Posted by: Eileen | 2008-11-29


I have a suster who has been suffering with migraines for more than 4 months. Docters have treated her for from High blood pressure to tumors and then the last one told her that she is pretending to have migraines. She even has dizzy spels, and the last episode she fell from the stairs. I really would like some advise on who to consult and trust, she has become very negative in the last 2 months and you can see that the pain is really getting worst. She has two very young kids, but with this problem she can not spend time with them, and they are missing it so much.

I really will appreciate some help. PLEASE

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Eileen,

Any doctor who tells his or her patients that they are pretending to have migraines is a dangerous, irresponsible, and ignorant fool who should not be allowed to treat patients! I have been treating headache and migraine sufferers for 16 years now, and have yet to encounter someone who is pretending to have migraine.

To get to the root of the problem, your sister needs what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is arterial pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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