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How to Diagnose a Headache, and Types of Headaches

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6 months ago when i was 4 mo pregnant with my 3rd child i began to have headaches(never had headaches before). At first they were pretty mild lasting only an hour or two and only once or twice a week, but by the end of the pregnancy they were moderatly painful lasting 4-6 hours 3-5 days a week.Aug 5 i gave birth (no complications) and since then the headaches have only worsened the headach is constant it only waivers in intencity from mild to moderate to very painful. Aug 27th i went to the er they did a cat scan and ran my blood, the cat came back normal and my bloodcount is great (10) expecially for me. They sent me home with Vicodin that i cannot take because i'm breastfeeding. I've been reading alot about headaches online and i don't seem to fit any type please help me heres a list of my syptoms,

-constant(not trobbing pain behind eyes, in temples and base of skull
-pain on right or both sides of head
-headaches follow no routine i have even gotten one in my sleep
-i have no light or sound sencitivity
-hurts more when i bend over
-tylenol, ibprofen, and caffine have little to no effect on them
-no fatigue
-no light headedness
-the headaches feel like presure
-headaches severe after sex
-headaches do not come with reading or concentrating

-i take no drugs and don't drink, i use no harsh chemicles,i use no purfumes or airfresheners,i drink only spring water, there is no history of headaches in my family,i have no allergies, i am not dehydrated, i eat very healthy plenty of carbs fruits veggiers and protine extreamly limited sugars, i have had no head injuries and have not had a sudden jolt to the neck, i sleep well, perfect vison, i spend a very limited looking at a comp screen and watch almost no tv please help me What could this be?

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replied September 6th, 2006
Headache, Migraines, Sinus Conditions Answer A1445
There can be many reasons for the condition you describe (headache). The CT-scan that was performed excluded a brain tumor. Good for you! Brain tumors, FYI, are very rare causes for headaches. There are few types of headache that are classed as follows:

1. TENSION headaches are due to tight, contracted muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp, and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression, or anxiety. Overworking, not getting enough sleep, missing meals, and using alcohol or street drugs can make you more susceptible to them. Headaches can be triggered by chocolate, cheese, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). People who drink caffeine can have headaches when they don't get their usual daily amount of caffeine.

Other common causes include:

• Holding your head in one position for a long time: such as sitting at a computer, using a microscope, or a typewriter. Poor sleep position. Overexertion. Clenching or grinding your teeth.

Tension headaches tend to be on both sides of the head. They often start at the back of your head and spread forward. The pain may feel dull or pressurized, like a tight band or vice. Your shoulders, neck, or jaw may feel tight and sore.

2. MIGRAINE headaches are severe, recurrent headaches and are generally accompanied by other symptoms such as visual disturbances or nausea. They tend to begin on one side of your head, although the pain may spread to both sides. You may have an "aura" (warning symptoms that start before your headache) and feel throbbing, pounding, or pulsating pain.

3. CLUSTER headaches are sharp, extremely painful headaches that tend to occur several times per day for months and then go away for a similar period. They are far less common.

4. SINUS headaches cause pain in the front of your head and face. They are due to inflammation in the sinus passages that lie behind the cheeks, nose, and eyes. The pain tends to be worse when you bend forward and when you first wake up in the morning. Postnasal drip, sore throat, and nasal discharge usually occur with these headaches.

5. OTHER types of headache include:

- occurrence coinciding with a cold, the flu, fever, or premenstrual syndrome.

- If you are over age 50 and are experiencing headaches for the first time, a condition called temporal arteritis may prove to be the cause. Symptoms of this condition include impaired vision and pain aggravated by chewing. There is a risk of becoming blind with this condition. Therefore, it must be treated by your doctor right away.

- Rare causes of headache include: Brain aneurysm ( a weakening of the wall of a blood vessel that can rupture and bleed into the brain), Brain tumor, Stroke or TIA, Brain infection like meningitis or encephalitis.

At this time you can request an X-ray image of the cervical spine and the peri-nasal sinuses. You can also perform an eye examination (sight, eye bottom and eye pressure), an ENT-examination (sinuses, hearing, balance etc.), and a neurological examination (complete neurological status). If all examinations appear OK, then anxiety and stress can be considered as causes for the symptoms you experience. You may appeal to a neurologist, an ophthalmologist and an ENT-specialist for investigating the possible reasons for the headaches.

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