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Got terrible headache after being in the cold for long. Is it a cause of concern?

i was in the cold for about 5 hours the other day and when i got inside and started to warm up, i got a terrible headache . i had the headache all night and woke up with it. about 4-8 hours later, i got up from the couch and walked about 10 steps and i woke up on the ground about 40 second later. obviously i fainted. i dont remember getting light headed or even falling but i know i fell from my feet onto my face. that was two days ago and my head is still hurting and i still get a lightheaded feeling when i get up. my headache seems mild but i feel like if i even slightly bump it, it is going to turn into a bad headache. the mild headache that i have seems to be moving to and form different areas of my head, from the lower back, to the top, to the sides. i dont know what to think. if you are going to tell me to go get bloodwork or be tested for anemia or something, dont waste my time and refund my money. im more curious if i need to head to the e.r. or not...........thoughts? concerns?
Asked On : Sat, 26 Jan 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  326
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Emergency Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hi Nlakia,
Thanks for writing your query.

After reading your post, it seems that you had suffered from severe hypothermia when you were in cold enviornment. It is seen that after severe hypothermia, if active treatment of external warming is done, it can result in sudden drop in blood pressure along with low cardiac output. This condition is known as Rewarming collapse or rewarming shock. This can result in headache and episode of fainting due to low blood pressure. Internal warming like drinking hot beverages is more safer than external warming.

You can take pain killer like paracteamol for mild pain or ibuprofen after meals for more severe headache which has resulted due to fall.

Also keep your body warm and avoid going to cold for prolonged periods without adequate protection. Give rest to your body for speedy recovery.

If the problem persists, you can go to the E.R. for medical examination and vitals recording.

I hope this is helpful to you.
Answered: Mon, 28 Jan 2013
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