Is a Brain Tumor Causing Your Frequent Headaches?

A headache is one of the more common symptoms associated with the formation of a brain tumor. In fact, about 50 percent of people who develop a brain tumor deal with headaches on a regular basis. Obviously not every headache is caused by a tumor, but if you’re experiencing frequent or severe head pains, it’s a smart move to visit a neurologist. Today, we take a closer look at the link between headaches and brain tumors.

Head Pains and Brain Tumors

Everybody has experienced a headache at some point in their life, but headaches caused by brain tumors typically have different symptoms than your average headache. Some features of a headache caused by a brain tumor include:

Causes and Management of Headaches

The brain is a unique structure in that it doesn’t have any pain receptors. Instead, headaches are actually the result of pressure caused by the tumor or tumor-related fluid buildup on pressure sensitive blood vessels and nerves inside the brain.

Excess fluid buildup or pressure in the brain can cause some life-threatening problems, and frequent headaches should be taken seriously. But, as we mentioned above, if you visit a doctor with frequent headaches, your doctor isn’t going to assume it’s a tumor and order an MRI right away. Management of headaches typically begins with conservative treatment, with prescription drugs, altering your diet and ensuring you’re getting enough sleep.

If those interventions prove ineffective, let your doctor know right away. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to document your headache frequency and pain levels in the days and weeks after your initial appointment. This will help you have a solid log of symptoms instead of attempting to describe a wide range of headaches to your doctor from memory.

In the event that your headaches continue or worsen, or if they are accompanied by vomiting, head into the doctor right away. The earlier we catch a brain tumor, the better the treatment outcomes are. For more information on the signs, symptoms and treatment options for brain tumors, click here.

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