Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

40 year old son has constant head pressure with no diagnosis

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 12 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • December 29, 2006
  • 11:12 PM

My 40-year-old son has had almost constant head pressure since August of 2006. He has been to a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, his PCP many times and has had MRI's, brain scans, cervical x-rays, spinal tap ... all to no avail. He is on several medications which don't seem to help. Physicians are at a loss for an answer. He is so miserable. He cannot exert himself in any way without this pressure getting much worse. He was so active, lifting weights, hiking, a very hard worker. He cannot concentrate at work, he can't lie down to sleep, he can't even get comfortable when sitting. He used to have an occasional beer or a glass of wine but he cannot tolerate these anymore.This started so suddenly. He was at the gym one day in August lifting weights and he blamed it on a neck injury from the weightlifting but now he doesn't know if that was the cause or not. He looks so tired each time I see him and I am so worried about him. He said if driving a spike into his head would help, he would do that. He is becoming depressed. He is married and has 2 teenage children and we are all extremely worried. Please ...

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  • i had pressure in my head like that. I couldn't walk without the pressure being bad, i also couldn't lay down becuase it would hurt. and my doctor told me it was brain swelling. I was out of school for a month! They put me on steriods which helped it get better. I still have a problem with headaches though and need heavvvy medication to help them. Try maybe asking your doctor for a steriod regiment suggesting that its brain swelling. I hope this information helps you. it couldn't hurt to try.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 29, 2006
    • 11:52 PM
    • 0
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  • Sounds like Arnold-Chiari or Pseudotumor Cerebri, aka intracranial hypertension. Get the MRI report for yourself. Most docs will not think that these things are worth mentioning and just not tell you. Has he had his CSF pressure checked? MRI's can lie too. Chiari is misdiagnosed a lot. Constant head pressure, especially in the back of the head are classic symptoms. I bet he can hear his heartbeat in his ears.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 30, 2006
    • 06:05 PM
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  • Thank you for your reply. Yes, he has had his CSF pressure checked and the drs say it is ok. The possibility of Arnold-Chiari or pseudotumor cerebri were brought up before the CSF pressure was done but I believe those diagnoses were ruled out. We even mentioned to him about going to see a chiropractor but he is dubious about doing that.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 30, 2006
    • 08:00 PM
    • 0
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  • Chiari was also "ruled out" in my case too......but guess what, they were wrong. I went 6 years without a diagnosis, and being told that I was crazy. My MRI came back as saying "cerebellar tonsils within normal limits"....when I retreived the films for myself, I even saw that my brain was herniated. I sent those films to the Chiari Institute in NY, and they told me to come in. You can have symptoms and not be herniated, or be herniated 1mm. If the skull is too tight, it can block flow of CSF, and pressure readings can be normal. I went to TCI, and not only do I have Chiari, I have (had) Tethered Cord..(surgery there on 10-20-06), and Ehlers-Danlos. I saw about 40 doctors before I went there, and only TCI could put the pieces together. PLEASE do me a favor....Look into this for your son. He sounds EXACTLY like I do. I can't lay down to sleep, and what you said about it coming on while weightlifting.....wow... He needs a whole spine MRI too look for a syrinx. Weightlifting causes a major valsalva maneuever, which is a major no-no in chiari. I am betting 99% that this is what he has. Do you have the Brain MRI report or the films themselves? Whatever he does, do not let him go to a chiropractor, that will make chiari worse if that is indeed what he has. Look up the term "chiari 0" or chiari zero" or "minimal tonsilar herniation" on google.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 31, 2006
    • 05:51 PM
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  • Me again, I forgot to add....I used to be able to drink like a fish....but now, if I have one beer, I will have an incredible headache and vomoting all the next day....this is common in my chiari friends.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 31, 2006
    • 05:55 PM
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  • [I have chronic migraines that hurt every day,I have bones that hurt every day just touching them, and a lump on my lower spine. My doctor thinks i am crazy.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you so much for your reply. I will pass this on to my son. He has been receiving steroid injections to the base of his head. He said they help for a short time. He is also taking 1 Elavil to help him sleep at night. Basically, he is still not able to exert himself in any manner. This is extremely difficult for a 40 year old. In a week's time he probably has one really good day, then it's back to the same old, same old. I appreciate your help!Me again, I forgot to add....I used to be able to drink like a fish....but now, if I have one beer, I will have an incredible headache and vomoting all the next day....this is common in my chiari friends.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Why is he so leery of chiropractors ?Seems like he has had a lot of "traditional" medical assessment and treatment with no results. I would recommend finding a chiropractic doctor that practices the techniques invented and refined by Dr. "Vern" Pierce. There are many different ways to evaluate and then treat patients with chiropractic techniques. I studied with Dr. Pierce in the early '90s and was very impressed with the positive results seen in many tough cases. He developed an adjusting machine that is used with the patient sitting or lying down with no neck twisting or turning. It sounds to me like your son may benefit from trying this. Ralph, the DC
