We welcome your questions about Migraine and other Headache disorders, and want to help as many people as possible. Many good questions come in for our Ask the Clinician column, several every day. Many of these questions are valuable not only to the person who submitted the questions, but also to other readers who may recognize some of their own issues in questions submitted by other people. All of this is good for the entire online Migraine community.
Today, we need to address other types of question that we're receiving more and more frequently - questions such as:
- "What is this pain?"
- "Is this a Migraine?"
- "Every day I get a sharp pain in the lower back of my head. Should I worry?"
- "Can I take these two medications together?"
- "I have headaches every day. Please tell me the best solution for me."
- "My relative took my aunt's medication for a week because of a pharmacy mistake. What is the possible health risk?"
- "My boyfriend came before he pulled out. Could I be pregnant?"
- "I've been noticing blood in my urine. What could cause this? Is it dangerous?"
There common thread that connects all of these questions is that they are questions that nobody can answer safely via the Internet. There are multiple problems with this type of question:
- Obviously, some of them have nothing to do with Migraines or other Headache disorders. They're outside our area of expertise, and we will not attempt to answer them.
- Many of them are asking us to give them a diagnosis, which is neither safe nor legal to attempt online. Diagnoses should be made only by a physician who sees you in person to review your medical history and family medical history, discuss your symptoms with you, and conduct an examination.
- We cannot tell anyone if any combination of medications - or even a single medication, for that matter - is safe for them. The answer has to consider more than the combination of medications or the specific medication. Every medication you take, including over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements must be considered, as must your full medical history. Again, this type of question should only be answered by your own doctor.
- Nobody should attempt to give medical advice online, even trained health care professionals. Medical advice should be given only by trained health care professionals - AFTER they have examined a patient.
What we CAN do:
- When a question contains symptoms you're experiencing, we can give you information on types of Migraine or Headache that these symptoms MIGHT indicate. That information is not for diagnosis; it's to give you a basis for discussion with your own doctor.
- If you have been diagnosed, we can suggest medications to discuss with your doctor. We can't tell you which ones will work for you because everyone's body reacts differently. What works for one person with a certain diagnosis won't necessarily work for another.
- If you have questions about certain types of Migraine or other Headache disorders, we can give you educational information about them.
This information may be helpful to you when considering submitting a question:
- When to See a Doctor for a Migraine or Headache
- Migraineur's Guide to a Successful Doctor's Appointment
The purpose of Ask the Clinician:
The purpose of our Ask the Clinician column is to provide information that can be used to learn about Migraines and Headaches so enable patients to be more effective working as treatment partners with their physicians. We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.
The bottom line:
We want to answer your questions and help you as much as possible. We cannot, however give medical advice or take the place of your own physician. If you wonder if you should see a doctor, you probably should. If you're experiencing new or frightening symptoms, having the worst Migraine or headache you've ever had, or lose consciousness, please seek medical care.
Wishing you well,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
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Published On: July 29, 2013