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Forum Name: Headaches

Question: Chronic Headaches - HELP Please!!!


 nschmid - Thu May 31, 2007 8:48 am

I have suffered from a chronic headache since mid-January. My family doctor ordered an MRI with the following results: Brain volume is normal without midline shift, mass effect or extra-axial fluid collections. The visualized intracerebral vessels demonstrate normal flow voids. Single non-specific 3mm white matter hyperintensity is noted on Image 15. Visualized paranasal sinuses and mastoid air cells are clear. There is no MR evidence of acute infarct."

Daily, I take the following medicines (1 each at night):
Crestor 20mg, Lotrel 10/20, Zoloft 100mg, Detrol LA 4mg, and Aygestin 5mg. A month ago, he prescribed Limbitrol 5mg/12.5 mg to see if that would help rid me of the headache. Today, in addition to all the meds above, he has asked me to take Topamax 25 mg.

Literally, this headache has not left me since January. It ranges from mild (2-3 on a scale of 1-10) to extreme (over 10, to the point of wanting to go to the emergency room). I have kept a diary and there is no dicernable pattern of when the headaches ramp up or down.

My bloodwork, all done within the last month is normal with the following exceptions:

Chloride 114
CO2 20
ALK Phosphatase 49
Iron 54
MCV 101.7
% Lymphocytes 13
% Neutrophils 81


Any thoughts of what to ask my doctor to look for? He won't provide a referral, but I have scheduled an appointment to see an Internist, but the appointment isn't until the end of August.

Any thoughts, suggestions, would be very much appreciated.
 Marceline F, RN - Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:04 am

User avatar Dear Nschmid,
I wish I had an opportunity to evaluate you live and in person. The lab results you present are not significantly off, in my experience, to contribute to severe headaches. If the MRI was negative (as you indicated), then other sources of the problem need to be considered. I would venture that your primary MD has already considered the medications you are on, and has determined they are not either a contributing factor. I would like to throw out a thought: Since these headaches started in Mid-January, and I would assume you have not added any medications to your routine, then I would suggest you consider another source: Stress. Have you experienced any increase in life stressors since December? Has there been any major changes in your personal or business life? Stress doesn't only have to be negative stress (such as divorce, separation, death of loved ones, job changes, residence changes, etc.) Stress can also be extremely positive ones: getting a great promotion, getting married, getting a new home, etc. I have a saying: The body will scream what the mind is unable to vocalize. A headache is the number one symptom to show up when a person is experiencing abnormal stress. I suggest your weigh this consideration and see if it may be indeed true for you.
If so, then stress-reducing and stress-eliminating strategies are in order.

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