Nonstop headache+nausea for 2 years, in otherwise active healthy person--Asking for Advice Please

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dustie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 9/20/2013 10:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello -- it's been a long time since posting at HealingWell, and that was for a different ailment of mine. Now I write to ask for help for me and my husband.

The problem is: Chronic headache, every day nonstop, for 2 years, accompanied by nausea (never vomiting, but always feeling nauseous and therefore sick). Some days his headache/nausea is 2 or 3 on the pain scale, and he can endure it and function. Most days it is between 4 and 9 (he'll never say 10) since last fall. This year his life has become pain-filled and he is almost completely unable to live as he used to. When his pain scale is 4 or over, he can't do anything--he is dizzy with pain and nausea, and sleeps most of the day, even though he hates to do that. He's normally a very active person, and enjoys being one. He is a young 68 years old, and never before this has he been ill or had a severe physical problem (he's been lucky that way!).

This year he has had all the blood tests, an MRI, a CT scan of the brain, endoscopy and other gastro tests, and has tried amitriptyline, steroids, mirapex, imitrex, topamax, hypothyroid med, and a few others. Our family doc is wonderful and did all the tests, and since six months ago we began seeing a neurologist for this "condition." The neurologist wants to try botox treatment in the scalp and neck in October.

They seem to vacillate between calling it tension headache and migraine headache (I say headache in the singular because he doesn't have episodic headaches, he's had one headache for two years). The headache is never without the accompanying nausea, every day, which to me would rule out tension headache, from everything I've read. ???

Anyway, I write this out of desperation because my husband's pain is increasing, and nothing yet really helps (Imitrex relieves the headache, slightly, though doesn't take away the nausea). He is becoming very depressed, understandably, as his life has shrunk to just surviving the day, whereas before all this he was very very active--and had so few headaches in his life before this that he can't even remember the few there were. He has never been a "hypochondriac" type of person, so all of this is extremely unusual. But it has become our life.

I read and read and read, trying to find something to help him. But the ideas are shot down by the fact that his tests have revealed no cause other than migraine. Tests don't show meningitis, for example, but why would he develop migraine at his age, and why is it nonstop, and why does it include nausea as a strong part of it, nonstop? He is losing hope, and feels that the chronic headache+nausea must be some kind of illness that the tests haven't uncovered. I'm leaning toward the same conclusion.

But where does this leave us? He is a shadow of his former self, every day is a big test of endurance (and he's very brave and tries hard to do things and overcome it), and there is no end in sight.

Please, if anyone has an idea that might be passed up by usual doctors, or if you know of illnesses that have not shown up on usual tests but can be the cause anyway, I would appreciate very much hearing of your experience or knowledge.

Thank you so much!
Dustie

Post Edited (dustie) : 9/20/2013 11:20:20 PM (GMT-6)


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 9/21/2013 6:53 AM (GMT -7)   
You can either skim down to a topic I started yesterday or you can answer a few simple ?'s - does your husband drink diet soda? Eat labeled sugar-free or light processed foods (light yogurt, sugar free cookies, etc.)? Chew gum such as Dentyne or Trident? All of these products contain a toxin known as aspartame, loosely labeled as an artificial sweetener. It's now in 6000+ processed foods and products, no longer in just diet sodas. If you answered yes to any of my questions, my husband does indeed drink diet coke or pepsi, chews gum or mints constantly, then google these two words - aspartame and/or phenylalanine. There are 92 side effects connected to these two chemicals. Headaches and migraines are among the alarming side effects. Any artificial sweetener is now suspect, Sorbitol isn't any better for us and its in nearly all toothpaste brands, a lot of candy products, it's rare when you see sugar listed on a list of ingredients.

dustie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 9/21/2013 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Marsky, thanks so much for replying. My husband is one of the few people not interested in soda, sweets, or even much of any processed food. When he occasionally does have something sweet (e.g., ice cream), he always gets the real thing (with sugar, not substitutes). He dislikes the taste of "diet" anything (and is slender and thus not worried about losing weight). He mostly eats fresh fruit, vegetables, fish or chicken, and fresh baked bread. Sometimes pasta. Thanks again for asking . . .
Dustie

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 9/21/2013 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Dustie - that's wonderful news, thank you for replying. I felt compelled to ask these questions. I am hoping someone here with expert migraine knowledge with help you.
- Rectal CA 4/29/99, Stage I, 90% sigmoid/15" of colon/GB removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 6-26-99, Cochlear Meniere's Disease
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Eliminated aspartame, caffeine and alcohol from diet.
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