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Headaches, lightheadedness, loss of balance

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I have had a headache at least once a day for almost a month and a half. I can't seem to find anything that sets them off, and they last between fifteen minutes and four or five hours. In the beginning they were just nuisances, something I noted that was happening and moved on. Recently, the intensity has increased to the point that I've been woken from sleep by them. Also, a week or two ago a new symptom arose: lightheadedness. I would be walking, or even sitting down, when suddenly I wouldn't be able to get my balance and would have to stop for a moment while I recovered. During those times, I can't hear of people are talking to me or respond to anything they might be saying. As well, I'm finding that over-the-counter medication is no longer effective, or at least as is nowhere near as effective, at relieving the headaches. Should I be worried about these symptoms?


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replied October 13th, 2015
Headache and Migraines Answer A54272
Hi! Thanks for your query on eHealth Forum!

If you have headaches and hot flashes and lightheadedness with a feeling of passing out, you could be having either polycystic ovarian disease or GERD with or without H pylori infection. These are the two conditions to be ruled out first. If you use computer a lot or read a lot then the symptoms of headache, dizziness, neck pain, numbness etc could be due to compression of the spinal nerves in the cervical spine region. This can happen due to overuse of computers, work involving straining of neck, herniated disc, canal stenosis, bone disease, spondylosis, poor posture etc. A MRI of the cervical spine and nerve conduction studies may be required. Please consult a neurologist. Get your blood pressure checked. This can also cause headache with dizziness. TMJ is another possibility.

If you have been out in sun a lot or drink less of fluids then it can also be due to electrolyte imbalance or dehydration. Benign intracranial hypertension also causes dizziness with headache and a spinal tap is confirmatory. It can be a migraine attack too. Other conditions to be strongly ruled out in your case could be Meniere’s disease of the ear, wax in the ear, infection of the middle or inner ear, and benign positional vertigo. Hence it is important to consult an ENT specialist and a neurologist too.

Other causes are anemia, hypoglycemia or low sugar and some endocrine problems, such as an underactive thyroid (called hypothyroidism), overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism), adrenal insufficiency (called Addison's disease), and in some cases, diabetes, may lead to hypotension and hence lightheadedness and an off balance feeling. It can also be an anxiety and panic attack.

It is really difficult to comment on the net. I suggest you consult your PCP to run the basic investigations and get an insight into what could be the cause. Depending on clinical examination and tests, your PCP can refer you to the appropriate specialist. Hope this helps. Take care!


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