Jump to content

Crazy thought


Recommended Posts

So I mentioned something I had been thinking about on another post but it has popped to the top of my head more than once so thought I would bring it up here just wanting to know what people think.

SO you all know my sons CH's come with other symptoms,  mostly allergy symptoms,  post nasal drip, acid reflux,, itchy eyes etc.

After reading an article CHFather posted about a certain tree causing a CH in one particular person I went back to my original thought that some allergen or other gets inhaled causing irritation to the sphenopalatine ganglion and or vagus nerve. 

Now heres a thought ,, everyone is allergic to something different,  me its Thompson Grass,, (doc did a blood allergy test on me ,, maybe people here should see if their GP would do one as well).  Im also allergic to clams,, bill might  be allergic to cat hair and sue house mold etc.  Then I started thinking ,, maybe the reason some people get CH's and others don't Is how the ganglion/nerves are positioned. ie.  if the ganglion is closer to the sinus cavity in CH sufferers than normal people ,, so it gets irritated in CH sufferers and not in other people. 

I'd like to add ,, that my son has some mal formations on his right side that are visible  ( I wll try to remember to take a picture and share)  which may lead creedance to this thinking.   Once irritated in Chronics it takes the seeds or other to calm it down. 

random thinking  I don't know if anyone has done any studies on where the ganglion and nerves are situated in CH's verses norms..  just sayin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had never encountered allergies, and had VERY few headaches, in my life before I turned 50.  Only used antihistamines once (in my 20's) and owned a small bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol for over 25 years (hangovers, etc).

Then the allergies started.  No life changes at all.  At first during Spring and Fall, then increasing to year-round within 3 years.   The symptoms ramped up with over-the-counter meds barely working.  I went for allergy testing and after three rounds of shots, interviews, questionnaires, and multiple MD visits, nothing was found.  Sinus headaches progressively got worse.

I told my Dr on the last visit that I could handle the sneezing, stuffed-up nose, itchy eyes, etc ..... but the headaches were kickin' my butt.  She asked me a few questions (of course I answered yes to all of them) and told me about CH, then sent me for a CAT scan. 

Five years later the CH and allergies are minimal but persistent.  O2, MM and Zyrtec are saviors.  No doubt a connection for me somewhere along these lines.

Did my ganglion/nerves get re-positioned?  If that's the case, it sure makes sense.

weatherman  8-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Nitroglycerin isn't inhaled to create a CH attack. It's put under the tongue (as it generally is in "normal" use), as a tablet or spray, so it can be absorbed rapidly.  Its effects are generally (but not universally) understood to be the result of rapid dilation of blood vessels.  There might be some fumes that are inhaled, but that's not the source of its effects.  (And nitroglycerin does not cause CH attacks in people with CH who are out of cycle.)

As I was checking on this to be sure, I noticed that in some early studies attacks were induced by injecting histamines (which also dilate blood vessels) under the skin.  Looking into that a little further, I saw at some reputable sources something I had never seen before -- that cluster headaches are also called "histamine headaches" (here at the National Headache Foundation website, for example: http://www.headaches.org/education/Headache_Topic_Sheets/Cluster_Headaches).

I also noticed this at that same website: >>Cluster headaches are not associated with the gastrointestinal disturbances or sensitivity to light that is found in migraine.<<  I mention this in relation to your curiosity about "gastrointestinal disturbances" and CH.  I don't know enough about migraine to even know what this is referring to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

in an article I cited in a previous post the nitro used in the study was inhaled (there is an aerosol version of nitro not just the sublingual)   see below,, I too have found the reference to "histamine headaches" that is why my curiosity regarding time of year ,, what's in the air ,, acid reflux etc.  I am trying to see what triggers the histamine response ie. swelling aggravation of the ganglion.  Normal histamine medications however don't seem to block the "type" of histamine that plays a major role in the CH however.  My son has tried almost all of them. Some get a bit of relief from Benedryl my son being one,, he says its the only thing that helps with his "Non-CH" symptoms ,, I also belive it helps with the CH as well .. there doesn't seem to be any other antihistamine I have found that any CH sufferer gets any kind of relief from as of yet.  There are some posts on the other site where folks state that Benedryl does in fact help them.  This also had me curious as one of the ingredients in Benedryl is also a sleep aid.. you can search my posts here or on the other site where I talk about Benedryl.

