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Forum Name: Headaches

Question: Major pressure head pains, vomiting, sweating


 JMZNMRTY - Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:56 pm

My husband is 30 yrs old and about 9yrs ago he was having a bowl movment and got a excruciating head pain and a feeling in his stomach that felt "like his insides were going to come out". He then blacked out and was taken to the hospital, they ran a cat scan found nothing and gave him a shot n sent him home.
Recently this past 19th of march he again was having a bowl movment and the same pain occured it lasted about 30 minutes and didnt happen again for the rest of the day. i took him to the doctor they checked his blood, and all that came back was that his white blood cell count was a little up. She gave him prescription headache medicne and told us if it happened again to go to the emergency room.
On the 23rd it happened again but MUCH MUCH worse. (Every time he gets one of those major headaches (feels like alot of pressure)his face turns really red, he starts to sweat alot, breathing hard, vomiting, and nothing but a hot shower running over his head helps. all the doctors weve seen are casting it off as "just a headache"but until they see his reaction and what he goes thru when its happening i guess they wont understand) We rushed him to the emergency room and they did a lumber (spinal tap?), blood work, and a cat scan, everything came back normal exept again the white blood cells were a bit high. That same day he started vomiting continuisly, since then he's had a lesser pained headache as if the one that happened that day never went away and hes been getting at least 2-3 major headaches a day and vomiting about 3-4 times a day.
im very scared hes lost about 15lbs within 3-4 days his appitite is gone and anything he eats he vomits, its gotten to the point the only think that comes out is bile or dry heaving.... i need some sort of direction to go, im very scared and need help.
I did take him to a neurologist but LITERALLY all he did was a reflex test and said he had cronic headaches and prescribed him a prevenitive pain medicine, a medicine if a major headache occures and a "rescue" nasal spray if he got a major headache . He had a attack at the the appt. and all the doctoar offered was for him to go to the hospital but we don't have alot of money to keep taking him to the emergency room for the same results.

he still is getting the headpains and vomiting please any suggestions would help.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:09 pm

User avatar Hello --

The poor care your husband has received for this is amazing, especially having seen a neurologist who blew this off so quickly. There are a number of possible causes for this, from the relatively innocent to the very serious, and it needs to be narrowed down, diagnosed, and managed, even if it is a relatively minor thing, because the symptoms must be near intolerable for your husband.

He may suffer from a form of "exploding head" headache triggered by straining at stool, which is one form of what's known as a Valsalva maneuver. This maneuver will raise the blood pressure and intracranial pressure, slow the heart rate, and sometimes trigger headaches, vomiting, etc. Most often people who perform this maneuver voluntarily will make themselves lightheaded and sometimes even pass out, but when it's more or less accidental (as in your husband's case), it can take on a life of its own momentarily and trigger terrible headaches and somtimes dangerously high intracranial pressure. This is usually secondary to a brain tumor, non-specific brain swelling, a bockage of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) at the base of the brain, or several other things, all of which need to be ruled out by careful neurological study, MRI of the brain, certain maneuvers, etc. A second neurolgy opinion would be extremely important, as this has the potential to be a very serious problem (although, as I said earlier, it could possibly be less sinister).

By all means find a neurologist who actually takes an interest in his patients and have him do a thorough workup with the necessary exams to uncover why this is happening. Please also follow up with us here as needed. Good luck to you both.

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