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Every day headache
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Every day headache

I have had a headache for about 4 months now and cannot seem to get any real answers from the docs.  I have been to my GP and also an Neurologist who seems to think this is all stress related.  I have had a normal cat scan and neuro exam, on one ocassion I did have a positive babinski on the left but now have had 2 different exams and it is no longer there.  I am confused, what could be causing my headaches?  They differer in severity and location, usually starts on the right side but also migrates to the left, also feel like my eye is gonna explode when these headaches get real bad, I have the HA everyday but some are worse than others.  What could this be, possible brain tumor or something else?  The doctors told me that this a combo of a migrane (migraine) and tension HA, it this possible?  Thanks for the help in advance..
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Avatar_n_tn
With persistence of the symptoms at four months out, it sounds like your headache is turning into a chronic daily headache which some docs feel is related to a tension-migraine type headache. Glad your CT and latest neuro exams are normal, which make the possibility of a brain tumor unlikely (although not 100% impossible). There are many, many things that can cause headaches. But common things include caffeine withdrawal, stress, medications (especially overuse of over the counter meds like Tylenol/Motrin), primary eye problems, systemic disorders such as anemia or electrolyte abnormalities, previous head/neck trauma and then there are the less common disorders such as autoimmune phenomena like vasculitis and temporal arteritis (if you're over 50), chronic meningitis, subdural hemorrhages, primary or metastic brain tumors (especially breast/lymphoma going to the meninges) among many more disease entities too numerous to list.

In the diagnostic workup, an MRI of the brain could be considered to completely rule out the possibility of tumor or any odd diseases that can't be picked by CT head. Then find a pain clinic or talk to your docs about breaking the cycle of headaches with steroids, DHE (a special med you get IV), or Depakote IV which are some of the things we use here to break headaches. Also important is to stop any and all meds you're currently using for the headaches and start anew with a good pain doc or neurologist.
Best of luck.
12 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi...I'm not a doctor, but I have had a lot of experience with headaches. Has any doctor suggested that you may be experiencing "cluster headaches"? They usually start on one side of the head, effect the eye (it hurts and lids droop and it tears), the temple, sometimes the jaw joint and the sinus' (may make your nose runny). The intensity of the headache can be so overwhelming after the syndrome begins that any med you take to abort it won't work. The reason why they are called cluster headaches is because you get them on a regular bases for a period of time.....they usually happen at nite and wake you....although they can happen at any time and they can last from 1 hour to up to 6+.  There are meds out there that will help avoid the onslot of the headache, but none to stop it once it happens.

Go to a Neuro doctor, and good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
First I would ask you if you have a herniated disc in your neck. Also I am not a doctor, just someone who has 2 herniated discs in my neck. I too have had at least a low grade headache for 61/2 months. Same kind, sometimes low grade, sometimes feels like my head is gonna pop off, sharp shooting pain from the base of my skull to my temple and into my eye. The shooting pain has dropped me to my knees several times. I also have a loud ringing/buzzing in my ears.

Second, are you on workers comp. If so get a second opinion from a orthapedic surgen who specializes in the spine. Don't let the doctors make you feel like you are going crazy, or like your pain is invalidated. Be persistant in telling them that it is always there. Don't let them tell you that it is all mental, because it isn't.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with what everyone told you.

Here are some additional thoughts about headache causes:

1)If your headache is partly due to SINUS PROBLEMS, read a wonderful book called SINUS SURVIVAL by Dr. Robert Ivker, D.O., which has medically sound holistic and "allopathic" remedies for sinus problems! Some natural treatments (described in this book) include DAILY NASAL IRRIGATIONS with warm salt water, a HOT WATER VAPORIZER (like a Vick's "warm mist" vaporizer), and an AIR CLEANER.

2) My husband, years ago, had a ROOT CANAL done to a tooth, but the tooth remained infected. The dentist was in "denial", and after a year of ungodly bad headaches, numerous neurological and other tests that came out "negative", my husband finally had the root canaled tooth pulled! Guess what! His sinus problems lessened, and THE HEADACHES WENT AWAY.

We learned that many "root canals" don't work, and the infected tooth can cause FAR REACHING PROBLEMS, including headaches and sinus flares.

3) Many headaches are due to DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS of all sorts! Read a great book called STOMACH AILMENTS AND DIGESTIVE DISTURBANCES by Michael T. Murray, N.D. (naturopath) for excellent holistic remedies for many (not all) digestive problems, in case this might be a factor for you.

If you happen to have gastric reflux (GERD/Gastro-esophageal reflux disease), and if you are taking an ACID BLOCKER MEDICATION for it, you will end up with MALABSORPTION of Vitamin B 12, other "B" complex vitamins, protein won't get digested, and other nutrients, like minerals (Calcium) won't get absorbed.

This can lead to headaches and other serious problems!

Michael Murray's book has good ideas to combat many digestive problems, without using dangerous meds that have dangerous side effects, when possible and safe, in a particular person's case.

