View Full Version : Headaches
How do you tell the difference between a Lupus headache and just a stress headache? For the past couple weeks Iíve had a dull headache at the top of my head, itís even there when I wake up in the morning. When it gets bad it hurts to move my head around. Tylenol doesnít seem to help. Iíve found an ice pack does the best. A couple times it has felt like the skin on the top of my head was super hot like it had been sun burned, but when I touch it with my hands it isnít hot at all. I had my husband feel too and he said it wasnít hot either. I have Raynaudís, but Iím taking blood pressure medicine (procardia) and it seems to be well controlled. Iím also on Immuran and Prednisone and all my other symptoms seem to be controlled too. I have had a DVT (blood clot), but all the antibodies associated with clotting have all come back negative.
08-23-2006, 08:46 AM
I too suffer from those kind of headaches, in addition to double vision. My neurologist believes it's a form of migraine; however, I'm not convinced.
Doesn't it seem like, as soon as we begin to understand this disease we have something new to worry about? I know that's the case for me.
I hope you find answers and relief soon, friend.
08-23-2006, 03:04 PM
Well, from what I've read - Stress headaches are more like muscle contraction headaches. Muscle contraction headaches are typically associated with tension and fatigue related to stress. The pain is usually diffuse and on both sides of the head and may last for days or hours. Stress headaches or tension headaches typically begin slowly as a dull, achy pain on both sides of your head. A stress headache may also feel like a tightening in your neck muscles. A stress headache, which can range from mild to severe, is a common type of headache. A stress headache is not a migraine headache, but sometimes it can hurt worse.
Lupus headaches are more like migraines. They are generally been divided into two types, common and classic. Common migraines occur as a throbbing pain on one side or occasionally both sides of the head. They may last for hours or days. Classic migraine has similar features but is associated with nausea. The aura may include a variety of symptoms and, in particular, includes visual symptoms such as bright lights, lines, patterns or other distortions. It is the classic pattern of migraine which seems to have a specific association with lupus.
Unlike the more typical pattern of more classic migraine, lupus patients with migrainous headaches often do not have an associated family history of migraines and their headaches typically have begun in association with the activity of their lupus.
I hope I've answered your question :lol:
08-23-2006, 06:02 PM
Lots of different meds can cause headache as a side effect, particularly some of the bp meds. Also, if you've taken a lot of otc meds like advil or aleve, then stop taking them. it can cause a severe "rebound" headache that lasts for days.
If you are consistently waking up with a headache, it might be related to your sleeping position. Have you tried something like a contour pillow to help support your neck?
I have to avoid certain foods because they trigger severe headaches for me wine, chocolates, certain cheeses, most chinese foods because of the msg. if the headache seemed to occur after eating a particular food, it could be a migraine trigger for you.
My neurologist had me keep a headache log for several weeks, writing down when the headache started, how long it lasted, any other symptoms like nausea, flashing lights, etc. When we looked at it, we were able to find some things that seemed to be triggers. I think there are several headache websites where you can print out a similar form - maybe it might help.
As always, definitely let your doc know. I know we're all afraid of being considered hypochondriacs, but a persistent headache in anyone with a history of blood clots should always be checked out.
Hope you feel better soon.
Thanks for all the info! This site is wonderful. I think my headaches are probably just tension headaches. I don't see flashing lights and I'm still able to go to work so I'm thinking it's not bad enough to be a migrain. The hot "sun burned" feeling on the top of my head and feeling yucky when I move my head had me wondering. I'll let my doctor know at my next visit. Thanks again.
08-24-2006, 05:37 PM
I experience those terrible headaches too. I think they really are tension/stress headaches, but they feel worst than a migraine!! :cry: It starts off like a normal headache, an ache on one side of my head or sometimes both sides, then it eventually travels down to the back of my head. Then the awful pain spreads down to my neck muscles, and to my upper back. My head feels like its going to explode, and my muscles feel extremely tight and oh so achey. :cry: Last sunday, I had this happen to me, and I laid in my room in the dark with an icepack over my forehead and eyes, and an icepack at the back of my head/neck. I seriously felt like my head had a heartbeat, it was throbbing. It was so bad, that I cried myself to sleep. :( I suffered with that headache ALL DAY. Its scary how a little bit of stress can cause all this tension to build up. I had a small argument with my mother earlier, which probably triggered and caused this headache. Tylenol wasn't any help! Thank goodness, when i woke up the next morning, it was gone. :)
08-24-2006, 06:38 PM
IF THE PAIN WAS PULSING OR THROBBING, AND YOU NOTICED SENSITIVITY TO LIGHT, THAT SOUNDS MORE LIKE MIGRAINE THAN A MUSCLE-TENSION HEADACHE, ESPECIALLY IF TYLENOL DIDN'T HELP AT ALL. ALTHOUGH A LOT OF PEOPLE EXPERIENCE AURAS AND VISUAL DISTURBANCES LIKE FLASHING LIGHTS DURING A MIGRAINE, SOME PEOPLE DON'T - YOU CAN HAVE WHAT'S CALLED COMMON MIGRAINE.
HOPEFULLY YOU WON'T HAVE A HEADACHE THAT BAD AGAIN BUT I WOULD TALK TO THE DOC ABOUT HAVING SOME MEDICINE ON HAND IN CASE YOU DO. THE OTC EXCEDRIN MIGRAINE WORKS PRETTY WELL IF YOU CAN'T GET ANYTHING PRESCRIPTION.
I KEEP SEVERAL PACKAGES OF FROZEN PEAS ON HAND FOR INSTANT COLDPACKS - THEY'RE GREAT WHEN YOU HAVE A HEADACHE. tHEY ALSO WORK WELL WHEN THE KIDS HAVE A BOO-BOO.
08-30-2006, 08:39 PM
I too get headaches, but mine came with the lupus. The Doctor calls the lupus migraines. I call them something else :evil: . Mine last till I wake and then they are usually gone, but I get them almost daily. They make me grit my teeth and then I have jaw pain.