune response that causes damage to the intestine. Some evidence shows people with chronic gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS and celiac disease are more prone to experience migraine. Medicines for constipation is used to soften hard and dry stools. One can consider medicinal treatment to counter constipation symptoms.

Causes of Constipation

Constipation and headaches are the two ailments that can be listed as possible medication side effects. Overuse of opiate pain medicines can cause constipation and headaches. Medication for migraines such as sumatriptan can give rise to constipation and bouts of headaches. Other medications that might cause headache and constipation include diuretics for blood pressure, especially amiloride, chlorothiazide, statin medication to lower blood cholesterol such as atorvastatin and simvastatin. Imbalance in the gut flora can also cause constipation. Dehydration is a common example. Another example is a deficiency of magnesium.


It may be a difficult task to determine the cause of frequent constipation and headaches bout without consulting a doctor. In the short term may be able to treat your constipation with the laxatives, stool softeners, and other over the counter medicines for constipation. However, it is wise to check with a doctor about your over the counter treatment to be sure it’s safe for you. Your doctor may help you determine the cause of your ailments and prescribe medicines accordingly. You may get medication for constipation to get rid of the discomforted that comes while passing stools. Once you are constipation-free, you will automatically get relief from the side effects of constipation, including headache.