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Old 01-10-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
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Sudden headache (like: hit in the forehead) when exercising

It has happened three times now, right when I start to get warmed up and blood pumping at the beginning of exercise (Bar Method.) I thought it was the Niacin I started taking, maybe it is and just not out of my system?

Could it be dehydration?

I've NEVER had such a sudden and painful 'whacked in the forehead with a board' headache before. I couldn't go on. I put on a hot compress and layed down. The pain got less and moved away from my forehead and diffused to the top and then back of my head and went away in about 45 minutes of laying in the dark with hot compress on forehead.

I'm thinking:
1.) Stop the niacin. (Done!)
2.) Drink more water before exercising. (Because right now I've only been drinking 2 cups of coffee and 1 glass of water a day . . . I know. I'm bad. )

Any other ideas? Or do you think it was the niacin and/or the dehydration?
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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I think I've decided that I've got a sinus cold and it's so mild I didn't know it. I just took a decongestant (but I can breathe -- not stopped up, just sneezing every few hours, maybe four times today?) and I'm going to see if it helps with headaches I've been having for . . . . past 4 days?
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:35 AM   #3
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There is also a type of headache that is specifically 'exercise induced.' It doesn't matter whether you've never had this type of headache before. It can occur at any time.

Last year, I had a series of what are termed "lightening headaches"--they come on suddenly, are extremely severe, but last only a few minutes (although they can last much longer as just a slight ache).

My primary doctor worried about a brain aneuryism (in my family history) and sent me for an MRI, which was negative. He then referred me to a neurologist, and after further testing, the neurologist concluded that the headaches (I had 3--and have had no more) were caused by 'hormonal shifts,' and that it is very common among women. I am post-menopausal.

I haven't had any more, but he told me they could recur at any time--or never. I was glad to have the tests because with any type of headache, it's always good to rule out something serious.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:36 AM   #4
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There is also a type of headache that is specifically 'exercise induced.' It doesn't matter whether you've never had this type of headache before. It can occur at any time.

Last year, I had a series of what are termed "lightening headaches"--they come on suddenly, are extremely severe, but last only a few minutes (although they can last much longer as just a slight ache). Two of them came when I was swimming laps.

My primary doctor worried about a brain aneuryism (in my family history) and sent me for an MRI, which was negative. He then referred me to a neurologist, and after further testing, the neurologist concluded that the headaches (I had 3--and have had no more) were caused by 'hormonal shifts,' and that it is very common among women. I am post-menopausal.

I haven't had any more, but he told me they could recur at any time--or never. I was glad to have the tests because with any type of headache, it's always good to rule out something serious.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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Yes, they came on so suddenly and so HARD, I did worry if I was having a brain aneurysm!

I've taken a decongestant for the past 2 days and I'm about to try to exercise again.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:25 AM   #6
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Well, I'm so disappointed to say that it did it again last evening when I did my Bar Method exercises at home. It came on right in the beginning, right after warm up and upon first strenuous exercise that got blood pumping.

I sat down and breathed and decided to keep going and it eased off to just a dull headache and I did to my whole workout (and didn't die, which I was a teeny bit concerned about. LOL!)

So. I don't know what to think of this. It didn't do it when I did Bar Method the first 6 times over about 5 weeks. Now, doing it every time.

I'm going to try to take longer to warm up, maybe ease into the heavy exercises, see if that makes a difference.

If I call my dr. I know I'll end up getting an MRI. I may end up doing that.

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Old 01-13-2013, 09:08 AM   #7
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It is probably benign, as mine was, but one thing I've learned from my doctors is that all sudden or unusual headaches sheould be medically evaluated. Pain is a 'warning sign,' and there are many serious illnesses that begin with a headache.

I've advise seeing your doctor.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:15 AM   #8
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I'm betting exercise-induced migraine. Not uncommon. I'm a neuropsych. Seen this quite a bit. Talk to your doc about it.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:44 AM   #9
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Thanks, guys! ((hugs))

I'm going to super-hydrate, eat a sugar-free (homemade) peanut butter ball the next time before exerciing, and try one more time. Maybe tonight, or maybe wait until tomorrow if I feel any hint of the headache lingering. (Still a tiny bit there.)

If this keeps up, will definitely call dr. to make appt.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
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A thought occurred to me: I'm exercising and building muscle and somehow I'm not as hungry so I'm eating less. I've lost 12 lbs.

I wonder if I'm just not EATING enough???

I don't feel hunger, but I went ahead and ate and I seem to feel better. My headache is gone.

Maybe I just need to increase my intake if I'm not going to be a couch (low carb) potato anymore?

