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Getting one sided headaches at base of head and feeling thirsty. Possible cause?

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I have been getting one sided headaches or headaches at the base of my head. I am also feeling thirsty and tired all the time. I am a 22 year old girl. What could be possibly causing these?
Posted Sat, 26 Oct 2013 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Many likely causes. Blood tests needed.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome to Healthcare Magic!

There can be many causes for the headaches that you have described. Migraine is a very common cause and is more common in women. The typical migraine headache is throbbing or pulsatile, but may not be so. The headache is usually unilateral and localized in the frontotemporal and ocular area, but pain can be felt anywhere around the head or neck. The pain typically builds up over a period of 1-2 hours, progressing posteriorly and becoming diffuse. It typically lasts for 4-72 hours. Pain intensity is moderate to severe, often associated with nausea and vomiting and intensifies with movement or physical activity. Exposure to bright lights and noise usually worsens the headache. Many patients prefer to lie quietly in a dark room. The pain usually subsides gradually within a day and after a period of sleep. Most patients report feeling tired and weak after the attack. Increased thirst is common in the periods preceding the headache. Some people also feel an aura before the attack.

Cluster headache is less common in women, and is characterized by severe unilateral pain, usually behind the eyes. It also may be accompanied by thirst and fatigue.

Diabetes is another disease which is associated with excessive thirst, headache, fatigue, frequent urination and blurred vision.

Abnormalities in blood electrolytes, like sodium and potassium as well as increased blood calcium levels can also have similar presentation. Dehydration can also cause this by altering the blood electrolyte levels.

Thalassemia itself may be responsible for the headache and fatigue. Rarely, brain tumours may also cause a similar presentation. In view of the number of possible causes, I suggest that you consult your primary care physician and get at least all routine blood investigations done. This will give further pointers towards the diagnosis and also indicate whether more expensive investigations like brain imaging are needed or not.

Hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask if you need any clarifications.

Best wishes.

Dr Preeti Parakh
MD Psychiatry

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