Prevention of cluster headaches

As experts are not yet sure what the causes of cluster headaches are, it is not possible to recommend proven measures for prevention. A comprehensive preventive strategy (as mentioned above) is vital for managing the cluster headaches - simply using acute therapies is not enough.

The following may help reduce the risk of future attacks:

Alcohol - during a period when headaches occur alcohol may trigger attacks. Abstaining from alcohol during these periods will help reduce the number of headaches. Alcohol does not appear to be a trigger during periods of remission.

Inhaled nitroglycerin - this medication causes blood vessels to dilate (enlarge) and can cause headache cluster attacks. The NHS (National Health Service), UK, recommends that cluster headache sufferers avoid this medication.

Exercising in hot weather - this is a well known trigger for cluster headache. Sufferers should avoid doing anything which may cause their body's temperature to rise rapidly.

Smoking - a significantly higher percentage of cluster headache sufferers are smokers, compared to the rest of the population. Although not proven, some suggest that giving up smoking may help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the exercising in hot water has me intrigued .. ?? huh ?? 

hot weather, you mean.  overall, this list (except for the alcohol) seems pretty quirky and unreliable. 

i don't know why they would mention only inhaled nitroglycerin, which takes us back to your point in your preceding post. many, if not most, of the studies that induce CH with nitroglycerin use it sublingually (for example: http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=568492;

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12807519; and



so my overall point is that if sublingual application induces CH, it's almost certainly the presence of nitro in the bloodstream that creates that effect, and not likely to be an effect on the sinuses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok I have spent the last 30 minutes trying to find my original post about the Nitro here or on Ch.com; I don't seem to be able to find it.   Maybe I miss-read the method of treatment vs. the cure.. but vaso-constrictors can be inhaled  (cocaine being one of them).  so I'm not willing to leave the sinus/ear/throat cavities alone just yet because of the other symptoms my son experiances along with the CH phase.  I don't believe in coincidence here.

so Why does he almost exclusively get his CH's when he lies down .. I don't know if I can count more than 1 Ch he's had standing or sitting ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so I'm not willing to leave the sinus/ear/throat cavities alone just yet


With your diligence (maybe we should call it didgigence from now on!) and commitment, I don't think you should leave any path unfollowed to help your son and others. I was only pointing out that nitroglycerin seems to have its CH-causing effect not by exciting the sinuses in some direct way but through vasodilation, the evidence being that sublingual nitro, which probably doesn't have a pronounced direct effect on the sinuses (as far as I know, which is really not very far), causes CH attacks (and the injections of histamines that can also bring on CH attacks also bypass the sinuses as their first location).  None of this means that your son's attacks, or the attacks of others, aren't possibly related to sinus/ear/throat cavities; it only means (to me) that the effects of inhaled nitroglycerine don't seem (to me) to support your thesis, since nitro has the same effect when taken in in different ways.   I also remember reading something posted over at ch.com where a person (a research professional of some sort, as I recall) was skeptical for some reason that I don't fully remember (having to do with the timing of vasoldilation created by nitro in contrast to the timing of when nitro-induced CH attacks occurred, as I remember it) about whether it is really the vasodilation effect of nitro that provokes CH attacks at all.  In which case . . . maybe it is some effect on some cavities, more indirect than just inhalation, but still there.  Complicated. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used benedryl at night for years... motivated by the same notion of "histamine headache". This information is very old, and I believe research has since shown CHers have normal histamine function/levels generally. If you drink, which I did quite often back then, or have other issues to cause excessive histamine, then there might be reason to need anti-histamines. My drinking, and my need for anything that helps me to sleep, were the reasons I chose to take it. I took it long before melatonin, then both together for a while. I didn't notice any help with the CH, just continued it for the sleep aid part (and figured it wasn't hurting either).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CHFather .. you always make me smile ..  didgigence is priceless .. if I could fit it on a license plate I would !!

Complicated indeed .. makes one feel as if they are chasing their furry little tail. 

Good point about the nito.  so if nitro can trigger sublingual as do injected histmines then im stumped. Along with the "gets  them laying down" factor.  And why can he basically "stop" one if he feels it coming by standing up. all such crazy seemingly unrelated symptoms. I feel like when the cause if finally found its going to be an AH HA moment somewhere down the line. 


its like a logic problem

all CH's have one sided pain,  not all CH's are triggered by the same thing etc.

I think I need to draw some logic circles .. but none of them will be connected.   it just seems so random.  more reading next week .. for now


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...