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Bad headache from full bladder

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    Bad headache from full bladder

    I am C7 almost complete, 8 years post. For the past six or seven years I've had some fairly normal sensation that told me when I needed to empty my bladder. I would get that sensation before any significant AD. Two days ago, in the middle of night, I got very hot and sweaty even though the bedroom was at 65 degrees and I had no covers. After a couple of hours of that I started to get a headache and within 30 minutes it became by far the worst headache I've ever had. I still had no sensation telling me that I needed to cath. I got up to cath and do a bowel program, just in case. I checked my blood pressure and it was 140/80, which is high for me but I've historically seen it much higher than that without getting a headache. After cathing, the headache began to subside. I didn't collect the urine so I don't know whether it was an unusually large cath (300ml is about normal for me) but it didn't seem like it. My next few caths were small (100ml) but announced by bad headaches. Finally, after about 36 hours, my full bladder sensation seems to have returned close to normal, though my caths are smaller than they have historically been.

    So my question is why I would suddenly be subject to very bad headaches in response to fairly minor increases in blood pressure. The only recent medication change has been an increase in Baclofen, from about 20mg/day up to about 60mg/day. If this headache is something I should treat, then I probably need to do that tomorrow, since that's the last work day before Christmas. And the day after Christmas we head out for 5 days vacation travel.

    Your symptoms are what I would consider autonomic dysreflexia.

    A blood pressure when systolic reaches over or equal to 160 is when I recommend for patients to have Nitropaste to apply topically to your left upper shoulder/chest area. This medication is really good at lowering your blood pressure quickly without bottoming out your blood pressure. Then you can performing a bowel or bladder program to help relieve the actual stimulus that’s causing the problem. You can remove the paste once your blood pressure has come down and the stimulus has been identified and resolved.

    I am interested to know what your previous symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia were prior to the symptoms you’re describing here in this post today.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      Thanks. I'll see if I can get some nitro paste before our flights.

      My AD symptoms from past bladder (and bowel) problems have been upper body sweating and elevated blood pressure, confirmed with a blood pressure cuff. I have had some minor headaches from AD, but those were with higher BP than this time.


        180 / 100 blood pressure whenever my bladder pumping out. Than calm down to normal 120 / 80.
        Taking Dithropan XL for month to calm my bladder than month or 2 back to wine and whiskey...
        Right now Johnny Walker.......half bottle dosage

        Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary
        to what we know about nature
        Saint Augustine