Medical Articles Clinica Biblica Hospital – Understanding Headaches

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Understanding Headaches

Why is it that even though I take analgesics the pain does not go away? Is there something wrong with me?
I’ve already had three brain topographies and the results were good. I have no idea what is wrong.

These are common questions during a medical consultation. Sometimes physicians think about the prescription where what patients really want is to understand their pain.

How can I help my physician find the causes of my headache? The first thing is to offer as much information as possible. The physician will organize it. Let’s look at some of the questions we can have already answered before consultation (we can even have them written).

How long have I had this pain? Hours, days, weeks.
How did it start? All of a sudden, gradually and later became unbearable.
How is my pain? Pulsate, oppressive, like a knife cutting.
Besides pain, what else have I felt? Nauseas, vomits, se me adormece una parte del cuerpo, light and noise bother me.
Sometimes I have seen little lights, undulating lines or half of people.
Did they become more frequent after I starting taking contraceptives?

If you have already had some medical tests performed (laboratory and radiological) remember to take them with you.

It is believed that the frequent use of analgesics is the most common cause of daily headaches. We should always take our medicine with us. We can organize them by number of pills taken each week.
If we keep a daily record of the events that we think might cause our crises, it can be a key element in diagnosis. For example, pain during menstruation or pain caused by some smells (gasoline of perfume are frequent causes).

If your physician listen to all the symptoms and then explore them he could accurately conclude which is the cause of your pain. In typical migraine cases it is not necessary to perform additional tests.

When is it necessary to perform other tests like a brain Tomography? According to a survey on people who suffer from headache, the main concern is the possibility of suffering from a serious condition like a brain tumor. Maybe this is the reason why CT scan are requested: they can ensure us that nothing wrong is happening in our head. The other indications are recent head blows, convulsion and any other abnormal finding. Every adult who shows a recent cephalic condition must be analyzed.
Fever with no apparent cause together with headache and vomit can be a sign of meningitis.
When migraine and pain caused by tension appear, the results in the tests should be normal. A brain tomography is not performed to confirm the diagnosis of migraine; it is to rule out any other cause for headache.

Your physician will advise you to check your lifestyle, such as sleeping and eating habits.
It is necessary to include daily activities for our mental health. We should not abuse the intake of analgesics. We should consider prevention alternatives suggested by the physician. Some might sound strange, but they have been scientifically tested: pills for high blood pressure, depression and epilepsy are used also to prevent migraine.
Don’t forget to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant and whether you are allergic to some medication. If you come up with other questions, write them down and ask your physician when you could have a phone conversation on those new issues.

Dr Parajeles Vindas
Physician – Neurologist.


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