This may seem like a silly question, but it's been bugging me for months now. Is it possible to cause a brain aneurysm to develop or rupture through straining (Valsalva maneuver)? I am talking about the type of straining that one encounters during weight lifting, defecation, or stretching (holding your breath and then "bearing down").

I am a 24-year-old male with none of the risk factors listed on this website (except for blood pressure that is a few mmHg above normal, and obesity, which I am working to reduce). Despite this, I have been in constant fear for about five months that I might have a brain aneurysm. I am prone to getting tension-type headaches, particularly at certain times of the day or during certain activities. However, I have been getting headaches my whole life, and my mother and sister also have headaches.

I have also visited my primary care physician and my psychiatrist, both of whom have told me numerous times that a brain aneurysm is extremely unlikely and that I do not need an MRI or a CT scan. Despite their reassurance, I am still struggling with this fear on a daily basis. In particular, I am worried that I will cause an aneurysm to develop or rupture by performing one of those activities that I have listed above. I always get a "head rush" in those situations. Any thoughts?

I don't believe that you can develop one thru straining but there is a chance that if you already have one, straining could rupture it. I was worried about that before my surgery and researched it. There are a lot of articles on line that identify potential hazards. Caffeine seems to be the biggest trigger, which really surprised me.

This sounds discouraging. Caffeine can often be used to alleviate constipation, avoiding straining to defecate. Also, exercise alleviates obesity, which can cause high blood pressure.

It seems like we have a no-win situation here.

Hi ... Only a Doctor through tests can diagnose a Brain Aneursym. If you really feel you are experiencing a rupture, go to the ER. For all of us who have Brain aneurysm we must be careful of straining or we can rupture our Annie's. I have Brain Aneurysm and I see a GI for my chronic constipation and he gives me something so I don't strain. I exercise and walk and I have brain aneurysm's...I have high blood pressure, it is controlled by medication... Hope this information helps you...~ Colleen

I definitely don't think I am experiencing a rupture -- otherwise, I probably wouldn't by typing this. I am fairly certain that my headaches are stress-related. I struggle with anxiety, and I think that my fears may just be hypochondria.

As I previously mentioned, I have spoken to both my primary care physician and my psychiatrist, and they don't think that I need to get an MRI or a CT scan. I don't have any of the risk factors listed on this website, except for obesity and a blood pressure of about (130/85). I am working diligently to lower both my weight and blood pressure.

Are there any other ways in which I can be proactive in avoiding an aneurysm development or rupture?

Doctors donot know why brain aneurysm's happen...they only know what makes them, genetic's, smoking, stress, high blood pressure, etc.,