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Persistent headache inflamed artery
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Persistent headache inflamed artery

Please help!! I have been suffering from a persistent headache now for 2 months and cant shift it, I have seen various GPs and a neuro and they believe it is a vascular problem. This is after the GPs have tried me on a variety of meds and given me dx from tension headache to cluster headache to spinal problem. I have had two CT scans that came back clear. The headache has usually always been located in my temple region on the left hand side of my head and is so intensity on days it reduces me to tears. The artery infront of my left ear (suoperfdacial temporal artery) is also inflammed and can be clearly felt throbbing and is raised. I am 22. After seen the neuro i am now taking indomethacin and sodium valproate. Has anyone had success on these. I have also had a 3 week period were i took nothing as was concerned it may have been a rebound headache as first month involved alot of pain killer meds on prescription.

Has anyone else had a very one sided throbbing headache with pain behind the eye and is the inflammed artery anything to worry about. The meds i am on are having no affect and am not seeing the neuro for another 2 months ( good old NHS)?

Other symptom include
Weight loss, Fever (on and off from 35.6 to 38.4 C)

Should i be pushing for an MRA to discover why this artery is raised and why this headache which is a 8/10  24/7 will not go away

Any help and advice will be gratly recieved?
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
As you are 22 years old, there is no chance that this is Temporal arteritis - a similar story in an over 60 year old might suggest this (temporal arteritis can cause loss of vision)

However you may need more of an evaluation to ruleout a localized inflammatory process which can occur due to, for example, a viral herpes type infection, sarcoid, etc - some blood tests and perhaps a spinal fluid analysis may help. If the headache is persistant and localized as it is, an MRI of the brain may be indicated although will probably be of low yield. It may well be a kind of 'status migrainosis' - a self perpetuating migraine headache that needs powerful medication to stop it such as IV infusions of steroids, and DHE (dihydroergotamine). Hemicrania is a similar type of headache but is usually very responsive to indomethacin. Talk to your neurologist about more aggressively breaking the headache cycle.

Good luck
35 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not a doctor,   but I would probably want at least the following scans:     MRI and MRA of brain with and without contrast;    MRA of neck with and without;   and MRI of cervical spine.     I would also push for extensive blood tests such as Lupus, Lyme disease,  ANA,  thyroid, etc etc etc..  I would also suggest carefully monitoring your bp  and being seen at a major university hospital clinic.  Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Have had blood tests done for thyroid, blood count, kidney and liver function and plasma C and these came back fine. What is an ANA? Have also seen n ostupath for 5 sessions and he believes that there is no more he can do!
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Avatar_n_tn
Have your doctors check you for vasculitis ASAP.  This is an inflammatory condition that may lead to strokes if left untreated.   Aside from that, try finding a neurologist who specializes in headaches.

Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
i agree about the vasculitis.  how old are you?  again, the MRA of the brain an neck.      ANA = auto-immune test
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Avatar_n_tn
Im only 22 although i did find during the course of my research that i match the sypmtoms of temperal artitis (a type of vasculitis i think) exactly, although it says that it very rarely occurs in anyone under the age of 55 and GP said it was highly unlikely and that was that. I would have thought that the indomethacin (anti inflamatory) and the dicofenic (also an anti inflamatory) which was my previous medication would have helped although does not seemed to at all. The artery itself is raised from just in front of my left ear to about 1 1/4 inches up towards my temple. When i sit in a quite room i can hear the pulse in my head. However i do not understand why i sometimes get the headache on other side where there is no inflamation (inflammation) although hadache over left temple and left eye has been present since day one and never gone away.

P.s Thanks for posting by the way. Its good to be able to talk to people who can atleast understand how fraustrating a continous headache can be and to get some other suggestions and thoghts. My GP seems to treat me as if its a common cold and everyone has it!!! All suggestions and input are welcome and gratefully recieved
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Avatar_n_tn
Could this inflammed artery just be the result of having this headache for so long or do you think that it is related or the cause of the headache. I have a GP appoint on wens to get blood work back and am now looking to get a private MRI of head and neck and also a MRA of head, all for
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Avatar_n_tn
My son has been suffering from headaches in the back of his head where the head and neck connect.  We have been all over and finally we have been diagnosed with cervocogenic headache.  The doctor talked about the possibility of an artery or blood vessel bruised and causing the pain.  We are going to have carnia spectrum therapy.  Which is a special message therapy for headaches.  He also got an injection of steriod in the head on Friday.   We arre having an MRI or the neck and spine on Thursday and a MRA of the cartoids on Thursday.  Have you had any of these tests?  We went to  a chronic pain and migraine institute and they really helped for the time being.  Good Luck

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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry the type of therapy is called cranio sacral.
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Avatar_n_tn
No i havent. Although some of what you say rings a bell. I have been seeing a ostopath for 5 week now and although it has not got rid of my headache i do for about an hour after he has manipulate me feel a small bit better and then the temple pain returns. Are you in the uk and if so were is this clinic.

