Monday, July 9, 2012

Does Your Headache Warrant Further Analysis?

Migraine is a primary diagnosis of exclusion.  This means that one of the first things that needs to happen is our doctors need to be sure that pain and other symptoms aren't being caused by something else.

Physicians often use mnemonics to help them remember things.  In this case, the mnemonic that helps doctors remember what to look for is...

Systemic symptoms or disease
Neurologic signs or symptoms
Onset: sudden (such as in thunderclap headache)
Onset: after age 40 is unusual in Migraine
Pattern change

After looking at these things, the answers will help your physician decide if there could be something potentially more ominous going on that warrants a closer look-see.  

When patients understand how their doctors are looking at them in an office visit, it is more likely that patients will be able to give them the information their doctors need to help them.  Maybe remembering this little trick will help you communicate with your doctor at your next visit.


No comments: