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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Headaches

Question: Do I need an MRI scan?

 butterflyhugzs - Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:06 pm

Hello, I really could do with some advice. I have suffered with headaches and migraines for a few years now but the headaches seemed to have increased in frequency. I now can get about three headaches a day; I can normally cope for a while but often have to take pain killers at least once a day. I often wake with a headache in the morning which clears quite quickly. When I get really bad headaches/migraines I can only lie on my left side as the pain is too intense. Walking bending forward and straining make the bad ones worse. I have recently developed blurred vision and weakness down my left side, which have also developed a burning in my leg and nausea I also get terrible neck pain. My doctor seemed concerned and sent me to see a neurologist, as I have CFS and Fibromyalgia he thinks it is probably my illness causing these new symptoms. I am not 100% sure. I also get dizzy, tinnitus, facial pain all down the left side very bad memory. But have had these symptoms for a long time. My doctor recently done tests like getting me to walk on my heals and toes, which I could not do, any idea what that is about? When I saw the neurologist he said he did not think it was a neurological problem. He said it is probably due to the other illness although he did notice the weakness down my left side.
I had a 10 minute MRI about 9 months ago but it concentrated on my ear as tinnitus is worse in left ear, this was fine. As the MRI was looking in a certain area would it have picked up if something else was wrong? My doctor seemed to imply he wanted me to have a full brain and maybe body scan but this did not happen, I am in the UK and am an NHS patient but wondered if I should go private and have an MRI scan as I am obviously worried by the amount and severity of the headaches, Is this normal? Should I be worried?
Someone mentioned contrast with an MRI scan would this help. Sorry so much information any advice would be helpful. Thank you
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:19 pm

User avatar Hi Butterflyhugzs,

You have mentioned a few things that make me concerned. With a past history of migraines it is certainly possible that you are simply having worsening migraines. However, waking up with a headache is very atypical for a migraine since sleep generally relieves it. Also, migraines do not typically cause weakness.

Given these things I think it would be very appropriate to have an MRI of the head with contrast to look for any possible problems.

Follow up with your doctor is important.

Best wishes.

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