My adopted daughter had a shunt placed immediately after being born premature and after suffering from a stroke. She is now 10 years old but has had continueous problems with severe headaches and nausea. She is normally a very animated and happy little girl with some delays but wonderful spirit. About every 3 to 4 weeks she will lose all facial expression and will suffer horrible headaches. She can not talk or function normally. None of the prescribed medications touch her pain and it breaks our hearts to see her hurting so much. The pain and down time is usually 1 week...and another horrible side effect for her is terrible drooling that is thick and unbelieveable in volume. She has to be in a dark room and she sleeps most of the hours of the day. She is tube fed and eats orally but when she has these headaches she can only be tube fed and really has a hard time handling even that. She indidcates that the top of her head hurts...and the nuerologist feels these episodes are some kind of abnormal seizure but we never see any seizure happen and are just beyond frustrated with this. I have been reading on line that many kids with shunts have horrible headache pains even when the shunt is functioning normally. We have had our daughter's shunt checked numerous times and it always appears to be totally normal and functioning. Is there any help for our daughter? She misses so much school and so much of life...it seems like there should be some answer out there. Any advice for us?
Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine her I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that she needs, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about her health concern.
If she has continuous headache, possible causes may be shunt is either under-draining or over-draining. Her doctor can assess this with a lumbar puncture and measures the fluid pressure. He/She may make some adjustment of the shunt to allow it to drain more and can monitor if the headache improve. Another possibility could be shunt is over-draining, that may lead to low CSF pressure that can also lead to headache. This may improve when the person lies down and gets worse when the person sits or stands. Other possibility could be migraine or cluster headache since these types of headaches are quite common in females. Even then if she suffers continuous headache, please arrange an appointment with a neurologist right away who will evaluate the further underlying disorders here that may be the main reasons of her headaches and can suggest her appropriate treatment. Hope this information proves helpful to you.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.