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01 Feb 2008

Hospitalised because of headaches
As far as I can remember I have suffered from severe headaches. I am 34 now, and they have got so bad, that no painkiller or injection helps. They get so bad that I have ended up in hospital on a few occassions, because I vommit so much that I completely dehydrate. I am sick of doctors and specialists. I have been told that I am hypoglycaemic, have a micro prolactinoma, suffer from sinus, and the latest is that I have simple partial epilepsy. It is absolutely crazy. I have spent thousands on medication, doctors and hospitals. I am a single mother of three, with no medical aid. After all the money I have spent on the above, one would think I would have an accurate diagnosis by now. I am always feeling tired and depressed, because if you don't feel well all the time, it can get you down. Please help if anyone has an answer for me.
Answer 298 views
Headache expert
headache expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Jade,

Unfortunately your story is not unique – there are so many headache sufferers like you – but there is always a cause for headaches, and because there are so many different factors that may influence the headaches, the diagnosis is sometimes very difficult. Medication is certainly not the answer, as it doesn’t address the underlying cause/s. Rescue medications are the worst of all, as they eventually make the headache worse – this is a well known condition called medication overuse headache. So you have both the original problem and a new one.

It is very rare for sinus problems to cause headaches – this is the commonest misdiagnosis with regard to headaches.

To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. 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 assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

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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