Health Conditions With Headache and Constipation

Any headache can be followed by constipation, because the pain limits your activities, and when you reject food. On the other hand, constipation may be followed by headache, because of stress, dehydration and hunger (due to avoiding food). Headache and constipation may be present in several acute or chronic diseases, where their cause is more or less obvious. Constipation and headache are also common symptoms in pregnancy.

Both headache and constipation can be symptoms in the following health conditions:

1. Depression or Anxiety

Symptoms:

  • Feeling sad or anxious
  • Poor appetite
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Suicidal thoughts

2. Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual symptoms usually appear within a week before a period and may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Tender breasts
  • Irritability
  • Appetite changes
  • Headache
  • Constipation or diarrhea

3. Displaced Uterus and Ovaries

Displaced uterus and ovaries can press upon the rectum and cause constipation and headache (1)

Symptoms:

  • Painful menstruation
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Headache

4. Dehydration

Dehydration is common even in otherwise healthy people. Symptoms may include:

  • Thirst, dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness, weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Constipation
  • Headache

5. Fructose Malabsorption

Fructose malabsorption is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Symptoms are triggered by foods high in fructose, sorbitol and certain types of fiber. Symptoms may include:

  • Chronic diarrhea, bloating or constipation
  • Excessive belching (burping)
  • Nausea
  • Headache

6. Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites may make you miserable for prolonged periods.

Symptoms:

  • Lose stools, bloating or constipation
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Appetite changes
  • Itchy skin or rash
  • Headache (persistent headache may be a symptom of a brain cyst)

7. Anorexia Neurosa

Anorexia neurosa is a psychiatric disorder where a person (mostly young women) rejects food from various causes.

Symptoms:

  • Lower than normal body weight
  • Low self-esteem
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Headache

8. Hypothyroidism

Symptoms (2):

  • Cold intolerance
  • Weight gain
  • Dry hair and skin, losing hair
  • Swelling in limbs, painful or tingling hands
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Headache

9. Pituitary Tumor

Pituitary tumors usually grow slowly and over several months cause one or more of the following symptoms (3):

  • Headache
  • Vision disturbance
  • Irregular or heavy periods (dysmenorrhea)
  • Thin, hairy skin
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Other symptoms

10. Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning occurs mostly in young children, due to ingestion of paint from old houses or toys, inhaling dust in old houses or in industrial areas or drinking water flowing through lead pipes. Lead poisoning can, in long term, result in disorders of growth and nerve disorders (4).

Symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Poor appetite
  • Problems with concentration
  • Constipation
  • Irritability
  • Headache

11. Other Causes of Headache and Constipation

Related Articles:

References:

  1. Displaced uterus and ovaries, constipation and headache  (jama.ama-assn.org)
  2. Hypothyroidism  (endocrinoweb.com)
  3. Pituitary tumor symptoms  (harvard.edu)
  4. Lead poisoning symptoms and prevention  (epa.gov)

Article reviewed by Dr. Greg. Last updated on November 7, 2012