Brain tumors

Why can headaches in the mornings be indicators of a possible brain tumor? I personally don’t see how it could have anything to do with an elevated ICP since sleep is when the body is most relaxed. Blood pressure drops as does the pulse. But why headaches in the mornings? Is it something vascular? I know that these headaches are not omnipresent in all victims, but in quite a few cases it has been recorded. I asked a GP once about it and he said that as far as he knows, we don’t have an explanation for it.

Thereare two reasons, at least, why morning headaches MAY indicate a brain tumor:

  1. When we lie flat (as in sleeping for 7 or 8 hours), more blood stays in our upper body, including the brain. So, if the tumor has already taken up any “extra space” in the brain, this additional blood will raise ICP

  2. All of us have some degree of CO[sub]2[/sub] retention when we sleep. CO[sub]2[/sub] causes dilation of the blood vessels, including those going to the brain. Again, the result is increased ICP if the tumor has already taken up all the “free space” (note that people with increased ICP, say head from trauma, are often “hyperventilated” in order to blow off more CO[sub]2[/sub] than usual, thus causing the vessels going to brain to constrict and thereby lowering the amount of blood going to the brain, thereby lower ICP.)

Likewise, people with sleep apnea, who fail to blow off the usual amount of CO[sub]2[/sub] when they sleep (due to decreased breathing) often wake up with headaches. Same mechanism.

Interesting that a GP hadn’t picked this up.