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If Oxygen and triptans work is it 100% CH?


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I was told by doctors that i have CH,,my symtoms are there, just my pain is nowhere as bad as people are showing on YT channels.

They says the worst pain you can ever experience,, but I'd say my was like 7/10

Also triptans and  O2 works with pain reduction .

Could that be something else?

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Hi John,

As told by Pebbles, you should for sure get a brain scan if you did not had it already. If the scan is negative, then you can indeed be fairly sure that is cluster headache. If you also restless during the attacks, that is an additional factor that points strongly to CH. As far as I know, triptans only work for migraine and CH. Not for other types of headaches. And for oxygen, I had both conditions and I can assure you that O2 works wonders for CH but does absolutely nothing for migraine. Another candidate is hemicrania but your response to triptans make that exclude as well.

Now for what the videos concern, I would take these with a big grain of salt. Of course nobody will make a CH attack video just showing up and saying, "Hey guys, I am having a CH attack and it hurts a lot !!" while just sitting there and doing nothing. The goal is to show they are suffering and that CH is a terrible condition so they will only post their worst and most spectacular attacks. But don't get me wrong... I am definitely not saying these attacks are not real.

If you want to have a good view of CH intensity, you can have a look at OUCH Australia. They have lots of public headache diaries from their members there and it's very interesting to consult them. What you will remark is that the rather lighter or moderate attacks are more or less the norm and the really heavy attacks (KIP 8-10) appearing less frequent as one should think. Of course there are many people for which it's really bad, I know that as well.. but that does not mean that if you not always screaming and running around like a wild man during an attack it is not CH.

Myself, I have only 35 % of the attacks over KIP 5, all the rest is under. And the heavy ones I can handle it quite well because I know how to deal with the pain. I am fearing the migraine attacks much more. Luckily I do not have them anymore but they made me ill like a horse. Take the worst flue you can imagine and double that... The feeling of nausea with the photophobia, I absolutely couldn't stand it... and that was going on for 48 hours. 

On the other hand, the problem with CH is that it is there nearly every single day. Today, on CH awareness day, I finally have once a super good day, the first one of the month - so for me it can be CH awareness day every day :)

Best Regards !





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I,ve had the scans, tests and everything done 12y ago or so , when it all started,,they said CH

But Why do i get a CH right after eating?  It has always been like that,,except a certain periods where I didnt get CH at all, no matter what I ate.

Salad, plain potato,,plain rice,,apple,,,doesn't matter anymore,,the second I am done, the attack start,, 

after the first attack ,,,the second or third daily and night attack comes regardless of me eating anything...but the first CH of the day is always 1min -5min after finishing  any meal.  But I  have a tread in progress in regards to CH and diet.

thanks for any help.

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Hi John, thanks for your post. You might just be lucky in that your most severe attacks aren't quite as severe as others'--if so, that's fantastic!! I've also seen those videos, and I can say that my attacks can be truly horrifying, but I don't allow myself to scream out in pain, even though that impulse is there; in fact, paradoxically, it's perhaps during an attack that I'm very focused on being calm and centered in order to make it through--panicking makes it far worse. Everybody deals with it their own way, I suppose. If O2 works, I'd say it's likely it is indeed CH since I don't think it's very effective on other types of headaches or migraines. In terms of food, I offer two comments: Is it possible you're eating something that is a trigger for you? Maybe even a common food additive, rather than a specific food? Have you tried an elimination diet, similar to what is suggested to narrow down food allergies? The other thing that comes to mind is blood pressure. Maybe your blood pressure changes after eating, which can trigger an attack in some. For me, almost any sudden pressure change, internal or external, can be very problematic. Anyway, I really hope that you figure out the food thing, and I really hope your attacks stay "bearable" in comparison with what others might experience.

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