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Taking ibuprofen for chronic headaches. Could it be due to stopping meat consumption?

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 300 Questions
chronic headachesmy 16 yr old daughter has chronic headaches. they never really go away, just get a little less painful with ibuprofen. not light sensitive so doesn't seem like migraine. over the past year she has stopped eating meat. could this be causing a deficiency that is causing headaches? anemia perhaps?
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Sheeba Stephen 3 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Though stopping meat consumption may not be the specific cause of her chronic headaches, it is possible that anemia or other nutritional deficiencies could be the cause chronic headaches.

The likely causes include:

- Chronic Tension-type headache

- Chronic Sinusitis (frontal sinusitis can present with only persistent headache, even in the absence of any nasal or facial congestion)

- Anemia or vitamin deficiencies (like vitamin B12 or vitamin D deficiency)

- Stress and anxiety

- Medication-induced or Rebound headache (chronic use of pain killer medication can sometimes result in a rebound headache)

- Rarely, serious neurological problems may also result in chronic headache - but, don't worry, it is unlikely in the absence of any other neurological symptoms.

Since your daughter has been having problem despite trying pain killers, it will be advisable to have a detailed evaluation done. This will include a some blood tests and sometimes, a CT scan of the brain to determine the underlying cause of her headaches.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Emergency Medicine Specialist
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