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Sun/Heat and Headaches
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Sun/Heat and Headaches


  : I have had mild FMS for over 15 years (I'm 31 now).  In the last 6-9 months, my symptoms have worsened.  During this time I have also been getting severe headaches across my forehead and temples only when I am out in the heat/sun.  Even drivng in a hot car will trigger them.  I have been making sure I am hydrated before going out, and this doesn't seem to have any effect, only cooling off in the shade (sometimes helps) or getting into air-conditioning helps.  It can take three or four hours for them to completely go away after cooling off.  They get so severe I almost can't drive, and I also get nausea without actually getting physically sick.
  : I'm not sure even which type of doctor to see for this.
  : Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Hello Jeanne!

It sounds as if your own physician has successfully kept the headaches at bay. Heat induced neurologic symptoms can be seen in multiple sclerosis, and in this setting it is known as Uthoff's phenomenon. Headaches are a very nonspecific symptom, however, and can be triggered by many different environmental conditions (although typically cold more than heat as in so-called "ice cream headaches"), foods, physical and psychological stress, and hormonal changes seen in various endocrinologic disorders and menapause. Barbiturate medications in high doses lower body temperature by affecting a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which amongst many other things controls body temperature regulation. Typical oral doses of barbiturates should not have such an effect, however. If the headaches become more persistent in and out of the heat, or if any neurological symptoms such as numbness, paralysis/weakness, visual disturbance, or incoordination were to occur, a neurological evaluation may be appropriate. Please remember that information we provide on the forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only, and that the actual diagnosis and treatment of your specific medical condition should be strictly in conjunction with your treating physician(s). We hope you find the information helpful, and are particularly glad that in your case the problem appears to have been resolved. Good Luck.




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