Constipation is associated with tension type headache in women

Creative Commons License

OZAN Z. T., TANIK N., Inan L. E.

ARQUIVOS DE NEURO-PSIQUIATRIA, vol.77, no.3, pp.161-165, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 77 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1590/0004-282x20190015
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.161-165
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: Yes


Tension-type headaches (TTH) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are comorbid diseases affecting, especially, women. One of the underlying mechanisms for both is autonomic dysfunction in the brain-gut axis. We aimed to evaluate the factors accompanying TTH and their relation to functional gastrointestinal disorders. Methods: Women diagnosed with TTH were questioned about headache pattern and severity, and accompanying factors, as well as being screened for IBS according to the Rome III criteria. The participants were divided into two groups: constipation-dominant IBS (IBS-C) group and "others", with a total of 115 individuals included in the study. Results: Of the 115 patients; 48 (41.8%) of the women had IBS-C criteria while 67 (58.2%) described mixed-type IBS or diarrhea-dominant IBS. There were no significant differences in terms of mean age (p = 0.290), body mass index (p = 0.212), visual analog scale (p = 0.965), duration of attacks (p = 0.692), and episodic/chronic type (p = 0.553). Osmophobia was seen in 43.5%; phonophobia in 68.7%, and photophobia in 47.0% of the patients, and only osmophobia was significantly associated in women in the IBS-C group (p = 0.001). Conclusion: In female patients with TTH, a higher level of constipation was detected. The relationship of these two diseases suggests that they may share common mechanisms. This is the first study showing the relationship of osmophobia with constipation.