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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes intermittent headaches, constant belching, chronic neck and back pain?

Answered by
Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe


Practicing since :2014

Answered : 2243 Questions

Posted on Tue, 27 Oct 2015 in Brain and Spine
Question: I have endured chronic neck and back pain for many years with few other issues. For the last several weeks, I have been experiencing intermittent headaches of varying intensities most prevelant in the area around the eyes with the most intense around the left eye. I've also noticed less clarity in my thinking and some occasional memory gaps over the last several months in addtion to interrupted sleep some nights and consistent unrefreshing sleep most nights. In the last week, I've noticed marked reduced vitality, muscular neck and jaw pain, and a constant burping, gastric pressure and irritation regardless of what type of foods or drinks I swallow. My greatest concerns are the headaches, sleep and memory issues. Which type of practioner and diagnostics should I consult?
Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 17 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question.

Let me go over your issues point by point.

Headaches: The best practitioner to consult for headaches is a neurologist. They specialize in headache treatment, and the type of headache you describe is consistent with migraine headache, which is highly treatable with preventative (i.e. beta blockers) and abortive (i.e. ibuprofen or triptan) therapy.

Insomnia: Psychiatrists are generally well-versed in the treatment of insomnia. The first diagnostic step would be a sleep study. The results of this would guide treatment. For example, sleep apnea is treated with a CPAP. Initial insomnia is treated with sleep aids such as melatonin, Ambien, Rozerem, trazodone, etc.

Memory loss: Again, a neurologist would be the most appropriate first step. This could also be related to psychiatric concerns such as depression, which a psychiatrist would be able to treat well. There are cognitive tests such as the MoCA that practitioners use to screen for memory problems such as early dementia.

Neck/Jaw pain: This may be headache-related, but I would get an ESR and CRP blood test to rule out temporal arteritis which is a serious condition that needs urgent management with steroids.

Burping/irritation/pressure: A PPI such as Nexium should clear this up, as this is likely GERD.

I hope this was helpful. I am always looking to take on e-patients, if you'd like detailed diagnostics, treatment recommendations, and/or therapy. For a more personalized comprehensive evaluation and answer, ask me on HealthCareMagic at this private link:
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 48 minutes later
I forgot to add one other issue and don't know if it may be related to any of the other symptoms expressed in my previoius email or not. Over the past several years, I unexpectedly experience a severe stabbing pain in my left eye that lasts for seconds at a time. It doesn't happen often and I can't recall any consistent patterns or warnings prior to onset but it also occurs in the left eye which may or may not correlate to the intense headache described in my previous email.

Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 10 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
This pain is very likely related to migraine.

You're most welcome!

For a more personalized comprehensive evaluation and answer, ask me on HealthCareMagic at this private link:
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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