Constant Headache...Food Allergy?

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Paula244
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/5/2011 2:32 AM (GMT -6)   
For about two months now I have had a constant headache. I have had about a seven year history with what I thought were migraines. Previously, I would get a 'migraine' about 1-2 times/month and I would take an Imitrex and try and sleep it off. Over winter break, I got a headache and it stuck with me ever since.
I first noticed a knot in my neck during high school (7 years ago) and had my soccer trainer feel it, she never mentioned anything about it so I always thought it was just part of my head. Recently, I have had pain in the front of my head that I thought was stemming from the knot in my neck. Anyway, I saw a neurologist who basically told me that I do not have migraines and he believes I have tension headaches. After feeling my neck he sent me for blood work, a cat scan and x-ray and even asked if I have ever been involved in a car accident. All test came back normal. I was prescribed a steroid for six days and I recently saw a neuro-muscular massage therapist. The neurologist was not willing to prescribe me pain killers or muscle relaxers so I went back to my primary care physician who prescribed my Skelaxin and Fioricet.
Neither drug really helps me feel any better. Tylenol/Advil/Excedrin, etc. Nothing is working. This headache is just about ever day...I do not always wake up with one or go to sleep with one, but sometime during the day I feel it there. I do not like taking medications so I really try to tough it out without taking anything. At this point I am desperate for answers. I have began cutting gluten out of my diet and I am going to try this for about a month. I am not sure if a food allergy has been triggering this non0stop headache.

Does anyone have any answers for me? Or know of anything that I should bring up to my doctor?

I am desperate.

Thanks.

EvilFluorescents
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 224
   Posted 2/5/2011 8:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Paula,

Sorry you're having headaches. How long have you been having your headaches for and how frequently do you get them?

Sometimes people who have a history of migraines develop Transformed Headaches (or Chronic Daily Headache / CDH). I know it's not fun.

Without more details about the knot in your neck it's really hard to know weather this is actually the root of your pain, or if you just have a knot and also have headaches. I doubt it is this (much more likely to be headache), but has your neurologist ruled out occipital neuralgia? Again it's difficult to tell without having more detail.

There are many treatments choices available to you if you do have CDH.

Did any of the prescriptions (steroids, fioricet, skelaxin) or OTC med (tylenol, advil, excedrin) help even just a little?

I would recommend keeping a detailed headache journal. You can find many examples just by googling the term. Note when you go to sleep, wake up, what you eat, when you eat and of course when you have headaches. If the headaches feel different somehow, note how they are different. You can even include the weather for the day, how much exercise you got and what type of exercise you did.

Post Edited (EvilFluorescents) : 2/5/2011 6:27:29 PM (GMT-7)


Paula244
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/6/2011 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, EvilFluorescents. Thanks for the response. I have began keeping a headache journal and I am also including what type of medication I took that day. I want to rule out rebound headaches before I go and see the specialist on February 25th. Maybe I am taking too many medications...? Just a thought. I guess it is kind of hard to tell if the medication is working because I have been taking so much and in combination with one another. Some days I would take a Fioricet and Tylenol, some days I would take a Skelaxin and Advil, etc. I think I will try and stop all medications and tough it out and see how I feel in a week or so. I have been reading all over forums and I have read numerous times that it is not recommended to take more than 10 doses of OTC's per month.

Yesterday, I felt like I had a migraine...the pain was in my entire head...not just the left side like my every day headaches. I took one 50mg of Imitrex and laid down for a few hours and woke up with no headache. I did not have a headache the entire night, but woke with one this morning.

I have also noticed that when I swim (which is my favorite physical activity), I feel great. Its like as soon as I get into the water my headaches goes away. For instance, today I woke up with a headache and I then went swimming around 4. From the time I was swimming until about 1 hour after, I had no headache...but the headache is now back.

I have a weird insurance situation right now since I am living out of my home state, but on February 25th I will travel back to my home state where I am covered by my networks insurance. Since I am taking this 8-hour trek, I want to be sure that I am prepared to see the doctor and not wasting my time (which is why I am trying to rule out rebound headaches, keeping a journal, etc.) I am thinking about making an appointment with a chiropractor as well for that Friday. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks for the help :)

EvilFluorescents
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 224
   Posted 2/7/2011 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
How long have you been taking the daily painkillers/muscle relaxants? Usually it takes a while (i've always heard years, but it certainly can be less) to develop rebound headaches.

And yes, 10 doses per month is about right (the fewer the better). If you need the take them more often, you should be on preventative meds (and work hard to identify and eliminate your triggers).
The usual culprits that cause rebound are OTC pain meds, prescription pain meds, caffeine (pills, coffee, tea, ect.), and there is some controversy as to whether triptans do so as well.

It's nice to hear that the headache responded to the Imitrex. I don't think it would really help alleviate the pain from occipital neuralgia, so you're likely dealing with headache/migraine.

That's great that swimming gives you some relief. Many migrainuers / headachy folk, find that aerobic exercise is very helpful at preventing the pain. I run every single day. How much do you swim? You may want to increase your exercise time and/or number of sessions per day.

Glad to hear that you're keeping the journal and going to a specialist. Both of those things will really help you to sort this all out.

As for chiropractors, I've heard for some it helps, for many it does nothing and for a few it makes things worse (there is potential danger. The same holds true for any treatment and also for no treatment). I personally have never used one, but if you find it works for you then that's great. Like all health care practitioners, quality matters, so search to find the best that you can.

Once you see your specialist and receive an accurate diagnosis, then you can really make a good treatment plan of attack. If you've been cruising the forums I'm sure you've read about all of the supplements, medications and alternative therapies. I have tried a combination of many. If you have any questions, I would be happy to share my personal experiences (and I'm sure many will chime in with theirs).

Best of luck!

Paula244
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/13/2011 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello!

I wanted to update on my condition. I was fortunate enough to find out that my constant unilateral headache was simply caused by a hormonal shift. about four months ago I was put on a new birth control with different levels of hormones than my body was use to. After dealing with a constant headache for about two months, my doctor switched me back to my previous birth control. Alas, my headaches are gone! I need to make sure that I take the birth control around the same exact time each day to ensure that my hormone levels stay consistent. I have actually find that if I wait too long into the evening to take my pill, I get a a unilateral headache mimicking the one I had for two months.
I am still getting the occasional migraine, but they are easily treated with Imitrex and a little bit of rest!
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