Headache causes

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Editor-In-Chief: Robert G. Schwartz, M.D. [1], Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, P.A.; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]

Overview

The vast majority of headaches are benign and self-limiting. Common causes are tension,Neck pain, migraine, eye strain, dehydration, low blood sugar, and sinusitis. Much rarer are headaches due to life-threatening conditions such as meningitis, encephalitis, cerebral aneurysms, extremely high blood pressure, and brain tumors. When the headache occurs in conjunction with a head injury the cause is usually quite evident. A large percentage of headaches among females are caused by ever-fluctuating estrogen during menstrual years. This can occur prior to, during or even midcycle menstruation.

Causes

Common Causes

Causes by Organ System[1][2]

Cardiac Hypotension, Hypertension, Malignant hypertension,
Chemical / Poisoning Amnesic shellfish poisoning, Anadenanthera peregrina, Antimony, Arsenic poisoning, Artemisia afra, Carbon monoxide, Copper, Cyanide, Heavy metal ingestion, Hemlock, Hydrogen sulfide, Lead poisoning, Manganese, Marine toxins, Monocrotophos, Nicotine poisoning, Radiation poisoning, Soil contamination, Thallium, Toxic headache, Water intoxication,
Dermatologic Linear immunoglobulin A dermatosis,
Drug Side Effect Acamprosate, Acetaminophen, Acyclovir, Agalsidase beta, Alatrofloxacin Injection, Albendazole, Alogliptin, Alosetron, Amantadine, Ambrisentan, Aminophylline, Amiodarone, Amlodipine, Amobarbital sodium, Amoxicillin, Amphotericin B, Anagrelide, Apremilast, Aprepitant, Armodafinil, Articaine, Atorvastatin, Atropine, bedaquiline fumarate, Benazepril, Benzphetamine, Bepotastine Besilate, Bepridil, Besifloxacin, Bexarotene, Bisoprolol, Blinatumomab, Bosentan, Botulinum toxin, Bromocriptine, Busulfan, Butabarbital, Butorphanol, Cabergoline, Caffeine, Candesartan, Capecitabine, Carbamazepine, Carbidopa and Levodopa, Carbimazole, Carisoprodol, Carmustine, Carteolol, Carvedilol, Caspofungin, Cetrorelix, Cilansetron, Cilostazol, Cimetidine, Clomethiazole, Combined oral contraceptive pill, Cortisone, Cycloserine, Cyclosporin, Cefaclor, Cefamandole Nafate Injection, Cefotetan, Cefdinir, Cetirizine hydrochloride, Cefoperazone Sodium Injection, Ceftibuten, Calcitriol, Chelation therapy, Chlorothiazide, Chlorthalidone, Clomifene, Cilostazol, Cimetidine, Clopidogrel, Clozapine, Coagulation factor IX, Conjugated estrogens, Cycloserine, Cyclosporine Injection, Dalfampridine, Deferasirox, Denileukin diftitox, Desmopressin, Dexamethasone, Dexamfetamine, Digoxin, dabrafenib mesylate, Didanosine, Diltiazem, Dimercaprol, Dinoprostone, Dipivefrine, Dipyridamole, Disopyramide, Docosanol, Dolasetron, Dofetilide, Doripenem, Drospirenone and Ethinyl estradiol, Doxazosin, Ecallantide, Eculizumab, Eliglustat, Emtricitabine, Rilpivirine Hydrochloride,Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate, Efavirenz, Emedastine Difumarate, Enalapril, Epinephrine (aerosol), Eslicarbazepine acetate, Estradiol valerate and estradiol valerate/dienogest, Ethynodiol diacetate and ethinyl estradiol, Elosulfase alfa, Epinephrine, Eplerenone, Epoprostenol, Eribulin, Ergotamine, Etanercept Injection, Ethacrynic Acid, Ethanol, Ethosuximide, Etidronic acid, Etidronate, Etodolac, Etonogestrel, Exemestane, Ezetimibe, Felbamate, Felodipine, Fenofibrate, Fenoldopam, Fesoterodine, Flavoxate . Florbetapir F-18 . Flutemetamol F 18, Flu vaccine, Flunisolide, Flurbiprofen, Fluorouracil, Fluoxetine, Fluvastatin, Epinephrine, Ethosuximide, Flucytosine, Fosinopril, Fulvestrant, Furosemide, Gadoterate, Ganciclovir, Ganirelix, Gemeprost, Glimepiride, Glipizide, Glucarpidase, Glyburide