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Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
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Its been 6 weeks and Ive been experiencing sudden onset of

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It's been 6 weeks and I've been experiencing sudden onset of headaches- not like a normal headache... like an intense pressure in the back of my head and sometimes it is one-sided. In the last few days, the headaches have been more tolerable, but I am now experiencing other symptoms. My doctor prescribed me ativan for anxiety a few months ago before all of this happened, and it has been the only thing that has helped my headaches at all. I lose my appetite when the headaches come on, but in about a half-hour, they ease up (usually after i take the ativan) and I'm able to eat with no problem. I'm having problems coming off of the ativan because of the side effects/withdrawl symptoms... But in the past week I've had little to no appetite, I have a headache (more like a normal one), i've felt very tired even after sleeping a full night, i've also been having left arm pain which i feel like it's coming from my armpit.. Basically, I have a ton of symptoms that don't make any sense together. My primary thinks i'm crazy and I went to an ENT who sent me for an MRI of my brain which showed nothing, and then discharged me. I now have an appointment with a neurologist coming up soon, but I can't take these symptoms anymore.

Mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

Mysticdoc :

Hello

Mysticdoc :

Thanks for your question.

Mysticdoc :

The recurrent headaches can be caused by the several possibilities.

Mysticdoc :

Migraine headache is common.

Mysticdoc :

Migraine can present with various features and MRI is normal often.

Mysticdoc :

Another possibility can neuralgia related headache.

Mysticdoc :

Occipital neuralgia is one such example.

Customer:

I don't really have symptoms of a migraine headache though... I have no sensitivity to light or sound

Mysticdoc :

In this case, the nerve supplying the head gets inflamed.

Mysticdoc :

sensitivity to the light and sound is not seen in every migraine presentation.

Mysticdoc :

but you do have other symptoms which can classify this as atypical migraine

Mysticdoc :

that is one possibility.

Mysticdoc :

the next one as mentioned above neuralgia

Customer:

my other symptoms such as the loss of appetite have only started in the past week

Mysticdoc :

yes this can start anytime but you do have this.

Mysticdoc :

what other symptoms you have?

Customer:

right now, fatigue, slight headache, loss of appetite, and slight nausea

Mysticdoc :

sny tingling, numbness?

Customer:

i have a slight pain in my left arm that goes from my armpit to my hand

Customer:

not really numb or tingling though

Mysticdoc :

any weakness of muscles?

Mysticdoc :

so, neuralgia or migraine can cause this.

Mysticdoc :

Tension headache is another possibility --usually other symptoms not present.

Mysticdoc :

now describe your headache---where does it start and then where does it spread?

Customer:

my headaches normally start in the back of my head down by my neck... sometimes they are one-sided like right behind my right ear and it feels like my head's going to explode

Mysticdoc :

Ok then this is a neuralgia type headache.

Mysticdoc :

Likely the cervical nerves are getting pinched somehow at the spine or the nerve is very inflamed due to the damage by the body's immune system.

Mysticdoc :

In this case, you will benefit from seeing a headache specialist.

Mysticdoc :

A headache specialist is also a neurologist with special training and experience in headache management.

Mysticdoc :

Most big medical centers have headache clinic.

Mysticdoc :

The usual management is to adminisiter a steroid and lidocain mixture shot at the base of the nerve.

Mysticdoc :

This stops the headache for good in most cases.

Mysticdoc :

Then head and neck physical therapy is incorporated in the management.

Mysticdoc :

This is a special physical therapy only performed by the experienced physical therapist working with headache patients only.

Mysticdoc :

This is the best management plan to bring your life back to normalcy without using different medications.

Mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

Customer:

i don't understand where all my other symptoms are coming from...

Customer:

why the loss of appetite and slight nausea?

Mysticdoc :

these are nerve related as I explained above.

Mysticdoc :

The nerves are inflamed.

Mysticdoc :

Inflammation releases lot of chemical substances known as cytokines that can cause fatigue and loss of appetite.

Mysticdoc :

Once the the inflamed nerves are treated, you will dramatic improvement.

Customer:

my primary doctor did prescribe me a steroid pack but it didn't help...

Mysticdoc :

The best way to treat is as I described above.

Mysticdoc :

steroid pack will not help.

Customer:

really

Customer:

could this possibly explain the arm pain as well?

Mysticdoc :

only the injections at the very specific area will help.

Mysticdoc :

yes ofcourse.

Mysticdoc :

you have problem in your cervical spine.

Mysticdoc :

that has not been evaluated yet.

Mysticdoc :

the neurologist will address this issue likely.

Customer:

i work for a spine doctor.. he examined me yesterday and he said it could be a cervical spine issue as well but not sure... so he gave me a script for an mri of my c-spine... will this show nerve complications?

Mysticdoc :

most likely.

Mysticdoc :

another test that is commonly performed is a nerve conduction study.

Mysticdoc :

this can be ordered by your neurologist.

Customer:

ok, also does this explain the pain coming from my armpit?

Mysticdoc :

yes absolutely.

Customer:

my primary gave me a script for an EMG of my left arm..

Mysticdoc :

if you see the anatomical picture of the nerve roots coming out of the cervical spine, it will be very clear.

Customer:

ok, i guess i will go ahead and proceed with my mri and appointment with my neurologist...

Customer:

thank you

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