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Yes I have bad headaches alot for years, I found that taking long hot showers , just standing there and let the hot water run on your head helps, also try steam bath,clears your head up, and also try Darvocet N it's a painkiller also helps. hope this helps, because I know how headaches can be.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you all for your suggestions. I really appreciate it. All I can do is pass this information to my son but it is up to him to follow through. At this point, he is basically staying with a physician who specializes in headaches but he still does not have a diagnosis. It is a very, very difficult and trying situation for him. I hope all of you will continue to stay in touch.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi,I shall pray for your son with the constant head pressure! I would like to ask you does he hear any sounds? Perhaps like crickets on a constant level?Do the sounds go away ever?I am subject to seizures and am on medication (Dilantin and Barbituates()...I am seizure free for the last 40 years. However, just in the last year, I suddenly began hearing a constant high pitched, sound (like crickets) in my head.No relenting. The sound is always there, however when my Dilantin and barb ) blood levels are up, the sounds are more distinct and louder. It interferes with my reading, speaking,concentration, and prayer life. I do not know the cause. I do hope it goes away as it is very irritating. I just keep very busy as this is the only way I can overcome the concern over it.gk
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Chiari was also "ruled out" in my case too......but guess what, they were wrong. I went 6 years without a diagnosis, and being told that I was crazy. My MRI came back as saying "cerebellar tonsils within normal limits"....when I retreived the films for myself, I even saw that my brain was herniated. I sent those films to the Chiari Institute in NY, and they told me to come in. You can have symptoms and not be herniated, or be herniated 1mm. If the skull is too tight, it can block flow of CSF, and pressure readings can be normal. I went to TCI, and not only do I have Chiari, I have (had) Tethered Cord..(surgery there on 10-20-06), and Ehlers-Danlos. I saw about 40 doctors before I went there, and only TCI could put the pieces together. PLEASE do me a favor....Look into this for your son. He sounds EXACTLY like I do. I can't lay down to sleep, and what you said about it coming on while weightlifting.....wow... He needs a whole spine MRI too look for a syrinx. Weightlifting causes a major valsalva maneuever, which is a major no-no in chiari. I am betting 99% that this is what he has. Do you have the Brain MRI report or the films themselves? Whatever he does, do not let him go to a chiropractor, that will make chiari worse if that is indeed what he has. Look up the term "chiari 0" or chiari zero" or "minimal tonsilar herniation" on google.oh my ... a possible answerjust reading your posts... maybe some direction for mewhen I tell anyone ...Dr lawyer indian chief family friends strangers... I can't lay downinstantaneous... she's crazyright now i am at a point of exhaustion that i can't even finish this communiocationspeaking of which i used to be able to communicatenow ...i frequently don't make sense ...well it starts out as though I am going to make sense to people but...eventually go in circles and tangled webs of wordsback to the primary of many symptomscan't lay down***n i wake as though from anesthesia... I feel bad ...really really bad ...i can't move im stiff i grunt groan and shuffle like im 99 years old ... i've lost all my eyesight in the right eye and about 50 percent in the left now ...I even went to Mayo Clinic... Scottsdale...and after 7 very slow controlled months of ok cbc now mri now blood pressure now go talk to shrink number 5 ...the next step was shrink number 6 and 'oh by the way ... we 'think' you have a few'neuromas' ...no big deal nothing to address "instead we prefer to think you are just a bit tiched'I worked in the medical field... I trained Surgeons... I'm not an idiotI'm fine with any old 'normal' psychiatric diagnosis ...clinical depression, etc...but, ***n... the big picture of all of the physical symptoms signs and now clear cutdamage to various many many parts of my body are undeniableand blieve me... men are regarded differently... within the walls of medicine ... a woman is always guilty before proven innocent.and more frequently than not .... never proven innocent ... because of course she's guiltyI have been telling my world that I stand almost all of the time... they shake their head like they heard me... they didn't they think I said: I stand alot... or I stand more than most people...correction: I stand almost all of the time...during waking hours...I sit for brief normal morning constitution issues... however, although a woman...I've opted for very creative urination techniques ...standing or slightly bending in a standing position.I sit in the car when I absolutely have to drive...However, due to some life circumstances I recently had to move to Arizona and being within 1/2 mile of shopping.. I frequently use my bike... and ...you can easily 'stand' riding a bike or at the least only 'lean' on the seat.I stand to tiype as I am now..stand to eat ...stand to readthank God they make counter heigth furniture nowI have thrown out all other furniture... chairs couches, regular height tablesbeds, etc. I own counter height tables ..stools to 'lean' on when at worst of exhaustion ..in actuallity always exhaustedfeel as though i will die of exhaustion soonI seldom see physicians... it has only lead to frustration and costs money and usually involves unnecessary pain for insulting comentary with 00 results.when I finally do...they question that if i am in so much agony one of two things..1. I am either lying and I really have seen a gazillion doctorsand just like the game (crazy)or 2. I am crazy if i am suffering and havent' seen many doctors...yea ...rightto hear of something that surely sounds like the answerim thrilledI have not even tried to list my condition-sign-symptom experience"presents with"because in all honesty... it is too long and not credible 'sounding' so why look for another upside the head response from anyone (an outside reader)REally... really (gee I sound like SNL comics..) even my own siblings have gone as far as to'guess' that I'm everything from a drug addict to a very creative actress that just wants attention....thank you thank you thank you...for sharing...one commentary... I do remember that while hospitalized for a GI thing at one point ...they had me on steroids.It was the only time I can remember not feeling bad. (for many many years)one question for you... TCI ??? THE CHIARI INSTITUTE?ANY SOLUTIONS SINCE THIS WRITINGI SO DESPERATELY NEED TO WANT TO WISH I COULD ...LAY DOWN AND 'FEEL' REST/SLEEP
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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