What were the other symtoms (symptoms) of your sons headaches if there were any?

James
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

The more ominous scenario is that the inflamed artery (not just one, typically many) are what's causing your headaches.  Having said that, you're right, prolonged migraines can also cause problems, however, true inflammation of arteries will not be one of them.  

In order to check for "vasculitis" you have to have either your GP or a rheumatologist (or a neurologist) check for "a vasculitis panel" -- they know what it is.  But, most importantly, the following:  ESR, CRP, ANA, RF.  If they're completely normal, you may not need further workup.   I also agree with the MRI / MRA idea.   Vasculitis looks a certain way on these studies and will show up.   Plus, anyone with prolonged headaches should likely get one at one point or another.

Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had no history of migraine but also have had no sickness or sensitivity to noise. Think they call this migraine without aura. Is it likely that this type of headache could have transformed and still be with me 10 weeks later?

The headache started with a stabbing pain 2 inches above my left ear on the side the artery is inflamed although i did not notice that the artery was inflamed until a couple of weeks into the headache (had a hair cut) but is something that was diffenately not there before the headache (last time hair was cut).

Thank you for reply. I am see a GP tomorrow so will make sure they have done all these test that you have said about.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same symptoms only I haven't noticed any raised vessels. If you scroll down the main page you should find my post.

My Dr. thinks it is a BP problem.It has been pretty high & I have been put on Hyzaar & it is now down but I am still suffering with the headaches.

Have you noticed your scalp being sore or tender on the effected side? Mine is really tender to the point I can't hardly brush my hair.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had headaches & migraines for years along with untreated hypertension for years, until I started to question why I have an LVH.  I'm currently taking hypertension meds.  This was increased because I was hearing swishing noises in my ear when closing my eyes. The swishing stopped, but just the other day I heard it again once, but it stopped again. I've had a Positive ANA Neucleolar Pattern 1:640, in the past, but I never followed through with doctors appointments through another facility, so I never knew I had it.  I brought that test to the attention of my v a doctor and the test was done, and it to came back positive.  The ESR was 23h [0-10 mm/hr], RF <20.0 [0-20 iu/ml] ANA POS 1:320 Nucleolar Pattern.  A VA rheumatologist told me that everyone has a positive ANA.  I had a neuro appointment earlier this year when they had the MRI [normal], and I told the Neurologist about the positive ANA, but he didn
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Avatar_n_tn
the riased artery has gone down quite alot this week but still have the headache. I am a bit sore around my temples and the back of my head but nothing major. However this week my back and neck have been extremely sore and tender and fine it hard and painful to put my head forward. Have you experienced this.

You are the nearest i have found to someone with the same as me and would be interested in your progress

James
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same symptoms. This happens normally on the weekends. I was drinking alot of energy drinks for awhile and started having headaches on the weekend thinking that the energy drink was the cause I stopped drinking all energy drinks and caffiene. I had a mild headache for a few days but all was normal until the weekend came again. Then it was back but on the left side only again. Most of my pain is on both side but mainly on the left. But at this very moment it is only on the left side and my veins are raised and I can feel ever beat of my heart as well. When I first read your first post I though my gosh this is me. I thought I would find some kind of cure though in a response. But doesn't look like anything has came up yet. I am 23. I have tried excedrin migraine, tylenol, ibprofen no meds have touched these headaches. The only thing I have found to help is using Ice on the temple and back of the neck. This morning I took a shower and the heat seemed to help while my head was under the water. I am going to go to a Doctor here soon I though the stopping the energy junk would of helped. But I have to go out of town for a week so I am just going to have to wait to get into a doctor. Should I just skip a regular doctor and go into a neurologist?
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Avatar_n_tn
hey wave guess what. Before i got my headache i was drinking alot of energy drinks too as was working alot and need the kick start in the mornings. I live in the uk and found that doctor was just giving me pain killers which didnt help at all.

