Q. I have a constant headache from 10 days. Could it be due to a brain tumor?

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Srivastava
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Sep 21, 2017

Hello doctor,

I am a 31 year old male. I am 6 feet 2 inches tall and obese at 113 kg. The problem that I am describing below I have been experiencing for the past 10 days or so. I have a more or less constant headache. It is typically on the right part of the forehead, around the hairline and occurring at the center of my head. The pain is not very severe. It is not throbbing or pounding, though the intensity fluctuates at times, it is never very severe. I also experience a vague sensation of nausea, but no vomiting tendency. Sometimes, I get a subtle feeling of dizziness or light-headedness. I am unable to describe it more precisely. It particularly occurs during the head movement. This occurs hardly for a millisecond or so. Also, my eyes feel strained at times while staring at the computer or TV screen

About my past health history, I have sinusitis. This was detected two years ago. I had visited an ENT specialist for a throat irritation, for which he got me to do a CT scan of my entire head and neck area. I have not had any treatment for sinusitis except some medication for the first week or so after detection. However, I have not really felt a similar headache earlier. I also tend to catch a cold very easily. On several days, I wake up sneezing which resolves on its own as the day progresses or within a couple of days. In the past week also, I had experienced the same few times. I also developed eye styes on both eyes which were painful and watery.

I wear spectacles. The power is (–) 5.25. However, I do not experience blurry or double vision at present. I do not feel any difficulty or loss of balance while walking. I have a habit of walking, and even three days ago, I had walked non-stop for 4 km in about 45 mins but did not experience any difficulty or anything unusual during and after the walking. About a month ago, I had been experiencing for few days a strange stiffness in my lower left leg after walking a small distance, a non-specific back pain, and a vague breathing difficulty. My GP advised me to get a chest X-ray, PFT, echocardiography, and ECG done. All the reports were normal. The problems since then have significantly reduced.

I am forgetful by nature. Apart from that, I have not noted any memory loss as such. I have no unusual difficulty in concentrating or thinking clearly. I do not experience any speech problem, but I did notice on one occasion that after speaking continuously for few minutes, I was facing some difficulty in speaking more, but that I believe could have been due to psychological reasons. Exactly five months ago, I had got a CT scan of the brain done on the advice of my GP because I had a severe headache one night few days after accidentally bumping my head on a solid low-height door. However, the results were normal, and nothing was found.

Uric acid, blood sugar, creatinine, and TSH have been tested within the past eight months, and the reports were normal. However, lipid profile tests revealed high triglycerides (292) for which I took Rosumac 5 for three months, after which the triglycerides (152) were relatively normal. I have had high BP (140/100) for which I was prescribed Aquazide 12.5, which I am taking. One week ago, I got my BP rechecked, and it was found fairly normal (130/80). I tried steam inhalation yesterday and the day before, but it did not resolve.

What could be the possible cause for the headache and the other issues described in the first paragraph? Could this be something serious like a brain tumor? What are the chances of it being any such thing, given that I had a CT scan of the brain only five months ago and everything was normal then? Sorry for the lengthy post. Kindly help.

Dr. Sumit Srivastava

General Medicine Internal Medicine
#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

A headache can be due to many causes. Few common causes are:

  1. Migraine.
  2. Hypoglycemia.
  3. Hypertension.
  4. Raised intracranial tension.
  5. Sinusitis.
  6. Stress.
  7. Dehydration.

In your case, it seems to be either due to the aggravation of sinusitis due to a recent weather change or raised blood pressure.

Sinusitis leads to constant secretions within the sinus leading to a headache and nausea. The treatment for sinusitis will definitely improve it. For sinusitis, you can take antibiotics, analgesics, and anti-allergics after a consultation with an ENT specialist.

Also, your blood pressure target should be 120/80.

Since your CT head is normal, there is no chance of development of brain tumor so quickly. A brain tumor will lead to a constant headache and also other pressure-related symptoms.

  • Continue with steam inhalation.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control and see that you do not take too much stress.
  • Eat properly.

Thanks.

For further questions consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

Hello doctor,

Thank you so much for the prompt and reassuring response. It is much appreciated. Allow me to ask few more questions please. I am a hypochondriac. I have had multiple life-changing setbacks in the past one year, which has made me very vulnerable psychologically. The physiological symptoms I experience are not imaginary at all though. But I tend to think about the worst possibilities first and then such thoughts overcome me. Nevertheless, I wish to understand a little more regarding brain tumors, please, in order to remove this thought from my mind altogether. Is it absolutely certain that in the last five months (since the time I had that CT scan of the brain), a tumor could not have grown? And a tumor could not have grown to an extent within such five months' time to be causing headaches now?

As far as the sinusitis is concerned, the more or less constant mild headache I am presently having like I said, is a new type. In the past, I used to get a severe throbbing pain on the back of my head sometimes (probably once in two months or so), particularly after a stressful day. That used to go away completely after sleep. However, this time the headache is not going away although it is mild and dull and occurring mainly at the center of my head and the upper forehead area mostly. Also, I do not feel any nasal congestion, runny nose or any other symptom of a common cold. Kindly share your thoughts on the above for the last time, please. Thanks.

Dr. Sumit Srivastava

General Medicine Internal Medicine
#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You are not a hypochondriac but just over anxious. Stop thinking too much.

  • Brain tumors are generally very rare in your age group. So, do not jump to conclusions without relevant investigations. Symptoms will include a progressive headache, dizziness, epileptic attacks, vision disorders, loss of balance, a constant pressure around the eyes or a ringing sensation in the ears. Brain tumors do not develop so quickly, but there is a long history of symptoms.
  • Also, have your serum electrolyte and kidney function test done to rule out any abnormality.
  • Follow the steps that I have told you earlier and your headache will be gone soon.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

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