I willl try to eat more and see if it makes a difference. (See how hard I'm avoiding going to the dr? )

I keep thinking I can find a way to just make it go away.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:33 PM   #11
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It could be pulminary/respiratory. This is not normal, even on low carb. Definitely go see the doctor!
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:13 PM   #12
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The areas of pain you describe can be sinus related-you need to make a docs appt, you simply might have a sinus infection.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:49 PM   #13
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The areas of pain you describe can be sinus related-you need to make a docs appt, you simply might have a sinus infection.
I thought sinus, too. But I absolutely feel 'open' and can breathe really well. But, I'll admit, it's been 24 hours and I still have a very slight pressure-feeling headache in my forehead.

Sigh.

I'm going to try ONE more time, tomorrow, to exercise and if I get slammed with another headache, then I'll call the dr. (I'll try to do it early in the day, so I have time to get an appt. this week.) Or, if I wake up with the headache still, I'll call first thing and maybe get in tomorrow?

I keep thinking it will just go away . . .

I just dread getting another MRI and I know that's where this is headed. (Getting both wrists MRI'd on Tuesday. My cup runneth over with MRIs.)

Guess I'll meet my yearly deductible all in one month.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:33 AM   #14
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you don't know that you'll need an MRI, but you might have to have an inhaler or some medication in order to help with the exercise initially, especially until you get fit. My guess is also sinuses, but this only comes from my personal experiences--I have a history of asthma that hits me once every few years so I forget I have it. I work out 5-6 days a week, pretty consistently. I am pretty fit and getting fitter. About a month ago, I had an incident wherein I could not make easy hill climbs, my heart rate was skyrocketing, and I had no idea what was going on. The doctors had no idea, until one of them realized I had a history of asthma and we figured out that I had an asthma attack and all I needed was 2 puffs on the inhaler before my workouts for about 2 weeks, now I'm fine. I also get really bad headaches from sinuses, you do not have to feel stuffed up at all to have a sinus infection, there are sinuses that can become infected that are higher up and do not affect your breathing, but can affect your head, eyes, and ears.

Again, I am not a doctor and this is just from my personal experience and you should never take medical advice over the internet, but it's an example of why you should go to the doctor.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:21 AM   #15
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Thanks. It's been raining constantly here for what seems like a week. Nasty. It could be that. I've never had a sinus infection in my forehead, had one in my cheek before when I worked in a building that had black mold on the ceiling. (Glad I left that place! Haven't had another sinus infection since I left there years ago.) Maybe all this rain has something to do with it?

I'm sitting here, trying to decide what to do. My neck is sore, but that could be the way I sat yesterday.

I'm just afraid my dr. is going to go 'all out' and require me to get the MRI. I can kind of feel my forehead, just very slight ache, when I shouldn't feel anything just sitting here typing. . .

Bleck.

Okay. I'm going to call.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:40 AM   #16
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I have an appointment in 2 hours. They said it was today (Monday) or the next opening wasn't until Friday. That's fine with me, I can go in 2 hours. I was considering going to the ER at some point over the weekend, so glad to be seen so quick. Somebody must've just called in and canceled and I got their spot. Good.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.

Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:02 AM   #17
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Great! I hope you get some relief! I wish I could have all of my sinuses removed sometimes!

Forgot to mention that these could also be symptoms from a zombie bite, have you been bitten by anyone recently?
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:18 AM   #18
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Great! I hope you get some relief! I wish I could have all of my sinuses removed sometimes!

Forgot to mention that these could also be symptoms from a zombie bite, have you been bitten by anyone recently?
LOL! No, but I can't wait for TWD to come back on! LOL!

Here's what the dr. said:

The decongestant didn't work --- so don't take it anymore, it raises blood pressure and it didn't help anyway. She doesn't want my blood pressure being raised. (BP was 128/86. I didn't think that was bad. It's usually 120/80 when I'm not in pain and not worried about my head exploding.)

She doesn't think it's sinus. She said, "Sinus is way low on my list of causes right now."

She's ordering an "MRA MRI" of my head. Have to wait on insurance to approve and then can schedule it. I think she said she wanted an MRA, but if insurance wouldn't pay would have to settle for MRI.

She said:

No exercise AT ALL.
No straining.
Try not to bend over.
Don't take decongestant.
Don't do anything to raise blood pressure.
If extreme headache comes back hard like before, go to ER and call her on the way.

So. . . Hmphf.

I guess I just wait for the approval of the MRA and try not to think about my head exploding?

I'm thinking it will all come back normal, then they'll say, "You have exercise induced headaches and we don't know why." If it is something serious, then I guess I'm glad I'm finding out now and not after having a stroke.

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Old 01-14-2013, 12:50 PM   #19
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yeah that bp doesn't sound too high, it would have probably dropped in an hour. Well in any case, I hope the MRA or MRI confirms that it isn't something too serious, I do feel that my doctor tends to jump on the OMG boat before thinking symptoms through, and I often end up doing more research to disprove her crazy ideas, but I also have several doctors in my family to reconsult with, which is very nice. Always have a child become a doctor, btw, or convince a sibling to go to medical school.
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