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Headache and Smell cigarette smoke.
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msmall02 posted:
Hi everyone, for the past 4 years I've been struggling with headaches primarily in the back of the head and the constant smell of cigarette smoke all the time (I and my family are non-smokers). I have been using OTC meds to relieve the pain but no effect. I even tried to take more then the normal dosages and it helps a little but the headaches returns. Sometimes with a sharp stabbing pain in the head down through the sole of my right foot and in the left back shoulder blade and arm numbness( I don't think I had a stroke I been suffering 4 yrs with the numbness in the arm. )I think it maybe an early sign of MS or another neurological disorder. My family history consist of various cancers, heart conditions, neurological and auto immune disorders. I am 33 yrs old married mother of two ... I eat healthy low carb non fat diet, workout 6 days a week , my blood pressure has been low every doctors visit (117/72) HR: 67bpm. I have an appointment next week with a family physician to see what going on I hope pinpoint the cause of my symptoms. :sad:
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susiemargaret responded:
hello -- i'm little confused by your post. do you mean that you smell cigarette smoke that isn't there? i had this problem for a while and finally went to a neurologist because i was smelling various things that weren't there. most of them were pleasant -- cinnamon, vanilla -- but some were unpleasant -- cigar smoke, burned-out ashes, acrid cigarette smoke. this usually happened in the evenings. i hated it! arrival and duration were completely unpredictable. the neurologist sent me for either a CAT scan or an MRI, i can't remember which, but there were no abnormalities. we finally decided that i might be having very, very tiny strokes. i was already taking lamictal, an antidepressant that also has anti-seizure properties, so we increased my dosage from 500 mg to 600 mg per day. after that, no more smells. if your family dr cannot come up with an explanation, i think that it might be helpful to see a neurologist. -- susie margaret
 
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lisahauer09 responded:
I'm also wondering, can cigarette smoke trigger other types of headaches besides migraines? I know cigarette smoke is a big trigger for me and it is unfair that people have to smoke and ruin your day,although I also wouldn't want to be a smoker because it's so hard for some people to quit and I realize that. But many people don't know they are giving people headaches. So are all of your headaches just in the back of your head? It sounds a lot like your problem is neck and spine issues. Just about all of your symptoms sound like you could have something pressing on a nerve. So tell your dr about them, definitely. Also don't take any more OTC's because they can give you rebound headaches, which is probably what you're experinecing when your headache returns later. What types of neurological conditions do your family members have? Are any of them headache conditions? Does working out trigger any of your headaches? Your dr may order a ct scan of your brain to see if anything else is going on.
 
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sk8rbeach responded:
Hi everyone, and thank you for being there. I really thought I was "losing It" when I started smelling cigarette smoke all the time! This started last month and after reading your blog I will make a dr appt. No headaches or anything but now I have to apologize to neighbors for yelling at them about smoking! :sheepish: Have a great day and keep up the good conversation
 
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msmall02 responded:
Hi Susie Margaret, Sorry about the confusion... yes along with my headaches I smell the smoke when there isn't anyone around initially for 4 years. I used to smell the cigars alot but now it just plain cigarette smoke,or smoke ashes ( Feels like someone is blowing smoke in my face) all day. Everywhere I go and its unpredictable on the duration. Thank you so much I will make sure I see a neurologist if my PCP can't find anything. :smile:
 
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msmall02 responded:
Hi Lisahauer09, I could remember in my early teens just the smell of cigarette smoke on someone's clothing or hair would trigger my sinus to swell and the top of my head would hurt. Right now it's just the back of my head in the top area all over. Sometimes I get the lighting type pain with the headaches maybe twice a week. My family history consist of (Multiple Sclerosis, various Seizures disorders, Auto immune disorders such as Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus as well as various cancers and heart conditions. I work out 6x a week mostly cardio I fell good after I work out at rest or just sitting/laying down it hurt worst along with the cigarette smell. I see the doctor 9/2..I'll post an update. :grin: :smile:
 
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msmall02 responded:
Hi sk8rbeach, I thought I was losing it too....but this is ridiculous why do we smell cigarette smoke why not something pleasant and fragrant. Have a good weekend :smile:
 
