Updated at 5:03 p.m. ET
GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann released a letter today from the attending physician to Congress stating she is “overall in good general health” and experiences migraines “infrequently.”
The Minnesota congresswoman is trying to tamp down reports that she has had past migraines that have caused her to be hospitalized, which have raised questions about whether she can deal with the rigors of a national campaign and serve in the White House.
“Your migraines occur infrequently and have known trigger factors of which you are aware and know how to avoid,” wrote Dr. Brian Monahan. “When you do have a migraine you know how to control it.”
Monahan said Bachmann takes the drugs sumatriptan and odansetron as needed to control her migraines, and said she doesn’t take medications for the condition on a daily basis.
“You have not needed medical attention from me regarding your migraines with the use of the above mentioned commonly used therapies,” wrote Monahan, a rear admiral in the Navy who has been the congressional doctor since 2009.
Bachmann released a statement Tuesday confirming that she, like millions of Americans, have migraines following a report in The Daily Caller website. But the Minnesota congresswoman stressed that her health would not impede her ability to run for president or be commander in chief if she’s elected.
ABC News reported the migraines “have been a persistent and vexing problem for years” which have often left her “unable to function” according to a source identified as a “former insider.”
Politico reported Bachmann missed eight House votes in July 2010 while she was treated at a hospital for a migraine attack, and reported on other details about the impact of her condition to her job performance in Congress.
GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, one of Bachmann’s chief rivals for Iowa voters, said today he would defer to doctors and medical experts the issue. “But setting that aside, all of the candidates … are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job all of the time,” he told reporters as he campaigned in Iowa.
Karl Rove, former top political strategist to George W. Bush, told Fox News earlier today that Bachmann should release her medical records. He said the reports about her migraines are the “first big challenge” to Bachmann’s campaign. She’s been climbing in national, Iowa and New Hampshire polls since jumping into the race.
“It’s going to be important for her to get her doctors out there quickly to provide medical records and to provide the reassurance that people are going to want to have that this is not a serious issue,” Rove told Fox News.
See photos of: Michele Bachmann