It is now week 13 and the headache has decresed in intensity to about 5/10 but this week i have been getting alot of back pain between my shoulders. Still seem to get flare ups where the headache is 8/10 for a few hours about 5 times a week but at least its been a small improvement. Is your headache persistent? What where you doing the day it started?

I am currently on indomethacin ()an NSAID and sodium valproate) dont now if that is helping or if it is just time! My neuro thinks it is a migraine but i have none of the common signs such as neasuea or vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound so am waiting for my follow upappointment. I would see a neuro.
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Avatar_m_tn
After going on BP medicene because it was high, the BP is down & my headaches have disappeared. BUT, I am still having the rest of the symptoms, sore temple, tender scalp, stiff & sore neck, & now I can hear my pulse in my ear several times a day.

Insurance denied the CT scan so my doc is sending me to a neurologist.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh My!! So relieving to read of others with same pain as me. I am in week 9 now of left temporal pain. My GP sent me to the eye dept as although I am 41 she was worried about temporal arteritis. They ruled it out though. My ESR is erratic. It was 78, then 12, then 57. My RF = 365 but I don't know about my ANA. I too have the sound of my pulse in my ear and its all starting to drive me nuts. The doctors don't know what it is. I have been put on different pain and anti inflammitory tabs, but when I was in hospital last week they gave me 1 lot of steroids and I actually had relief for 2 - 3 days. I am seeing my GP tomorrow, what questions should I be asking her?
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Avatar_n_tn
sorry for delay in replying. Am now in 20 of my temple pain and the artery infront of my ear is inflammed still. Have had an MRI now of the head and that was clear so a bit of good news. Am still being trated as a migraine  although still havent had any sensitive to light or noise and no neasua or vomitting, so thats a bit frastrating and the neuro is set in his way now and does seem to be doing alot. Have now come off the sodium Valproate and was tried on imigran injections that have had no affect. This continous head pain is starting to ruin my life. Hoping the new year will bring some good fortune!!

LAST MESSAGE: Have you had anymore news on your condition (which sound similar). Do you have a continous heqadache and does your pain vary in intensity? Were is the artery mine is infront of my ear? how did the headache/artery start?

Thanks for all the replies and any suggestions or  advice would still be gratefully recieved.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I've been having headaches regularly for the past 6 years or so--I'm only 18. After intense excercise I sometimes have headaches for a few hours, which are sort of like a general pounding all over my head. The headaches I usually get are on the left side of my head, extremely localized and in the back of my head. Sometimes my head feels pretty heavy, and I've been sort of fatigued for the past couple of months, but I've also been under a lot of stress. The headaches seem to intensify in times of stress, and my health is good. Family history of high BP, but mine is a steady 120/80. I haven't had any doctor's appts or treatment, I usually pop a few Motrin but it doesn't help.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am suffering from similar pain - left side temple area.   I am wondering if you have anymore news?   I have had MRI on brain - negative and awaiting blood results for Temporal Arteritis.  I basically live on excedrin every few hours - and this doesn't take it away - but does lessen the intensity.  Please let me know how things are going for you. Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
hey seejay

Well not good. My neuro at present does really no however he thinks that i may have status migraine. I dont really care what it is as long as they get  rid of it!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 35.  I read above you had similar tests I did.   I don't seem to notice the artery.  I did at the onset..but not for about 3 months.  

I have been doing a lot of reading on this lately and it seems I fit in with Hemicrania Continua.  Going to ask Doc next week to give me a script for Indomethacin.  And hope that it works.

