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Mon, May. 14th, 2012, 01:10 pm
jspurlin: Low-(CSF)-pressure headaches

Finally went to the neurologist at the Headache Clinic here.

As referenced in the last entry, I've been having these ridiculously painful headaches.

They've basically gone away, but I went to the neurologist anyway, since it took a month and a half to get in.

Figured out what it was: "Low-pressure headache", caused by a periodically low level of CSF in my skull. It was mainly caused when I stood up quickly, or went from a prone position to standing -- major changes in body position and elevation.

Turns out that having a cup of coffee in the morning (a sorta big cup, but not a fuill pot, or anything) keeps it at bay, for me. when I was having the headaches super-often, I wasn't drinking much coffee; then the day I had some I didn't get a headache. Yay, data collection.

Likely issue is that the position change is allowing CSF to siphon down my shunt, and *pow*, GIANT HEADACHE that lasts 30-60 seconds and goes away as the CSF regulates itself.

Apparently the brain has no pain nerves, but the meninges do definitely have them, and the *bonk* of my brain into the bottom of my head may be the cause of the pain.

Recommendations were to wear a "Compressive Band" (one of those big velcro strap 'girdle' type things, I think) on my stomach area if I was going to be doing a bunch of up-and-down movements (playing with my son on the floor, etc), to maintain higher peritoneal pressure, a little. Also, a cup of coffee in the morning seems to keep the headaches at bay, and the neurologist had no issues with me having a normal amount of caffeine.

Simplest suggestion was to get up slightly slower. Seems to be working, overall.

Everything seems to be under control, now, but I figured I'd share an update. Thanks, y'all.

EDIT: also -- the previous headaches I had -- that were able to be solved with Diamox (acetazolimide) -- those were high-pressure headaches. Too much CSF. This was the other extreme.

Luckily, nobody wants to touch my shunt while it's still functioning correctly, and so... we watch things.

Sat, Jul. 7th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)

Glad to hear you're feeling better!