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08 Jul 2011

Dizzy / fainting
Good day
My mother and sister have history of migraine and I started experiencing them since 1999. I am 47.
2 weeks ago I had a migraine, took ibuprofen 400mg with 500mg paracetamol. Next day head was still sore, took nothing, Later on that afternoon experienced dizzy spell and heavy headache afterwards Went to the doc and BP was 85/54. My BP averages 90/60. The headache didnt subside and last Wednesay, another migraine, same medication and the next day fainted in my chair (passed out max 2 mins) in front of the laptop and woke feeling dizzy and my throat felt as though there was a ball stuck in it. I went for MRI and ECG which came out clear. Doc surmises it may have been epileptic fit and wants me to go onto anti convulsives. My Physio recons it may have been the muscle tension in my neck that stopped blood flow to the head which caused the blackout. I still have the headache. I dont drink coffee/caffienne, consume any dairy or wheat.
What is wrong with me?
Answer 488 views
Headache expert
Headache expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Judy,

All the symptoms you have described can occur with migraine headaches, so if the migraine is properly treated the other symptoms are likely to subside. For this to occur a proper diagnosis must be made. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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