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What causes severe headaches with swelling of hands and face?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 3199 Questions
Hi, My daughter is 28 years old. She has been having severe headaches with swelling of her hands and face. She also has a strange color to her skin. She is weak, her body hurts all over and has nausea. She has been to urgent care and the ER. One Dr. treated her with an antiobiotic and told her it could be a migrane or a sinus infection. The hospital ran blood work and told her that it could be anything. She has waited for 2 days and still has not heard anything back from the blood work. She is in the nursing field and knows that her her iron level and hemoglobin in a 9. She is having such bad headaches and I feel like the doctors here are missing something.
Posted Sun, 2 Mar 2014 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Lets wait for the results Detailed Answer: Good day XXXX Thank you for asking. I am Dr S Khan and i would like to help you with your daughter's severe headache with swollen hands and face. XXXX i want you to know that your doctors are doing the right work here. These headaches are having thousands of etiologies for the same presentation and they are sorting them out one by one from the commonest ( Sinus infections ) to the rarest. Thats the pattern they are following. So let them follow that. Lets wait for the work up results to see what that is. I recommend visit to an otorhinolaryngologist to connect the dots of headaches and nausea for sinus infection and inner ear involvement. Once that is confirmed every thing will resolved with simple Antibiotic and symptom relievers and migraine type headaches will resolve. If the headaches are ruled out for sinuses then next step would be to seek a neurologist to help find the etiology for the migraine. Avoiding these triggers will help the migraine if it is Alcohol - Particularly wine and beer Caffeine overuse or caffeine withdrawal Chocolate Aspartame - eg, NutraSweet and Equal Monosodium glutamate (MSG) - May be found in Asian food, canned soup, frozen or processed foods, and the seasoning product Accent Fruits - Citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, and dried fruit Nuts - Peanuts, soy nuts, and soy sauce Tyramine, a biogenic amine that accumulates in food as it ages, may provoke migraine. Sources include the following: Dairy - Aged cheese Meat - Bacon, sausage, luncheon meat, deli meat, pepperoni, and smoked or cured meat Pickled foods Heavily yeasted breads - Eg, sourdough Vinegars - Especially wine vinegar Some types of beans Now the last but not the least trouble of facial puffiness and hand swelling. That needs a clinical correlation. But it needs work up as facial puffiness can be hypertension to renal compromise with many possibilities in between. And the swollen hands if are accompanied by pain then it will need a rheumatologist to connect the dots. And a good balanced diet with folic acid supplements and green leafy vegetables and red meat will help the haemoglobin levels. In Nut shell, Lets wait for the results and let them do what they are doing and do as you are directed. It will take time but there is nothing to worry about. You are in safe hands. Take good care of your daughter and yourself.And dont forget to close the discussion please. Regards Dr Khan
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