5/26/08 #7 - Is a 10-day headache normal?

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Full Question:

I've had a headache, one sided, for about 10 days straight.   I've been to the doctors before, they've all said tension headache, I had a cat scan in fall of 2006 which was clear, lately I feel like I've had some lightheadedness, a little dizziness.   I've never vomited while having a headache but sometimes I think I may be having some nausea.   I had pre diabetic numbers about a year ago but that number has come down, my recent random glucose was a 109.   Could blood sugar have anything to do with the headaches/dizziness.   I admit my job is stressful and I'm recently married.   Is it okay to be taking pain relievers for 10 days in a row? Christie.


Dear Christie;

You raise a number of issues that really should be addressed by a doctor who has access to your full medical history and can examine you and discuss this in person. A few points...

Tension-type headaches are seldom one-sided. See _Tension-Type Headaches - The Basics _.

A random glucose level tells you next to nothing. If you had glucose levels of concern a year ago, this should be followed carefully. I would suggest a glycosated hemoglobin test HbA1c at least once a year. This would tell you your average glucose level for the 90 days immediately prior to the test. Yes, glucose levels can affect headaches and dizziness.

One-sided headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea could mean Migraine. Is there any history of Migraines, "sick headaches," or sinus headaches in your family?

No, you should not be taking pain relievers 10 days in a row. You shouldn't be taking them more than two or three days a week. Doing so can make matters worse by causing medication overuse headaches, aka rebound. See _Medication Overuse Headaches - When the Remedy Backfires _.

If your doctor can't help you, consider a headache specialist. There's a link to our directory of patient recommended specialists below.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

If you need to find a headache and Migraine specialist, please see our listing of patient recommended specialists.

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