4) Certain food additives (artificial ingredients) can cause nasty headaches, and also other neurological damage. READ LABELS WITH A MAGNIFYING GLASS, and try to avoid ALL artificial ingredients!

One example is NUTRASWEET (Equal/Aspartame), an artificial sweetener found in "diet" soda pop, gums, foods, and little blue packets to be avoided at restaurants! Two "breakdown" products of Nutrasweet are FORMALDEHYDE (A NEUROTOXIN), and METHYL ALCOHOL (Methanol/Wood alcohol), also a NEUROTOXIN.

Some symptoms of Nutrasweet toxicity include: HEADACHES, blurred vision, blindness, hyperactivity, mood swings, twitching, seizures (convulsions), brain tumors, and...weight gain!

Another "baddy" is MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate/"accent") which can worsen ALS-Lou Gehrig's Disease (NOT a nice chemical), and can cause HEADACHE, PALPITATIONS, and other bad effects. MSG is used as a "flavor enhancer" at some restaurants, and is sometimes found as an ingredient in spice mixtures.

5) SOME FOODS can cause headaches in migraine patients. Look in a good book by Dr. Balch, M.D. called Prescription for Nutritional Healing--look up "headaches" in the index, and you'll get much food for thought.

6) Follow up on what the others told you, too!

7)A NUTRITIONIST can sometimes help.

8)An ACUPUNCTURIST can sometimes help.

9)A gentle CHIROPRACTER may help.

10)An OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST often can help, by helping you to improve your ERGONOMICS, if this might be a factor.

11)Might your glasses (if you wear them) need a change in prescription, if eyestrain is a factor?

12)Are you exposed to TOXIC (POISONOUS) chemicals, in the home, at work, outdoors, etc.? Toxins can cause HEADACHES! (AND WORSE)

Are you being exposed to toxic chemicals like FORMALDEHYDE, that "outgasses" from NEW BUILDING MATERIALS? (in NEW or REMODELED BUILDINGS) like:

NEW CARPETS
NEW INSULATION
NEW PARTICLEBOARD (THE RESINS)
NEW TILE (THE MASTIC GLUE)
NEW HARDWOOD FLOORS (THE STRONG GLUES USED)
NEW MATRESS AND UPHOLSTERY (FOAM RUBBER, ETC.)

Are you possibly being exposed to toxic chemicals at home or in the workplace due to:

MOLD IN THE WALLS, BASEMENT, CRAWL SPACE (AFTER A FLOOD, ETC.)
TOXIC SYNTHETIC "FRAGRANCES", used in "air fresheners", scented soaps, scented furniture polish, scented shampoos, scented dish detergent, scented laundry detergent, cologne, perfume, etc. (Look for "fragrance-free" products).

The newer "toxic synthetic fragrances" lists read like a toxic waste dump!

Are you being exposed to BENZENE? TOLUENE? HEAVY METALS? Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's), ETC.

Are you ever exposed to PESTICIDES? (farms, airplane spraying, lawn and home use)

PESTICIDES includes pet flea collars, pet flea powder, pet flea ointment, ant poison, roach poison, termite poison, all of which are "insecticides".

PESTICIDES also includes weed killers ("herbicides").

PESTICIDES also includes fungus killers ("fungicides") used on golf courses, and in some clothing.

A good ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL DOCTOR could help you figure out if you are having a "Building Related Illness" due to INDOOR AIR POLLUTION:

Are you working in a CIGARETTE SMOKE-FILLED BUILDING?

Do the windows open? If yes, are they ever opened?

Does your home or office have a BAD VENTILATION SYSTEM?

I hope you feel better soon! I hope others give you their opinions too!

Sincerely, Concerned lady

http://cantbreathesuspectvcd.com
***@****

P.S. If, after checking all the above out, you STILL are having headaches, see more docs, and check out the forums over at http://www.braintalk.org for additional ideas.

