I have been having a headache every day for the past two weeks. I comes and goes. I do get migraines but that happened exactly two weeks ago and after that, I started getting headaches that come and go. My doctor just put me on medication for when I get a migraine, but not for the actual recurring headaches. Does anyone know what might be wrong?
First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes.
There are several possible explanations for new occurance of daily headaches. The most common is analgesic overuse headache syndrome (also called rebound headaches) which is caused by overusing medications such as tylenol, ibprofen, narcotics, midrin, etc. Overuse headaches usually occur in patients taking these type medications multiple times each day, but can occur with use a little as 3-4 times per week. These rebound headaches are very hard to treat and require stopping the overused medication. Another common problem is the transformed migraine. This is when your migraine is not adequately treated and it persists as a lower level but nagging headache. You may also just have a second type of headache (which is very common as well) and now you also have chronic daily headache (etiology unknown, but htought to be related to stress, fatigue, etc.) [however 2 weeks is too short a time to diagnose a chronic daily headace disorder]. Finally there is a condition that is called new peristent daily headache, which may be related to your migraines but since it is new onset and a different pattern of headache, I would suggest that you get an MRI of the brain with contrast to evaluate for any secondary cause of headache (such as tumors, vascular malformation, aneurysm etc). The treatment for your current daily headaches would be to start a daily preventative medication for your headaches (and to stop any over the counter analgesics as mentioned earlier). Common and effective preventative medications include elavil, nadolol, verapamil, topamax etc.
I hope this has been helpful.
Sorry to hear about your headache situation...Have you had an MRI scan with contrast taken of your brain? If you feel like your headaches are more than "just headaches" then don't simply take your doctors word for it--you may need to get a referral to a University based neurologist for more extensive testing, beyond what many small private hospitals are equipped for. be agressive with your doctors if need be, it's what I had to do to reach my diagnosis.
Though, more details about the type of the headache,your age, weight, the type of meds are crucial in your case , but the short description could be:
1- Transformed migraine (your migrain is becoming a chronic type rather than episodic) If that happened without medication overuse, then its caused by a trigger such as a viral infection, or potentiation of migraine by stress, depression, or simply you have a genetic tendency
2- Analgesic over use headache
Both 1 and 2 require a supervised detoxification and a new prophylactic tratements
3-Certain secondary headache (A toxic metabolic disturbance, such as anemia or hypothyroidism, or a medication-induced metabolic disturbance, or even a brain lesion can cause daily headaches)
3-pseudotumor cerebri with or without papilledema often have clinical features similar to chronic migraine.
3 and 4 require a thourough neurological examination/ labs and neuroimaging
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