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Head aches on left side of head
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Head aches on left side of head

My son is 22 years old, has had a headache on the left side of his head 24/7 for three and a half years now.
it is located 2 inches behind his left eye brow ...strait back...close to the Pineal gland
If he takes a laxative, once he has a really good bowel movement the headache intensity will go down, but never goes away.  If he drinks a lot of water all day long, the intensity goes down but not away.  If he does not eat the intensity goes down but not a way. I he exercises on a treadmill and gets his heart rate up then the Headache pressure intensifies. If he eats a big meal the headache pressure intensifies.   He has lower back stretch marks that are horizontal like tiger stripes.  He is 5'10 and 160 pounds.  Taking a laxative has been the only sure way of reducing his headache pressure a bit.  Also the drug Levsin, for his digestive system, helped for a while reducing the head pressure for a while but does not help much anymore.  He never uses alcohol  or tobacco,  eats fruit and veggies.  Lastly, if he places an Ice pack on the left side of his head and slows the blood flow the pressure goes down temporarily but never goes away.  Even in the emergency room, morphine and other drugs can take the headache down to a pain level of 1 or even 1/2 but it does not go away completely.  When he was 16 years old he took  Accutane for Acne.  He has been tested for IDB and had all the brain scans and blood test and everything comes up negative.
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5 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not a doctor by any means but after reading your post looking for answers to my sinus headaches, I think it may be worth having your son's vagus nerve checked out. The vagus nerve is responsible for many things, like transmitting signals to the brain from organs in the abdomen. Its also known as the pneumogastric nerve. It may explain the correlation of symptoms your son is having.
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Avatar_f_tn
I forgot to also mention that it is responsible for heart rate, when the nerve is stimulated the nerve sends out transmitters that keep the heart rate at a steady pace. How is blood pressure? Ex:when someone bears down to have a bowel movement it stimualtes the nerve causing heart rate to slow.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi John. I’m sorry to hear about your son’s problems. I’m a medical student with a leaning towards neurology, so take that for what it’s worth. I’m interested in your son’s case and also in what an expert thinks about his symptoms.

To summarize, the situation sounds like a thin a 22 y/o male with a 3+ year history of chronic intractable headaches over the left eye region with negative brain imaging that is aggravated by exercise and lessened but not completely relieved by both bowel movements and hydration. For me (and I’m freeing myself from all liability here because I may be completely wrong so check with an expert please), these headaches sound like something called spontaneous intracranial hypotension. The brain and spinal cord and soaked in a fluid appropriately called cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and a decrease in such fluid can cause the brain to rub up against the pain fibers in the brain’s covering (the meninges). In such a condition MRIs of the brain and spinal cord may be normal and diagnosis is done by a more specialized test called a CT myelogram. In a normal individual, exercise and increased intra-abdominal pressure (which would be relieved by a bowel movement) decrease the volume of CSF, which would make the symptoms in this case worse. This I believe is why laxatives consistently are the only thing that helps your son.

As to why this is happening, I believe but am not sure that Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension is usually caused by a leak somewhere in the brain’s covering. Given that your son has unexplained horizontal stretch marks, my clinical suspicion is that your son has a connective tissue disorder. Again this is merely a suggestion based on perhaps an insignificant clinical finding and it is necessary that he sees a licensed physician who can properly examine him and take a history. Marfan’s syndrome is one such disorder that may fit your son’s profile (does he have hypermobile joints?) and the decreases in connective tissue strength from this condition may cause a spinal CSF leak. There are other conditions and other entirely different reasons as to why spinal leaks occur. The good news is that if he does have a leak as the cause of his problems then it should be repairable and his symptoms may resolve entirely.

I want to reiterate again that I am not a doctor and am offering merely my opinion because I think it may be of use, and that I am making a lot of assumptions and a lot of pretty heavy diagnoses on just a paragraph of information. Please don’t jump to any conclusions and seek professional opinions. I just thought this may help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your comments.
Also, I can tell you, that when my son sprays water and a saline solution up his nose to clean it out (takes about 10 seconds)  his headache subsides almost instantly for about 30 minutes to an hour.  also he cannot wear under wear or socks because it irritates him.  I used to think it was Candida putting toxin in his blood.  But now with the nasal cleanse, and the IV that takes his headache down i just don't know  seems like diluting his blood with IV and water relaxes the head a bit.  please give me any feed back that you can.  an no worries about the disclaimers.  I am just looking for any clues i can find.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank your for your insight.
the sinus comment helped us try a nasal cleanse with saline.  and when he flushes his nose with this water and saline it does help his head for about 30 minutes to an hour.  It is one more clue that we have as to what is happening to him physically.  it is a mystery and this is one more clue.  thanks
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