Migraines + Crohns

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/4/2008 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had crohn's disease for about six years now and also get occasional migraines. I recently heard that there could be a link between migraines and irritable bowel syndrome. Does anyone have any info on this? btw, for anyone else who gets migraines: mountain dew + excedrin. It helps.

-18yr old crohns patient currently on prednisone and immuran

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 11/4/2008 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with migraines before my crohns.  After I FINALLY was diagnosed with crohns, my migraines seemed to go away once everything was under control.  So, I think they may be linked in some way.  At least for me.

Diagnosed with crohn's in January 2008! 
Pentasa 1000 mg 4 times a day
Was on topamax for migraines...off now to try to get pregnant
No longer on Nexium...well now i"m back on it! 
On Entocourt for the next 6 weeks to see if I can get out of my flare!
I am 27 years old and have been married for 2 1/2 years.  My husband and I are currently going to try to get pregnant.  This is our first month trying, so wish us luck!!  (No longer trying due to all the meds and my flare! :-(  Hopefully we'll get to try again soon!!!)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 11/4/2008 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I was going to start a post, asking about B12 and migraines. I never had migraines, but a few years ago I started to get some. Not typical, by everyone else's standards, but then again, I tolerate pain really well. I don't have light sensitivity or get nausea. It usually just slows me down, it doesn't usually cause me to go to bed. But, I have had a migraine, constantly for 10 weeks now. My doctors thought it was a sinus infection for the first 7 weeks and finally figured out that it was a migraine, but it was all frontal/face pain. By the time they figured it out it was so entrenched that they had to bring out the big guns and even those didn't work. I ended up having to find a new neurologist who had me almost pain free in 4 days, Thank God.

But in all of this I really started thinking and doing some research. I have had these headaches from about the same time that my B12 levels went low. I also get scalp tingling that I always thought was when it was time for my B12 shot. In my research, I found out that Auras don't have to be light, they can be tingling, or a craving for sweets or salt, or many other things. Basically, what I've been thinking was my B12 warning, may have been an Aura all along. So, now I'm wondering if maybe the two things go together. My migraines have gotten worse, my B12 levels got lower this year and I had to increase my dose. I did have it checked and it was back in range, but maybe it still isn't high enough?

I am seeing my PCP next week and will be running all this by him as well as asking to have my B12 level checked again. So does anyone else have B12 issues with migraines or see any connection?

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 669
   Posted 11/4/2008 5:01 PM (GMT -7)   
This may or may not work for you. You might want to increase your water intake. I used to suffer from migraines at least 3 times a week. I lived on Alka Seltzer Plus (which I swear dissolved all the mucuosal lining in my guts). Anyway, I increased my water intake dramatically and not only did my headaches go away, but the glaucoma pressure level in my eyes (which were high) went back to normal. The only thing I had changed in my routine, besides giving up the Alka Seltzer, was to increase my water consumption. I hope you find relief real soon because headaches are such a debilitating bummer.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/4/2008 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I would check and make sure excedrin is ok to take with crohns. Dehydration can cause headaches.

I actually take razitripan for my migraines. Imitrex injections work ok too. I think it is inflammation too.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 11/4/2008 5:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I get migraines too, but it's something that runs HEAVILY in my family. I have a long list of women in my family that suffers from them. So that's what I've always contributed it to.

I take Toprol for high blood pressure, but it also works as a preventative for my migraines. I also skip my periods with the birth control pill, which helps a lot. Since I used to get migraines more often during that time of the month. Now I get them maybe once or twice a year if I'm lucky!
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure). Tapered off prednisone a month ago!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 11/4/2008 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
No family history, I have low blood pressure, but we started a blood pressure med to help with the migraine. I take Topomax as a preventative. I'm on B/C pills and the headaches don't coincide with my periods. I drink tons of water, and I was hospitalized for this migraine a couple of times for different treatments and each time they hung bags of saline to administer the bags so I don't think that dehydration is an issue.
My new neurologist gave me Imitrex by injection, and it has been helpful. The most helpful was an occipital nerve block. What I'm thinking is what caused me to start getting migraines in the first place. I started to get them in my late 30's. I was on B/C pills so I don't think hormone fluctuations can be blamed. I'm just wondering if any other CDers have noticed a link between headaches and B12 cause the more I think about it the more they seem to have happened at the same time.

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/8/2008 12:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been afflicted with this hideous disease for the past 40 plus years. I have had it all, from steroids to Pentaza to Imuran to Remicade and to new stuff called Humara. THEY ALL HAVE SIDE AFFECTS AND YOU SHOULD BE VERRY AWARE OF THEM.
i.e. Imuran-nausea, vommitting, head aches, lymphoma(cancer). Also stresses the pancreas and the liver! I am about to speak to my Specialist and argue that the daily sickness and continued pain and irregular and sometimes uncontrollable bowel movements while taking this medication, is really not worth the RISKS OF SIDE AFFECTS!
Had 1 operation, several feet removed small bowel and resection of large bowel. Also has suture plasty(sewing open small bowel to give me longer time between operations). I don't have a lot of positive thing to say about our plight and less about how we get treated.

bottom line...enjoy every day like it was the last and do some traveling before your medications get heavier than your luggage!http://www.healingwell.com/community/posticons/icon11.gif

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 11/8/2008 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been getting migraines only since I have had this whole IBS/IBD mess. I get the vision problems & light sensitivity as well. I take maxalt or imitrex.

