Q. What can be done for severe headache that starts during late morning?

Answered by
Dr. Philip Shenouda
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 10, 2019 and last reviewed on: Jun 12, 2019

Hello doctor,

I have had a crippling headache for two days now and nothing seems to help. It starts late morning and gets worse throughout the day. I just want to know what I should do. I am 21, 5'8", female, around 160 pounds.

Dr. Philip Shenouda

Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Headache has numerous causes. And according to your presentation, I am going to list some of the causes that could be the reason for what you experience. Please, reflect them to your case.

1. Beginning of acute upper respiratory tract infection, in case you show other signs including runny nose, cough, sore throat or others of cold and flu symptoms.

2. Frontal headache can be due to paranasal sinus inflammation which is part of cold and flu symptoms or part of long-term inflammation.

3. Stress, lack of sleep, anxiety or bad mood.

4. Bad sleeping position (for the neck) or uncomfortable pillow (usually comes in the morning and back of neck and head but can be in the front as well).

5. Anemia (commonly iron deficiency anemia, specially if you are having the monthly period these days).

6. PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) few days before monthly period.

7. Frontal headache can come with disturbed visual acuity (you might need to visit ophthalmologist for eye test) especially if have concomitant blurring of vision.

8. Head trauma, in case you experienced that before the beginning of that headache.

9. Diabetes mellitus type 2.

10. Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) in case you are not following appropriate diet or not eating well.

11. Vitamin D deficiency (but usually for long term headache with other symptoms).

I will list some of the investigations to do and medicines to take (for a few days).

Investigations to be done:

FBS (requires fasting 8 to 10 hours), HbA1c, complete blood count, Fe studies.

Treatment plan:

Naproxen 500 mg tablets one tablet per 12 hours after meals for 3 to 5 days, as needed.

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