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Avatar_n_tn
I also had headaches that I thought were migraines.  I would have them everyday some days worse than others.  I also had a droopy eyelid, the same eye that gets extreme pressure behind it during my headaches.  I've had tingling in the head, face, lips, etc.  I went to neuros and they couldn't tell me what was wrong, I finally went to a chiro who specializes in atlas orthogonal.  My top vertebrae, C1 was touching my skull, and C2 was severely rotated.  And now knowing how many nerves run through those areas, I understand where the pain was coming from.  Whenever my headaches start to appear I just go there and they make an adjustment and I feel better, sometimes immediately.  I've had several traumas to my spine, neck and it will probably take me about a year before I won't need to go to them 2-3 times a week, but finally feeling better and not having to take the drugs the neuros, wanted to prescribe to me is worth it.  Good luck in finding the source.  DEFINITELY look into problems with spine.  And you know I had a back surgery in 1997, my C1 was in the same position then (my chiro got my xrays) and they never saw it or told me.  Kind of disappointing could have save me lots of terrible days.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for all your information!  I makes me a little more at ease.  I have a Dr. appointment tomorrow and will definately ask about the intervention to stop the headache cycle.  Thak you all so much!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had severe headaches for the last two years or more. I started to have these headaches while seeing a local neurologist. He had me on so many drugs that I could no longer function. I went to a pain management group in Nashville,Tn. There they ran more test and more drugs to no evail. Then they took me off of the drugs and did an injection of Botox. After 3 days of my neck and head been sore the headaches were gone. They ran more test and found that 2 nerveroots were blocked, which we think is causeing the headaches,shoulder,neck and arm pain. The next step for me is a foramonotomy. The Botox may help many people with there headaches. At the worst you get 2-3 months of life without the everyday headache and maybe the doctors can find what is causeing your problems. I do not no iif this foramonotomy is the right awnser for me but I hope to have a lot of relief from it and just maybe get my life back.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi! I have been the victim of migraines since I was 13, I am now 49. I have degenerative arthritis in the back of my neck caused by a cervical strain back in 1989 when I worked for North American Van Lines as a crewleader/packer. Of course I had to see their doctors and was out of work for a year and could not continue doing that type of work. Which I did love doing. So I made a settlement with them ($10,000 of which my lawyer got $3,000) and their doctors assured me that I would get better which of course I did not-I got the deg. arthritis. Which when my neck is held in one place for more than 5 minutes sets off a neck ache from Hades and goes into a migraine. Take it from me the sprains and strains of the spinal cord never get better. They tricked me, don't let them trick you. Anyways I can only stay on the computer for a bit and have to keep exercising my neck. I cannot go to drive-in movies or theaters because of the way I'd have to keep my head turned or straight to watch the movie, I cannot sit for long periods like normal people either. I have to spend a lot of time lying on my sides or half lying and sitting. I tried going to movies, excercising, and doing normal things people like to do over the years and would pay for that with terrible migraines caused from the pain produced in my neck.  Also, I want to say that some of my migraines are cluster and stress headaches which then become migraines. My husband (and I don't like telling this) causes some of my migraines, especially the ones that last everyday for weeks at a time. That is because he is gripey and constantly on to me about our son or my "stupidity", which really stresses me out. No, I don't let him have me believing I'm stupid, I'm smarter than he thinks. But still when he gets like that I do get the migraines. My son takes them to. He will go blind in the right or left eye and the migraine will develop instantly on the opposite side of the blind eye. I have a sister who has them like my son does. For my migraines I take Zomig, my sister was taking imetrex but she says it doesn't help her so she going to see her doctor to have him prescribe her Zomig. My son takes pain medication for his, he does not like either Zomig or imetrex, then he will go to bed until his migraine is gone. I don't know if any of what I said helps you on your headaches, but if it does I am glad. I have had headaches last me for 5 weeks at a time and thought maybe I was going to have a heart attack or something. But all it is is what I wrote above. Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
My headaches started last April.  I have had an MRI done which came back clear of any abnomalities. I have been to my PCP and Neurologist.  They have tried me on several different meds which do not seem to work at all.  I am a 32 yr old male with no significant medical history.

The unique feature about the headaches is the constant muscle spasms or pulsatile sensations that occur every day.  It is primarily on the left side around the temporal area and temple.  Lately it seems to be spreading to the right side.

This has never been under any control by any of the meds.

I have tried: Elavil, Trazadone, fioricet, relafen, prednisone, midrin, celexa, ibuprofen etc.  Anyone with any comments feel free to e-mail at ***@****.

This feeling is really annoying...........Help.
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Avatar_n_tn
My headaches started last April.  I have had an MRI done which came back clear of any abnomalities. I have been to my PCP and Neurologist.  They have tried me on several different meds which do not seem to work at all.  I am a 32 yr old male with no significant medical history.

The unique feature about the headaches is the constant muscle spasms or pulsatile sensations that occur every day.  It is primarily on the left side around the temporal area and temple.  Lately it seems to be spreading to the right side.

This has never been under any control by any of the meds.

I have tried: Elavil, Trazadone, fioricet, relafen, prednisone, midrin, celexa, ibuprofen etc.  Anyone with any comments feel free to e-mail at ***@****.

This feeling is really annoying...........Help.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am not a doctor either, but I had severe headaches for as long as I can remember.  I am 30 years old, in good health and just recently had brain surgery to remove a benign tumor.  I never thought the headaches I was having was a problem of this kind until I had an eye exam 3 months ago which showed swelling of my optic nerve.  I was set up immediately w/a neurologist who scheduled me for an MRI within 4 days of my eye appt.  The MRI showed a tumor 5cm by 6cm behind my right eye.  Since my surgery 2 months ago I have been headache free.  I hope that no one has to go through what I went through to be headache free, but I have a new outlook on life and am enjoying it more w/out the headaches
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear; this is the end of migraine, cluster headaches,and daily vascular headache.
Please read about my new surgical treatment for migraine, cluster headaches.
My abstract entitled Migraine: new surgical treatment was accepted (# 173) in the last annual meeting of neurological surgeons in San Diego
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