Cause for Elusive Headaches

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Yucca13, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    I've had intensely painful headaches for years and have recently gone to an ENT. He said that I have a deviated septum and maybe he would need to fix that and clean up my sinuses. He gave me Keflex (antibiotic to take) and Flonase spray. I started those about six days ago.

    I had a classic all-day headache with ice-pick pain behind the eyes until I took an Imitrex this afternoon. I'm stumped as to why if these are sinus related (and I can feel the sinuses throb around the eyes and underneath them), why do the Triptan drugs work on them?

    I'm wondering if I'm going down the right path this time to try and find the cause? Has anyone had good luck with sinus surgery helping these kind of headaches? I really hate to undergo more pain and risk for nothing. I've been to an ortho who said he wouldn't know where to start (jokingly about my neck) as far as surgery goes. If they can't see something they can fix, the surgeons aren't interested in you. He seemed skeptical that the headaches are caused from my degenerated neck -cervicogenic headaches.

    I've tried the Gabapentin drugs, cervical injections and many other drugs. I can't pinpoint anything about food, allergy, or anything else to pin the cause on. Any suggestions would be great.
  2. JLH

    JLH New Member

    *Do you drink diet sodas? Aspertame and other artificial sweeteners are famous triggers for headaches. I know this for sure--as they are for me!!

    *Have you had your hormones checked?

    *Gone to an Endochronologist (? sp) to have blood work done?

    *Have you tried taking an antidepressant like Prozac or Zoloft? They help.

    *Have you ever been put on a beta blocker drug like Inderal? This as a preventative drug?

    *Do you avoid aged cheeses, wines, alcohol, beer, MSG in food, nitrates in foods like hot dogs and lunch meats? They will trigger migraines.

  3. Lindy2

    Lindy2 New Member

    Hi Val, I have suffered with headaches and migraines for several years and I went to a ENT doctor also.

    I ended up having major sinus surgery twice and my ENT doc wanted to do a third to remove my turbinate, so I went to a specialist and declined the last one.

    It was at this appointment I met a doctor who advised me to not let them operate again but to have a somnoplasty performed. (Inject radio frequency waves into the sinuses to shrink the turbinate). I know it sounds bad but compared to the sinus surgery it was a breeze. I had three of these done and with most patients they might require two.

    I was one of the first patients to ever receive this procedure because it was new and was originally invented for people who snore but has found it to be effective with sinus sufferers.

    Please understand I am not saying that in some cases patients do not need sinus suregery but I have learned from several doctors that alot of these surgeries can be avoided if they try alternative treatments.

    Today I still have problems with my sinuses and headaches but I can say it did help.

    Imitrex works to relieve headaches by binding the serotonin receptors and causes blood vessels to constrict.

    Hope this helps a little and if you need any more information I would be glad to help with what I have learned so far.

    Good Luck and hope you find relief soon.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/02/2006]
  4. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    i hadn't realized that imitrex binds the serotonin receptors until seeing lindsy's post, but it makes sense because they only thing that stopped my crushing migraines was a low dose ssri (lexapro). your headaches may be serotonin-related. many of us refuse anti-depressants because we're not clinically depressed but they offer benefits beyond depression. frankly, i wish they would call them something else. as the science evolves, i believe we'll see a whole new class of brain drugs hopefully more fittingly named.

  5. bigmh

    bigmh New Member

    Hi Val....have you seen a neurologist? One of the neurologists that I saw said that she didn't believe in sinus headaches....they are very closely related to migraines.

    If they are migraines, there are many drugs which can stop them and prevent them. It took me 5 years of trying different combinations (1 neurologist gave up on me), but I have finally gone from 15-25 headache days per month to 1-2 headaches per week...a miracle!! Good luck....Ann
  6. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    I appreciate your sharing your experiences and what has helped you with headaches.

    I've tried some of the things mentioned - like watching what I eat for triggers.

    I had a thyroid test a while ago by my physiatrist. He said that one of the results showed it to be off a bit, but didn't suggst any treatment. Maybe an endrocronologist would be worth a try. Not sure how to find one though. Maybe I will call the hospital for a refferal.

    I have never been to a neurologist for evaluation either. I'm so afraid that they would suggest Topamax and Neurontin - drugs that a former pain clinic insisted that I try. They were awful drugs for me - I call them "stupid" drugs because that's how I felt on them. I'm afraid that after being on Effexor for many years, I feel a bit like that about SSRIs. I guess I shouldn't lump them all together because they all may work a bit differently. I understand the serotonin connection to the headaches and how they might help. It does seem like the headaches became worse since I stopped taking Effexor but it came to a point for me that I just didn't feel like myself on it. I felt like I got my mind back after stopping them after taking them for about six years. Maybe a low dose would be much different.

    I'm definitely going to ask about the somnoplasty in connection with the sinus problem. I find that very interesting that the neurologist said she didn't believe in sinus headaches. The more I read the more I see that mentioned - that sinuses are not the cause of migraines. So having surgery for that reason sounds risky.

    I do know that taking a dose of prednisone (about 20 mg) a day has helped with all the inflammation in my face that seemed to accompany the headaches. I feels like sinus related stuff. My former general practioner had given me 5 mg. prednisone to help when I would have flares in my leg from RSD related problems. I know there are side effects if one takes steroids for a long time, but find it interesting how it has finally helped this episode of headaches that lasted for over two weeks. There seems to be a weather component connected to them happening also and I can't understand why a non-allergic time like January-Feb would be a bad time! Maybe because the high desert where I live is much drier in the winter? Weird.

    That is great, Ann, that a combo of meds has gotten the headaches down to a few a week.

    I've had pain in my body for over twenty years and can tolerate it - the headaches drive me wild looking for relief.

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