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Please reassure me about headaches/pressure in head

(18 Posts)
Dancergirl Wed 01-Jan-14 20:54:39

I've been getting more headaches than normal. Sometimes the actual pain isn't too bad, it feels like pressure more than anything else.

I know this is the wrong thing to do but I've been googling and am now worrying about brain tumours. Very unlikely I know but it's possible right? What else could the pressure be?

Also, is there a link between using hair colours and some cancers? Should I see my GP?

AimeeDubucqdeRivery Wed 01-Jan-14 22:20:08

A feeling of pressure is common with some headaches.

I would book an appt with your GP for reassurance. They can easily check the back of your eyes by shining a light on them for signs of anything sinister. I've had this done a few times as have a long history of migraines/wierd headaches.

When I was nursing, patients with brain tumours mostly presented iirc with nausea/vomiting, confusion, aggression rather than what you describe so try not to panic and if you can do step away from Google smile

Headaches can be scary I know but might they perhaps also be caused atm by stress, chocolate, cheese, wine, caffeine etc which we tend to indulge in more at this time of year?. Or could be hormonal?

Hopefully a quick check up can put your mind at ease

specialsubject Wed 01-Jan-14 22:29:27

the odds on hair colour causing cancer are tiny.

there are all sorts of things that can cause headaches. Jaw trouble, teeth grinding, all the things above.

see your GP.

Could be a tension headache? I get pressure round my head, eyebrows,ear,nose, jaw, etc, etc with these.

See your GP. They may prescribe amitryptiline as a preventative.

Dancergirl Thu 02-Jan-14 16:33:37

aimee I DO sometimes feel nauseous but that's maybe it's because either it's a migraine type headache or from anxiety.

Will the GP be able to confirm its nothing nasty or should I have a scan or something?

Floralnomad Thu 02-Jan-14 16:38:40

Could be sinus related , I get really bad heads and don't necessarily have a cold or feel blocked up but pills for sinus work much better than the usual headache type painkillers.

AimeeDubucqdeRivery Thu 02-Jan-14 20:22:21

Your GP will be able to say what the headaches are most likely down to, based on his/her assessment, and the eye check is good as it shows if you have raised intercranial pressure which is common with tumours.

An MRI would be more conclusive but based on the symptoms you describe I imagine your GP would be reluctant to send you for one without trying other measures to see if they improve the headaches first.

I have a long history of anxiety and have had these sorts of fears in the past, the best thing to do imo is see your GP asap for an assessment and advice on management.

I don't know what/if you take painkillers for your headaches but it's best iirc to stay away from products containing codeine eg cocodamol as these can cause rebound headaches.

Can you think of anything that could be triggering them? Anxiety, recent stress etc? Might be worth also keeping a diary of when you get headaches to see if there's a possible causal link between them you can spot.


Dancergirl Thu 02-Jan-14 20:36:45

Thank you. What are the best over the counter painkillers in the meantime?

AimeeDubucqdeRivery Thu 02-Jan-14 21:58:21

Generic paracetamol and ibuprofen, I take both at the same time at the onset, which as you probably know is quite safe, as they are different types of painkiller. Then continue with ibuprofen and/or paracetamol up to the max daily dose as needed.

I avoid all the nurofen/nurofen plus/panadol plus etc as they are a rip off and also as you probably know just the same drugs as ibuprofen/paracetamol in shiny packaging and can contain stuff like caffeine which isn't great at all.

Hope you feel better soon

Dancergirl Thu 02-Jan-14 22:07:50

Thanks that's really helpful. I have been taking Panadol etc in the past, I thought the caffeine helped!

So just non-branded ibuprofen? Paracetomol I have already.

AimeeDubucqdeRivery Thu 02-Jan-14 22:09:43

Also you can now get diclofenac (voltarol) over the counter, which can be used instead of ibuprofen. It's stronger so better for more moderate/severe pain/ migraine than ibuprofen, good for occasional use

AimeeDubucqdeRivery Thu 02-Jan-14 22:34:29

Yes non branded or plain no added extras nurofen if you can't get generic where you're shopping.

I think caffeine can help a bit in terms of pain relief but may also cause side effects and I am biased against it as I used to be very sensitive to caffeine (don't have any now due to migraine problems) and felt rubbish after eg a coffee buzz wore off and am sceptical of the extra benefit vs cost do feel free to ignore me on that!


SwimmingMom Thu 02-Jan-14 22:45:55

Have you checked your blood pressure? Persistent headaches which increase in pressure could be caused by high BP.

oohdaddypig Thu 02-Jan-14 22:48:48

My sinus flare ups cos exactly that kind of headache. Have you had a cold?

OnGoldenPond Thu 02-Jan-14 22:53:30

I had a brain tumour and never had one headache. Had nausea and balance problems due to site of tumour. I think symptoms often relate more to the function of the area of the brain affected by the tumour.

GP will know the signs to look for and will send you for a scan if any signs they find worrying.

luvfizz Fri 03-Jan-14 16:16:03

I also had a brain tumour but did get headaches, commonly early in the morning from around 2am (apparently early morning headaches are a common sign of a tumour). My head also felt 'full' and this was from increased cranial fluid surrounding the tumour. Other symptoms will depend on the location of the any tumour (left side controls movement and right side is more emotional). If I was you I would look at when they are occurring and keep a diary to show your GP. I'm sure you'll be OK but it's best to get things checked IMO.

Dancergirl Mon 13-Jan-14 09:28:23

Sorry to post again but I feel awful sad

On Saturday afternoon I was driving dd somewhere, it was really sunny and what with the sun being low in the sky this time of year and driving near trees, the sunlight sort of flickered/flashed as I drove. I remember not liking it at the time.

Sunday morning I woke up to pressure in my head and I felt really rough all of yesterday.

I slept really badly last night, I just felt so anxious. Worried I would be sick (I am emetophobic), worried I'll be stuck with these headaches for ever more, worried it's something more serious.

Popped in to see pharmacist this morning, he recommended I tried co-codomol so I bought some, haven't taken any yet.

Feel really rubbish today with not sleeping and the anxiety.

AimeeDubucqdeRivery Mon 13-Jan-14 13:02:23

Hi Dancergirl

Sorry to hear you aren't well.

Did you manage to see GP? Was that helpful?

If it's any consolation, I went to see GP last week due to increase in migraines/strange headaches. It is scary.

I have now started on propanalol (beta blocker) to try and reduce heachaches. It is also good for anxiety, which is a bonus smile Perhaps something like this is worth a try? I told GP I was worried it was something more sinister and he said to watch wait and see if the propanalol helps then reassess in a couple of weeks.

As I think I mentioned codeine/products with codeine are ok to take as one offs but should be used with caution as they can cause drug rebound headaches.

If you have any travel sickness pills they might help with the nausea, also some people swear by those wrist band thingies.

Do you have any strategies to cope with anxiety? 7/11 breathing, relaxation tapes, yoga etc? Could you get some CBT for the anxiety once you have got to the bottom of the headaches?

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