Chronic Recurring Headaches
(Niagara Falls NY)
Thank you for this websie. I am a 49 year old, non-smoking female. I have hashimoto's and currently take 75 mg of armor thyroid. No other medications. As a young woman I suffered from migraines with aura, typically associated with PMS, but only 2-3 time a year. After I went on birth control, they went away, and did not return after I went off birth control and had my children.
In the past couple of years, my headaches have returned, typically 2-3 three times a year lasting from a week to three-weeks. Usually spring, or late summer/fall. They are not throbbing, constant dull ache, mostly behind the eyes into the temples. And sometimes I feel lighheaded, not dizzy or vertigo, just lighthead. My nose is always stuffed, with no discharge or sneezing
I am a patient of Dr. Greory Sambuchi/Judy Tomasini NP. In summary, we have talked extensively about my headaches, and I take no preventative medication. I also have been diagnosed with chronic allegic rhinitis (sent to allergist by Judy Tomasini). I can still function but they reduce the quality of my life. In 2010, I had a CT-Scan, and an MRI, and EEG which all came back normal. I also have difficulty sleeping, I tend to only get around 4-5 sleep a night. I tend to be a stressful person, I am a worrier.
Every time I get these of course I worry about a development of a brain tumor, silly me (I have no neuro sypmtoms). But could these be truly sinus headaches from allergies due to the seasonal timing ...and also how long are my ct-scans, mri good for (as far as brain tumor is concerned).
I would have to agree with Dr. Sambuchi and his NP that episodic migraine occurring 2-3 times per year usually does not need daily medication. You can however take vitamins such as Migralief that may help dampen the headaches when they happen.
For patients like this we usually recommend a Medrol dose pak and Frova 2.5 mg, one twice a day for three days while on the dose pak. That may help break the headache that is lasting 1-2 weeks.
Shortened sleep cycles will worsen your anxiety, so you might talk to them about a low dose of amitryptiline or perhaps Melatonin if you prefer alternative therapy.
If you are able, you should be exercising 3 times a week. After three months of this, you will notice that your anxiety may improve.
As for the MRI/CT issue, we do not usually image patients on a regular basis who are stable (headaches haven't changed, no neuro symptoms). These are the current recommendations from The American Society of Neuroimaging. Dr. Mechtler, my supervising physician is the president of the ASN right now and he is of the same opinion. If you headaches changed in some way..got worse or more frequent, then and MRI would be ordered.
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C
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