Due to a heart arrhythmia, nothing bad, but I can't do caffeine. Also told not to do excedrin due to the periodic bleeding. I also have PFO, which is another no biggie heart thing, that I have learned is tied to migraines as well. So who knows what causes them, as long as I have something to take to get rid of them!!
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 11/8/2008 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Magnesium is at least as effective as triptan drugs when used by injection to shut down headaches; magnesium sulfate works very, very well on acute migraine relief.

Magnesium is a divalent cation, the same as calcium- so it messes around with calcium channels in the muscles. Insufficient magnesium may be responsible for the spasms caused in muscles that eventually turn into migraines.

It is very important that oral magnesium be in the correct form; magnesium oxide is poorly absorbed due to its low solubility. Similarly, magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) will result in diarrhea. Chelated forms of magnesium such as magnesium citrate, magnesium aspartate, etc. are much better. Aim for several hundred mg of magnesium per day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 5/18/2009 12:52 PM (GMT -7)   

First I just want to say that MORE and MORE everyday this disease pisses me off! GRR!

I had a baby in Sept and about 2 weeks afterwards, I got an AWFUL headache. I was crying in agony for 6 hours. I had taken tylenol (which is the only OTC med my GI likes me to take) and it didn't help. Because I have been in remission for almost 2 years, I had no pain meds in my house to take. I attributed the headache to really low iron levels. I knew when I got out of the hospital my Hemaglobin was 7 so I made an appt with my GI right away. I have had iron infusions before and the headaches came along with it. I had more blood work and my actual iron level was 19 and it should be 50-150 I think. I got 6 iron infusions by IV over 3 weeks. The headaches got better so I didn't think much about it until they started coming back in Dec. At that time I noticed that the headaches were coming when I was on the computer or watching TV so I made an appt with my eye dr. Couldn't get in there until Feb and he said my eyes were fine. Also told me that what I was describing were 'classic' migraines. I tried a few home remidies but none of those worked. Then I got sick and thought my crohn's was flaring so I went thru the steps with my GI, had some tests, dx'd with gall bladder disease and had the surgery to have it removed at the beginning of April. Went last week to see my GP as the headaches were just taking everything out of me and he prescribed imitrex. To my surprise, they worked within an hour of taking the first pill. I'm not sure what standard dosing is, but he said I could take 1 100mg pill and 2 hours later take another if migraine wasn't completely gone. I was ecstatic that they worked!! He made me an appt with a neurologist just in case they didn't work but the earliest they can get me in is July 16.

Saturday I call my GP's office to see if he is going to write me a full presciption or what since the imitrex seems to be working. The nurse tells me that the 9 pills I got (with no refills) is a one month supply and most insurance agencies won't cover any more than that. GRRR!! I dont understand why he didn't explain this to me when I was in the office. I know it wouldn't have changed anything really, but at least I wouldn't have gotten my hopes up in thinking that they were going to work for me and that was that. Now I think I am going to have to see this neurologist in July which is awhole other hassle. I am sure people here understand that when you have crohn's, you get sick of being sick and having to go to the dr and all this all the time. It just gets old!!

The nurse did call me in another prescription and my insurance approved it for the same co-pay as the first. From my understanding these 9 pills can cost upwards of $200 and I only had to pay $10 so I'm thankful for that!! But the nurse also told me this has to last until July and I only have 2 pills from the first set left. So basically 11 pills to last 2 months when I am getting these migraines at least once a week and they last 2-7 days at a time.

And on top of all that, I am reading on the migraine forum that this may be linked to crohn's or low b-12 levels (which I am going to have checked at my next GI appt). Anyone who ever said this disease isn't complicated is crazy!

Frustrating... thanks for listening!

Fibromyalgia DX March 2003
Crohn's DX Jan 2006 (Symptoms since 96-Misdiagnosed as "female" problems-Major flare during pregnancy in 05 which lead to DX)
1st resection July 2007
Currently on Remicade/8 weeks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 5/18/2009 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a few things from a migraine sufferer (new as of a few years ago, I suppose its due to the CD or one of the meds or low B12 or something, who knows?). You can get Imitrex by injection (pens, like insulin) and its available as a generic, I can get 4 shots per month from my insurance, more powerful than the pills, so you might need it less. I also could only get 9 of the pills per month and they are way too expensive. You can ask for Fioricet (sp?). That I have not had my insurance give me issues with, and it was a life saver when I was having a marathon Migraine last fall. Also, you may need to be on a daily preventative medication. I take Topamax, but there are others available. I have also had to have occipital nerve blocks twice to stop migraines. Once last fall, and one last Friday. It sounds scarier than it is. It does a pretty good job of stopping the migraine, but you feel like you got hit in the back of the head by a 2 by 4 for a few days. But since I had a migraine that lasted for 12 weeks each time I'll take the back of the head pain for a couple of days, though it is kind of a last resort.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

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