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Reader's Mail: Help for Chronic Daily Headaches

Q. I have daily headaches that are sometimes unbearable and make it difficult for me to do anything.  I become irritated and nervous. It is terrible. Please, can you help me find a solution?

A. Chronic daily headaches occur in about one out of twenty-five people worldwide. There are a number of different forms and they can be disabling. In most cases of chronic headaches, tests such as MRIs will be normal. This is because headaches are caused by disturbances at the cellular level, which cannot be detected by most of the tests we have available.

Most headaches are benign, meaning they do not progress into something fatal. However, chronic headaches can affect all aspects of a person’s life. It is not uncommon for someone to experience anxiety and irritability with high frequency headaches. Prevention is the most important ingredient in the treatment of chronic headaches. Prevention can be through medications, lifestyle changes or relaxation techniques such as biofeedback. You should seek the care of a headache specialist to help you find the right treatment for you.

Jennifer Bickel, M.D.
University of Kansas
Kansas City, KS

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