Constant headaches over three weeks, stress or more serious?

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  • Full Question:

    I've had constant headaches for over three weeks now. It comes and goes but usually starts at the same time almost every day in the evening. It stopped for about three days, but today was the most severe sharp pain I've ever had. It was as if my right side of my brain was being stabbed or electrocuted and I had almost lost consciousness. Few hours later the pain came back even stronger, then I felt my nerves throughout certain parts of my body tingle in a painful way and ache. I was wondering if this is all just side effects from being stressed or if it's something more serious? Faith.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Faith;

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    The bottom line here is that we simply cannot answer your question. Nobody can answer it via the Internet. There are many issues that could cause this type of headache - anything from ice pick headaches to an aneurysm or tumor. The only person who can answer your question is a doctor who can review your medical history and family medical history with you, discuss your symptoms with you, examine you in person, and order any imaging or other testing necessary to diagnose these headaches.


    Being stressed is highly unlikely to cause headaches as severe as you describe. Statistically, it's unlikely to be something truly "serious," but you shouldn't take any chances. Unexplained headaches should always be investigated. PLEASE, call your doctors office and make an appointment to see him or her immediately.


    Good luck,
    David Watson, MD, and Teri Robert


    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialists and director of the Headache Center at West Virginia University. He and Lead Health Guide Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Watson or more about Teri Robert.


    If you have a question, please click HERE. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers here. Due to the number of questions submitted, no questions will be answered privately, and questions will be accepted only when submitted via THIS FORM. Please do not submit questions via email, private message, or blog comments. Thank you.


    Please note: We cannot diagnose, suggest specific treatment, or handle emergencies via the Internet. Please do not ask us to diagnose; see your physician for diagnosis. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can't answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.


    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.


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    Last updated October 23 2014.


Published On: October 23, 2014