I have a 21 year old female friend who has been having really bad headaches in one particular spot towards the back on the right side of her head. They have been going on for months now. The neurologist diagnosed her with occipital neuralgia. Her newest symptoms began a few weeks ago. Sometimes she feels like someone is sticking a knife from her shoulder thru her heart to her breast bone. She also feels like her heart is racing, she feels faint, and she has severe shortness of breath with chest pressure. She even has trouble going up a flight of stairs somedays. She called me at 2 in the morning last night and told me her chest hurt so bad she was scared to fall asleep because she thought she wouldn't wake up. She has also noticed a couple of times when her chest hurts her cheeks turn almost blue and then get bright red. She has had 2 MRI's of her head, 2 chest xrays, an echocardiogram, breathing treatments, and nothing has showed anything. The doctors all think it is anxiety. Do you have any ideas on what could be wrong with her? Any suggestions would help. Thank you, Brenna
What is your friend taking for the headaches? It is a very strong possibilty that the painkillers she has been prescribed or is taking are causing gastroesophageal reflux symptoms or in more severe probability have caused an ulcer in the duodenum/ stomach. This could be causing all the symptoms you describe. She should take some antacids or some proton pump inhibitors or drugs that prevent gastro esophageal reflux in consultation with a physician. If she does not respond to these then she would have to get a detailed clinical evaluation done and consult a gastroenterologist and get an endoscopy done to rule out any ulcer.
The symtoms that you are describing indicate that she is suffering from severe anxiety resulting in panic attacks. Please ask her to relax and take a mild antianxiety drug like alprazolam at night. Also try meditation and take up light exercises which would keep her physically and mentally fit.
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