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sophiespike responded:
This has been one of my warning signals for the past five years or so as well---the smell of cigarette smoke when no one was smoking! I live in a condo and I thought it was coming through the walls from the neighbors' and I even had my husband convinced that he smelled it, too (this was either mind over matter on his part or he just went along with me to shut me up!). Finally, I put two and two together and realized it was a warning sign of an impending migraine. I almost can't believe it happens to other people, too. Real cigarette/cigar smoke is also one of my worst triggers. I have to literally run the other way as soon as I detect it, but it's pretty hard to run away from phantom smoke that follows you wherever you go! :sealed :eek: :pbpt:
 
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hyporelief responded:
hey msmall02, Your story sounds similar to mine, a couple years back I had a headaches constantly. I had all sorts of weird triggers, numbness on my face and in my arms and legs. I to was in good physical condition but something was not right with me. I went to the neurologist and they did scans and saw I had white matter in my brain(lesions), although these lesions were non specific they still alarmed me and scared me into thinking I had MS despite the doctors telling me I did not. To make a very long story(year long) short. My problem was anxiety and stress , these drive my body out of sync, once I was able to get that under control all my problems went away. I also found that the internet fueled my fears. Also for the headaches I found an herbal supplement called Headache II , this numbed the headache pain for 10 minutes when nothing else could. One site that I think is good for showing you that not everything turns out terrible is www.hyporelief.com. I hope you feel better and everything turns out OK for you.
 
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lisahauer09 responded:
Someone else on the board said white matter or grey matter in the brain is damage you get when you have a lot of migraines.
 
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Lhessa responded:
Have you paid attention to when you're *not* around smoke (or other smells like perfume and air fresheners and all that crap)? do you still have the headache then / does it lessen or change at all? I know for me smells (ESPECIALLY smoke and perfumes) are major triggers to my headaches and migraines. My odd medication tip :: take 2 acetominophen and 2 ibuprophen at the same time. Especially if you take them in liquid form (child liquid), they help faster. And if you can take benedryl without getting drowsy, that can help too (can be taken with or seperately).
 
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msmall02 responded:
Hi Lhessa, I am never around smoke I just smell it out of the blue...like right now. My sister in law who is a smoker intensifies my headaches. So I don't socialize with her often. I saw my PCP and my headaches are more stress related and possibly an auto immune disorders(which are maternally common in the women of my family). In a few weeks I will have test done to verify/exclude auto immune disorders. I was evaluated for brain tumors I passed. I am on 325mg of Midrin for headaches and 10 mg of Ambien to sleep. I used to try the same thing with OTC meds to stop the headaches they did work for a while but lost its effect within the last two months. I was told that peppermint can ease headaches(I love natural remedies). I will keep and update. Thank you :smile:
 
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msmall02 responded:
Hi Sophiespike, Sorry that you have the same dilemma. I hope it does not come down to anything serious for me. Yes everything does happen for a reason I will have faith that everything will be alright. :grin:
 
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msmall02 responded:
Hi Hyporelief, Thank you...I have the weird symptoms of numbness when I' m over stressed. But the headaches and the phantom smoke is all day everyday. I don't let it interfere with my lifestyle..I try to focus on my two children and exercise.I will see a neurologist in a few weeks I have a family tree of auto -immune diseases my PCP was concern that may have a disorder. But for now has prescribed me Midrin 325mg and 10mg of Ambien for the next 30 days to relieve the headaches and get a decent nights rest. Thank you I will look up the site hyporelief.com :smile:
 
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tombraidergrl79 responded:
Hey msmall02- I've smelled smoke on and off for the last four years. I had really never considered it as a symptom since it was so infrequent and rare. The smell has always been so mild and infrequent I just thought I caught a wiff of someone smoking near by. Now you have me wondering. I used to get really, really, really bad migraines from the smell of cigarette smoke when I was a teen up until I had my son when I was 25. Now it can bring one on but its not always a 100% trigger. Anyways I just wanted to wish you well and I hope you were able to get some answers at your appt. -Lara


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