Keep me posted on how things go with you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to ask you if you had the blood test for sedimentation rate (ESR).  I just had it done last week for the temporal arteritis and mine came out fine.  If you haven't had it done...Tell you doc to send you for it - don't take no for an answer.  Just because it isn't supposed to hit till after 60 - doesn't mean you can't get it.  I had cataract surgery (another elder age condition) at 26 yrs old.  The doctors are still amazed!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Try inner ear infection
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Avatar_n_tn
I posted a note back in Dec, and sorry for not checking in since. I am still having probs with temporal pain, and getting anyone on the nhs to take it seriously. However, my gp tested me postive for auto immune and I am seeing the rheumatologist this week. Three times I've been sent to A&E for suspect temporal arteritis but every time the say I am too young (41). It does get me down at times, but I am determined to sort it out. Hope you are all staying positive. x
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Avatar_n_tn
my name is nicole and i have been suffering from headaches on the left side temple area for about a year. i usually wake up with them in mornings and they continue to get intense and then faint constantly for a bout half an hour then they usually disappear, i have also been seeing this like floating shape before my eyes that "runs away" when i try to look at it. that usually appears when i`m looking at a white surface. i just wondered if these two problems are linked somehow and if they are anything to be worried about. thankyou   nicole x
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Avatar_n_tn
I found this site when I googled "pulse in left temple". My problem may seem minor compared to the others I have read in this thread but it has me a little concerned. I don't have a headache at this time but I had them recently for about 3 days. About 10 day ago early one morning it felt like something snapped on the left side of my head in the temple area. Soon afterward I had a headache that came and went for about 3 days. The headache was not intense and I didn't even bother to take pain medication. The headaches went away but on my left temple I can feel what seems like my pulse beating strongly. It's fairly constant and I don't feel the same sensation on the right side. I first noticed this a few mornings ago while my head was resting on the pillow. I mostly feel it when I touch the area with my hand or lay with the left side of my head rested on the pillow. It's not like an even beat. It's very erratic. Sometimes fast sometimes slow. I take medication for high blood pressure and I also noticed my pressure is higher than normal even on the medication it's about 170/89. I made an appointment with my GP but it will be almost a week before I'll see him. Does my symptoms sound familiar to anyone? Thanks.

eddie
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Avatar_n_tn
Anybody has a solution for this headache? I have the same problem. Im having the same headache now, It started when i took energy drink (whey and amino acids) 3 days ago, same symptoms headache(its just mild now) on my left eye and head, i noticed my heartbeat is louder too. My blood pressure is 151/75 and its been like that, im 33 yrs old.

3 months ago i exprienced that same headache plus i was seeing blank spots (...scarry i thought i was going blind) and heatwave like on my periperal. my doctor said its migraine w/ hypertension then he just told me to exercise and quit drinking coffee. So i did that, I did some running exercise, Quit coffee, iced tea and any caffeine, no energy supplement. I tried eating healthy too, like less salt and fat.  Although my blood pressure remain on borderline, My headache and poor vision went away after a week.

Now im having the same problem, i will try that same lifestyle that i did 3 mos ago. Let you know after a week or so...

Thanks for the info guys...I know we can surpass this...

God Bless us all !


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Avatar_n_tn
I have been experiencing "headaches" starting 2 weeks before christmas.  When they began i felt a throbbing pain, always in the right side of my head.  I was able to take a few asprin here and there to relieve the pain.  As time progressed, the headache became more localized to my right temple and the pain turned into more of a burning sensation.  The headaches have basically taken over my life.  I wake up each morning with the same intense feeling in my temple, and now by the end of the day the sensation will to the back of my skull almost where my head meets my neck and also occurs behind my ear. I suspect I have TMJ considering my jaw consistently cracks, so i have begun sleeping with a splint.  The morning after I sleep with the bulky piece of plastic, the headaches are a bit worse possibly from tension.  I have noticed that my ear aches and my bottom molar is sensitive (may have a cavity there).  Mind you all problems are on the right side of my head. I am 22, too young in my opinion to be experiencing such persistent pain.  I have been tested for tempral arthritis and had my first MRI on saturday and am still waiting for results.  I have started taking Zomig but find that not even this powerful medicine can aleviate my pain.  I am so cranky by the end of the day, have lost 15 lbs since the problem began, and am very afraid that my problem is only going to get worse.  I am a very busy person who is attempting to juggle working, interning and attending classes.  I partially blame my headaches on stress, however they began way before i took on all of this responsibility.  I can not continue to take the amount of pain medication that i take daily as i am afraid of damaging my liver, however i am unable to function without it.  I must mention that I had a history of headaches as a pre teen and thought that i have since overcome this issue.  Before, I would get intense migranes (migraines) accompanied by halo's in the eye, now the pain is like i said... Constant burning.  When i touch the affected parts of my skull, it feels bruised and sore.  I am not sure of how to research this and would like any feedback anyone can provide.  I am freaking out here and am ultimately causing my head to hurt worse.  Im a wreck!!!
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