I see on the internet that this can cause tumors. I'm not really worried about that but I'm very worried about all these head aches I'm getting. I had blood work done and my white cell count is high and I currently have an infection. I'm waiting on my doctor to call me back with the other results. He doesn't know much about this and he told me so. What do you think my next step should be? I can not go threw life with all these head aches. Thanks.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
It sounds like you would like more information regarding calcium deposition in the brain. Calcium in the brain is usually detected with a CT scan of the brain or an MRI. Small calcium deposits occur in most people, often in an area of the brain called the basal ganglia. These are harmless and of no clinical consequence. However, in rare cases, excessive calcium deposition can occur in people with elevated calcium levels, such as people with a condition called hyperparathyroidism (due to a tumor in the parathyroid gland or for example in people with renal failure). There are also very rare disorders that cause excessive calcium deposition in the brain. Sometimes, what appears to be calcium may actually be caused by something else like a small bleed or tumor (such as one tumor called a meningioma). The best way to assess this is with an MRI of the brain. By and large, small calcium deposits are harmless and do not cause headaches.
It sounds like you are suffering from headaches in the setting of an infection and a high white blood cell count. Many viral infections can cause headaches, including but not limited to influenza, EBV (mononucleosis), and even the viruses that cause the common cold. Some bacteria such as Rickettsia, which is acquired due to tick bites, Lyme disease, and Typhoid fever (a rare infection these days) can also cause headache. Infections in the fluid around the brain (meningitis) can also can headaches.
There are several causes of headaches. Headaches can be divided into primary and secondary. Primary headache disorders are headaches without a direct cause. Secondary headache disorders are due to an underlying problem, such as a tumor, medication side effects, central nervous system infections, clots in the veins in the brain etc.
There are several primary headache disorders, over 50 different types. For example migraines, which usually a pulsating throbbing one-sided pain with nausea and discomfort in bright lights that lasts several hours. Another type is cluster headaches, which are sharp pains that occur around and behind the eye often at night and are associated with tearing of the eye and running of the nose. In primary stabbing headache, sharp or jabbing pain in the head occur, either as a single stab or a series of brief repeated volleys of pain. The headache classification depends on the nature and frequency of your symptoms. Different headache types respond to different treatments, and many of the headache disorders respond very well to specific therapies. A common cause of headaches in people with chronic headaches is called medication rebound or medication overuse headache: medications as simple as tylenol or advil if used too much can cause rebound headaches that are even worse then the headaches for which the medications were started for.
Without further information about your headache, it is difficult to provide you with adequate information. However, it is important for you to understand that if you have not experienced headaches in the past and you are now having new head pains, seeing a neurologist is a good idea, just to make sure there is nothing serious causing this pain. Often, a scan of the brain (CT scan or MRI) may be indicated in such cases.
It is difficult to say if your headaches are related to your infection or not. I recommend you be seen by a general practitioner (a family physician) and if an infection is strongly suspected, an infectious disease specialist. If your headaches do not resolve after resolution of your infection, I recommend you see a neurologist, a physician specialized in neurology, who will likely be able to diagnose and treat your headache. If this is not successful, seeing a headache specialist (such physicians are usually available in academic centers or larger private practices) may be useful for you.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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