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Severe headache that is getting worse

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I have been experiencing headaches for the last 3-4 weeks, i went to see my local gp and was told it was a result of clinical depression and given propranolol to help with headaches... the tablets just made the headaches seem more intense and even made me feel ALOT more depressed so I stopped taking them about 4-5 days ago. I am not experiencing stomach pains, diarrhea, nausea and INTENSE headaches, what could be causing this?? I have an appointment with my gp in a couple of hours but I am just worried and would like to get advice before I see my gp.


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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Hello, your problems have a lot of underlying causes to look at. It is a subjective feeling and a non-specific symptom. The causes are stress, depression, underlying disease, anemia, autoimmune disease, Diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, Heart disease, sleep deprivation, pregnancy, anxiety and so on. They are different types of headaches like

a)Tension headache: which is very common, occurs around the head especially at the back or the temple and do not prevent your daily activities that can be relieved by tablets paracetamol or ibuprofen.

b)Cluster headache: usually it affects men more than women. Occurs in groups or cycles, severe and on one side of the head. It usually presents with congestion or runny nose, watering eyes. The cause is not known, may be genetic.

c)Sinus headache: usually is due to infection along with fever or variation in pollen. Antibiotics, antihistamines or decongestants will relieve presence of pus in the sinus cavity.

d)Rebound headache: usually due to excessive use of painkillers or may be due to sudden withdrawal of drug.

e)Migraine headache: usually there is a family history present. May get 4-5 episodes, lasts for 4-72 hours, one sided pain, throbbing, sometimes moderate to severe, gets worsened by routine activities. Sometimes there is sensitivity to light and sound.

f)Eyestrain headache: due to watching too much TV or reading that hurts your vision or logging in front of the computer.

g)Hormone headache: appears especially during menstruation, because of imbalance in estrogen and progesterone levels.

h)Hangovers: due to excessive alcohol consumption.

i)Transformed migraines: here the pain is less severe but it is throbbing.

j)Caffeine withdrawal headache: usually throbbing occurs especially when you miss your coffee.

In your case, It looks more like a tension headache due to stress. I would suggest you to try to relax and do some deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation to relieve the stress. You can also take tablet ibuprofen twice a day after food for 5 days. If you still have a headache, then you should consult your doctor and get complete physical examination, blood tests, vision test, CT brain, and blood sugar levels to rule out diabetes and review the reports with the physician or a neurologist for further management. Thank you.


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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