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Having migraines. Took steroids in the past for autoimmune disease. Could the headache be due to autoimmune disease?

I am a 52 yr. old woman and have had migraines since I was 24. When I was 35 I became ill with some sort of autoimmune disease . I could barely walk or even move. I have flare ups and the only thing that helps are steroids. The migraines are getting continually worse. I m getting at least 4 a week and take Imitrex . Pain meds don t stop them. My SED rate and C-reactive protein are very high, but test for lupus have come back negative. Could the autoimmune disease be causing the migraines?
Asked On : Mon, 28 Jan 2013
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Neurologist 's  Response
Thanks for posting this question in HCM

i am a neurologist responding to you

let me tell you that any given medical symptom can be due to various causes. This applies to headache and other autioimmune diseases too. Headache can be due to various causes like brain tumor, infection problem in the blood vessels of the brain, autoimmune diseases resulting in vasculitis of brain, medicines and so on. In addition we need to know the presence and absence of certain symptoms in order to pin point the diagnosis for example the presence or absence of vomiting, sensitivity to sounds, light, weakness of hands, legs, etc.

The long duration of headache in you could be due to migraine. But one has to clearly understand that the diagnosis of migraine is based upon exclusion. I mean secondary causes need exclusion.

There could be two possibilities in your case

1. You may have both migraine and autoimmune disease; both being independent of each other

2. CNS vasculitis could be a possibility as you have autoimmune disease too.

Note that there are many autoimmune disorders and everything need not be lupus

The best thing that can be done will be to undergo a detailed evaluation in a center having neurology and rheumatology facility. Joint evaluation will guide us regarding the nature of autoimmune disease and it will establish the exact cause of headache.

I hope this will help you

Answered: Mon, 28 Jan 2013
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