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Entries in Migraines (5)

Thursday
Jul212011

Ron Paul Addresses Revelation of Bachmann's Migraines

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Congressman Ron Paul -- Michele Bachmann’s challenger for the GOP nomination who's also a medical doctor -- weighed in for the first time on the Congresswomen’s revelation that she long suffers from migraines.   

“I think it is probably legitimate to know.  But I don’t think that it disqualifies someone from running for office.  I don’t think that should be the deciding factor on how well she does but I would say that the information is reasonable to know about,” said Paul.

Paul’s comments came during a Wednesday morning radio interview with Bryan Nehman, co-host of WMAL’s The Morning Majority Show in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Paul said he has a lot of familiarity in treating women with migraines as a practicing OB/GYN for years in Texas.

He added, “it is pretty rough -- I mean it is a tough problem to take.  I have a lot of empathy and sympathy for her if she is suffering from that.” 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul202011

Migraine Politics: Bachmann Releases Dr. Note

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty descended on Iowa Wednesday, both faced questions about whether or not Bachmann's migraines would impede her from doing the job of president.

Meanwhile, Bachmann issued a letter from the Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress arguing that Bachmann's migraines occur "infrequently and have known trigger factors of which you are aware and know how to avoid."

The letter, from the Dr. Brian Monahan, the top doctor for Congress, is addressed to Bachmann and reads:

"When you do have a migraine, you are able to control it well with as-needed sumatriptan and odanestron. It has not been necessary for you to take daily scheduled medications to manage this condition."

Monahan further clarifies that Bachmann has "not needed medical attention" from his office regarding her migraines "with the use of the above mentioned commonly used therapies."

Bachmann's migraines became a issue again on the campaign trail after Pawlenty's event at a sports bar in Indianola, Iowa Wednesday afternoon, when the former Minnesota governor warned that every candidate will have to prove they can do "all of the job, all of the time."

"I don't know enough about her particular medical situation to comment. I just don't have enough facts on me. I certainly would defer to the judgment of the medical professionals, but setting that aside all of the candidates, I think, are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job all of the time," Pawlenty told reporters.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul202011

Former Insider: Bachmann's Headaches Left Her 'Unable to Function'

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- An insider who once worked with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R- Minn.) told ABC News he believes her migraine headaches have been a persistent and vexing problem for years, often forcing the congresswoman to cancel meetings, shut her office, turn off the lights and lie down until they pass.

"You're probably talking once every two to four weeks where she would have severe headaches, and at times it would be more frequent," the former insider told ABC News, speaking on the condition he not be identified because he was concerned about retribution. "They would come on in a matter of minutes. She would be down on her couch with the lights off and unable to function."

The GOP presidential candidate confirmed to reporters Tuesday that she suffers from migraine headaches, but she said they were controlled by medication and her condition would not affect her ability to serve as president.

"I've maintained a full schedule between my duties as a Congresswoman and a presidential candidate traveling across this nation," Bachmann said. "I have prescribed medication I take on occasion whenever symptoms arise and they keep my migraines under control. But I'd like to make it abundantly clear, my ability to function effectively will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief."

Bachmann declined to answer a question from ABC News about whether she had ever had to skip Congressional votes because of migraines. Her security staff blocked reporters when they tried to follow her and ask her further questions.

Bachmann made the statement in response to a widespread report by The Daily Caller which alleged the Minnesota congresswoman's migraines could "incapacitate" her "for days at a time."

"It absolutely does not affect her ability to do her job. And these are difficult, long, stressful hot days, so it is bogus to say that she's incapacitated," Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart told ABC News.

The former insider offered ABC News a different account, and said he was surprised the campaign was attempting to portray the medical condition as innocuous. He said the headaches occurred so often that Bachmann's scheduler had frequent conversations with the medical offices in the House of Representatives in order to be able to respond quickly with medication.

"We had many occasions where there would be a stressful situation -- they were almost always stressful situations," the Bachmann insider said. "We would have lights out. Close the office, shut the lights and she would lay in the office and try and recover. Everyone from interns on up knew about it."

Neither Bachmann nor Stewart addressed the specific allegation in the Daily Caller story that Bachmann has been hospitalized for the headaches, including one instance on Friday, July 30, 2010.

According to Congressional records, of the 15 votes that took place that day, Bachmann did not participate in nine of them.

"She was incredibly sensitive about missing votes," the source said. "Her opponent was pummeling her on it. For her to miss nine votes that day, she would have had to be out of pocket and unable to function."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul192011

Michele Bachmann: Headaches Controlled by Medication

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(AIKEN, S.C.) -- After addressing a crowd of about 200 in Aiken, S.C., on Tuesday, GOP presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann (R- Minn.) confirmed to reporters that she suffers from migraine headaches, but said they were controlled by medication and her condition would not affect her ability to serve as president.

"I've maintained a full schedule as a Congresswoman and a presidential candidate traveling across this nation," Bachmann said. "I have prescribed medication I take on occasion whenever symptoms arise and keep my migraines under control. My ability to function effectively will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief."

Bachmann declined to answer a question from ABC News about whether she had ever had to skip Congressional votes because of migraines. Her security staff blocked reporters when they tried to follow her and answer further questions.

Bachmann made the statement in response to a report by The Daily Caller which alleged the Minnesota congresswoman's migraines could "incapacitate" her "for days at a time."

Hours after the story broke, the Bachmann campaign put out a statement in which spokesperson Alice Stewart said it was "bogus" to say she was incapacitated by the headaches.

"It absolutely does not affect her ability to do her job. And these are difficult, long, stressful hot days, so it is bogus to say that she's incapacitated," she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul192011

What a Headache: Rep. Michele Bachmann under Scrutiny for Migraines

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Is Michele Bachmann healthy enough to be president?

That is the question raised by a new Daily Caller story quoting several former aides to the Minnesota Congresswoman who say she is prone to "debilitating" migraine headaches that have landed her in the hospital and rendered her unable to perform her official duties at times.

“These episodes, say witnesses, occur once a week on average and can ‘incapacitate’ her for days at time.  On at least three occasions, Bachmann has landed in the hospital as a result,” writes the Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong, quoting sources who refused to be identified.

“‘The migraines are so bad and so intense, she carries and takes all sorts of pills,” one of the unnamed sources told the Daily Caller.  “Prevention pills.  Pills during the migraine.  Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control.  She has to take these pills wherever she goes.”

A source who has worked closely with Bachmann over the past few years confirms to ABC News that Bachmann does get migraines that have put her in the hospital.  This source said that the “medication part of the story is way overblown,” but does acknowledge that it will be important for the Minnesota Congresswoman to come forward with her medical history.

The Bachmann camp's response to the story, according to the Daily Caller: "Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, said 'she suffers from migraines and they’re under control with medicine.'  Stewart contested descriptions of the episodes as 'incapacitating' Bachmann but did not specify how the descriptions were wrong.  'The information you have is incorrect,' Stewart said.  She declined to discuss Bachmann’s hospital visits at all, saying, 'I’m not going to go into her medical history.'"

And for all the focus on next month’s Iowa Straw Poll and the likely entrance of Texas Gov. Rick Perry into the 2012 fray, this is an issue that could truly be a game changer. The health of a president is one of the most important criteria voters consider when it comes to electing the leader of the free world.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio