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didgens

Hello ,, Im back

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Some time ago i posted here.  My then 19 year old son started suffering what i belived where cluster headaches. Some here basically said "oh those arent cluster headaches" and so i sort of stopped comming here.  That was last year in October (15 months ago).  I took him for MRI and they found nothing but a polyp in his sinus'.  after that he didnt have anymore ,, for a while anyway.  THen in  February again he was hit again.  But only 2.  I charted these in a calendar (but did not tell him i was keeping track). The doctor prescribed Imitrex nasal spray which i was hesitant to use.  the headaches went away.  I calmed down .. back to normal worrying etc.  Fast forward to this october ,, low and behold headaches back again for him. The Imitrex did not work.  I watch him and he is classic .. same side of head, 1 hour after falling asleep ,, droopy and dripping eye and running nose.. (he says the next day after he has one of these he has a residual headache like the shadowing you all talk about) they go away again and then low and behold AGAIN back now at almost the exact same time within  15 days of last year.  My husband said he noticed my sons eye before it came on was quite bloodshoot.  In my documentation what i have observed is this.  BOTH in October and February last year and this we are experiencing Santa Ana (windy)  conditions .. windy, dusty pollen in the air. This time I myself had the worst itching of my eyes i wanted to scratch them out of my head. My other son was sneezing and sneezing last year. So what i want to ask all of you is this.  Many people get headaches for different reasons.  ie. my husband cannot stand bright sunlight, i myself NEVER get headaches, some people get them from food they eat. Isnt it possible that people get a "cluster headache"  or this type of headache from different things ??? maybe everyones trigger isnt the same thing ? but for whatever reason these people get this type of pain based on an individuals personal trigger ?? i am now convinced that its allergy related with my son based upon what everyone else is experiencing in the family at the time ??

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Oh he also states he cannot sit still moving makes him feel better ,, and for him they last about 40 minutes to an hour.  He differs in that he only has one of these at a time (ie. 1 a day) and in patterns past they are about a week to 2 weeks apart.  I know its so different then you cronic sufferers here but i know it is the exact same pain. so why is he different ??

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didgens, I see that quite a few people have read your messages but no one has responded.  I suspect that's because they, like me, don't know what to say.  Many of your son's symptoms sound exactly like CH, but the way they are put together (for example, coming a week to two weeks apart) doesn't sound much like CH. They are called "cluster" headaches because they cluster within certain time periods.  Since we're not doctors, we can't really diagnose him, which seems to be what your question is about.

As for triggers, this is a big reach, but there is a tree, the California laurel, that causes headache and migraine. It could be possible (though very unlikely) that your son is being exposed to scents from that tree, or some other naturally-growing thing, that induce cluster symptoms.  http://www.sciencedebate.com/science-blog/how-headache-tree-causes-cluster-headache-and-migraine

I think I also suggested to you in a previous thread that MSG (monosodium glutamate) might be a trigger for him, since as I recall he got some attacks after eating what you referred to as "Asian food," and Chinese food often has a lot of MSG in it.  Since that thread, some other people here have said that MSG can trigger severe headaches or CH attacks for them.

I suppose one form of "diagnosis" is whether CH methods help abort or stave off his attacks.  Has he ever been able to try oxygen during an attack?  Imitrex?  Or verapamil or prednisone as preventives?  Has he tried busting as an abortive, just to see whether it has any effect?  (You might have answered these questions before -- I just don't remember.)

Those are my best thoughts.

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Hi didgens its been a while since I posted here.

There is a difference between a cluster cycle and cluster triggers.

Many people have varying triggers sometimes real sometimes imagined that happen during a cycle but wont affect them at any other times.

MSG is a big trigger as is alcohol for many in cycle. Most true triggers will involve something to cause a chemical changeup in the body or mind.

I think in the long view (years) most triggers people thought they had just weren't so. But there are some constants.

A cluster cycle happens for no definitive reasons known but regularity is one key to diagnosis.

And yes some CHs are far less frequent and some are back to back for years on end.

Your second post is more telling of clusters. Perhaps they may get worse over time or disappear. He's not so different.

MJ

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Hi didgens,

Just one thing to add. Barometric pressure drop seems to affect many sufferers. So, does the pressure drop when the Santa Ana winds start? If so, this could trigger a cycle or just a single rogue CH.

Also, it is very common for a cycle to start around the Solstice or Equinox. Sorry I can't add more.

spiny

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Thank you both for the reply. Acutally he ate this orange chicken i bought a day or two before his headache last week. the same orange chicken he ate last year with the same effect. I need to see what is in it. I will definately check on the California Laurel. I know things were blooming unseasonally here because we had a very weird spell of 80+ degree weather for a week, then back to cold and rainey. the whole family was sneezing with itchy eyes.  Also a side comment my husband suffers from what is called SUNCT Syndrome. SUNCT syndrome (short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing) causes stabbing or burning eye pain that may resemble cluster headaches, but attacks are very brief (lasting about a minute) and may occur more than 100 times per day. Red and watery eyes, sweating forehead, and congestion are typical. This rare headache is more common in men than women and does not respond to usual headache treatments.

He also does not have them hundreds of times a day .. he gets them from time to time and will actually holler out loud and grab his head.. they pass in 90 seconds or less. I have to think that they are related.  He tells me his grandfather suffered migranes.  Also note the imitrex nasel did nothing my son. I could not get the doctor to prescribe oxygen. I am just sitting on pins and needles waiting to see if the month will bring another one like last year.   thank you both again for commenting. it means alot.

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spiny .. thanks for the info about Santa Anas .. yes there is a definate barometric pressure change with these winds .. everyone in So Cal feels it .. it can make me feel light headed and dizzy at times. very common feeling here, almost like your at high (very) elevation.

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ok the only thing in the chicken that he doesnt normally eat are

straw mushroom extractives

white pepper

sake

no msg

and we do not have any california laurel in our yard but i will investigate others  (great ,, if im in jail for creeping around neighbors yards will someone come bail me out ??)   ;)

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ok so i work on a college campus where my son attends college. we just started the new semester on monday. it was hard for him having that headache on sunday night.  He was able to come early today and take a lunch break with me.  we went for fish ,, on the way i noticed he was sniffling and i asked him if he had a cold ? he said no, but his nose has been really really itchy and dripping and he is sneezing alot. He said he feels like hes dealing with allergies, but that he's never had this before. I told him that allergies can come on at any point in someones life. he said that sucks. then later during the meal he told me he had another one of his headaches yesterday during class, i asked him if it was a regular headache or one like he had monday. he said it was like mondays same spot same eye but not as painful.  now i am concerned becuase it was only 3 days between the 2. 

Can you all here tell me how this all began for you ?? was it all of a sudden your getting 4 - 10 headaches a day ?? how old were you ? do you smoke ? etc ?  this has me heartbroken. thank you all so much

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didgens

My personal experience with CH is that doctors don't know a lot of it, including me! In my occupation I see a lot of people with it, now that I have it myself, but they don't believe me, they will rather go back to the medical doctor for medicine  that doesn't really work, not knowing the answer to our problem yet!

The symptoms are so close related to an allergic reaction, for pollen, what ever, that I all ways thought it was that time of the year!, but since it is chronic the last 2+ yrs, I think it is something else!

Maybe inherited?

Love your support for your family!

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It would appear that many of the weather conditions associated with Santa Ana winds could be associated with CH, as they pull many or our "triggers".  I can certainly testify to the synoptic characterictics of these wind events, but can only guess as to their actual links with either causing or intensifying CH.  There are no doubt some interesting interrelationships.

The Santa Ana is a strong, dry, mostly hot and dusty, wind in southwestern California that blows westward through the canyons toward the coastal areas. When High pressure builds over the Great Basin (Nevada), it combines with strong thermal Low pressure over NW Mexico, creating a large pressure gradient in the lower atmosphere.  The descend from higher altitudes inland to near sea-level in Southern California causes temperature warming in the air due to the pressure increases.  As the air warms during descent it becomes much drier, because no moisture is added to the air mass at this time.

The pressure drops over Los Angeles, strong winds transport tremendous amounts of dust and pollen, positive ions are created, air temperatures increase, and humidity falls drastically. 

Some thought-provoking connections might be ......

It's a seasonal phenomena, occurring mostly during fall/winter, peaking in December.

Increases in positive ionization in the air may affect the amount of serotonin in the body.  Fluctuations in serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate blood-vessel contraction and dilation, are thought to be key in some headache processes.

Barometric pressure drops are certainly associated with CH (I know mine are).  It is speculated that the effects of atmospheric pressure drops on blood vessels (vasodialation), could explain this link.

Rapid temperature increases and humidity decreases.

Huge increase in the amounts of air-borne pollutants and pollens from these strong surface winds (that can reach 100 mph in the Banning Pass).

If the Santa Ana's came with a cold beer and Chinese lunch, I'd run for the hills when these conditions are forecast.  Wish you PF days and hope this helps  ;)

weatherman

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didgens

My personal experience with CH is that doctors don't know a lot of it, including me! In my occupation I see a lot of people with it, now that I have it myself, but they don't believe me, they will rather go back to the medical doctor for medicine  that doesn't really work, not knowing the answer to our problem yet!

The symptoms are so close related to an allergic reaction, for pollen, what ever, that I all ways thought it was that time of the year!, but since it is chronic the last 2+ yrs, I think it is something else!

Maybe inherited?

Love your support for your family!

h  

thanks H !  i will continue to read and research here ,, this is an amazing site. I myself go to power-surge for my menopause issues ,, same thing ,, docs just wanna throw useless meds at us  ;).. but i digress 

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hi weatherman ,, so no relief with any kind of antihistimine though ?  im afraid to give him anything thinking it could trigger something worse or more prolonged.  i think im going to look into the whole RC regime though so if it escalates i can be prepared to try something else anyway. I have been writing on the calendar when these hit him. and last year in feb was his first one during waking hours.  in oct they only came on when he is sleeping ... in feb they are when he is awake. does anyone else have this odd pattern ??

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