and Metformin, Glyceryl trinitrate, Granisetron, Griseofulvin, Gyromitrin, Histrelin, Hydrocortisone, Hydroxocobalamin, Hydroxyzine, Ibuprofen, Idursulfase, Imiglucerase, Imiquimod, Indinavir, Indomethacin, Insulin lispro, Influenza vaccine, Imatinib mesylate, Interferon beta- 1b, Interferon gamma, Interleukin 2, Isoproterenol (aerosol), Isotretinoin, Isosorbide dinitrate, Isosorbide mononitrate, Ivacaftor, Ketorolac tromethamine, Lacosamide, lamivudine, Lansoprazole, Lerisetron, Lenvatinib, Levocabastine, Levofloxacin, Levonorgestrel, Levosimendan, Lisinopril and Hydrochlorothiazide, Lofepramine, Lomotil, Loratadine, Lorcaserin, Lidocaine (cream), Lisuride, Lomefloxacin hydrochloride, Mebendazole, Medroxyprogesterone, Mefloquine Memantine Meropenem, Metaxalone, Metipranolol, Metformin, Methimazole, Metronidazole, Methacholine, Methotrexate, Methylphenidate, Methyprylon, Micafungin sodium, Mifepristone, Milnacipran hydrochloride, Mirabegron, Misoprostol, ModafinilMonosodium glutamate, Moricizine, Nafarelin, Naproxen sodium, Natalizumab, Niacin/simvastatin, Nicorandil, Nifedipine, Nitrendipine, Nitroglycerine, Nizatidine, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Norethindrone acetate and Ethinyl estradiol, Norgestimate and Ethinyl estradiol, Norgestrel and Ethinyl estradiol, Ofloxacin, Olaparib, Olsalazine, Oprelvekin, Oxtriphylline, Oxytocin injection, Omalizumab, Ondansetron, Oritavancin, Palonosetron, Pasireotide,, pazopanib hydrochloride, permethrin, Pantoprazole, Paroxetine, Pegylated interferon alfa-2a, Pemirolast, Pergolide, Pirfenidone, Pimecrolimus, Piribedil, Pirbuterol, Piroxicam, Plerixafor, Praziquantel, Progesterone , Prednisone, Propylthiouracil, Potassium iodide, Pyrantel pamoate, Quazepam* Quinidine, Quinine, Rabeprazole, Rasagiline, Rasburicase, Reproterol, Ribavirin, Rimexolone, Roflumilast, Ropinirole, roflumilast, Romiplostim, Ruxolitinib, Salbutamol, Saxagliptin, Saxagliptin hydrochloride and Metformin hydrochloride, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Sildenafil, Siltuximab, Sipuleucel-T, Sodium nitrite, Sulprostone, Sumatriptan, Spironolactone, Stavudine, Sunitinib, Tacrolimus, Tamsulosin, Tadalafil, tedizolid* Temozolomide, Teniposide, Tigecycline, Tocilizumab, Trabectedin, Tretinoin, Trimeprazine, Trimethobenzamide, Tribavirin, Trimethadione, Triptorelin pamoate, Tropisetron, Trospium, Trovafloxacin mesylate, Tolbutamide, Valacyclovir, Vardenafil, Varenicline, Venlafaxine, Vitamin A, Von Willebrand factorVoriconazole, Vytorin, Zafirlukast, Zaleplon, Zidovudine, Zileuton, Zomepirac, Zopiclone, vandetanib
Ear Nose Throat Angina tonsillaris, Nasal polyp, Otitis externa, Otitis media, Pharyngitis, Rhinolith , Peritonsillar abscess, Strep throat, Sinusitis, Trochleitis, Tonsillitis, Upper respiratory tract infection,
Endocrine Acromegaly, Addison's disease, Conn syndrome, Diabetes mellitus, Hypoglycemia, Hyperaldosteronism, Hyperparathyroidism, Hyperpituitarism, Insulinoma, Menopause, Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, Pituitary tumour (growth hormone secreting), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,
Environmental Conditions Airsickness, Altitude sickness, Brain freeze, Diesel particulate matter, Heat stroke, Ice cream headache, Multiple chemical sensitivity, Second-hand smoke,
Gastroenterologic Crohn's disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease,
Genetic No underlying causes,
Hematologic Anemia, Blood transfusion, Leukemia, Multiple myeloma,
Infectious Disease Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, Acute viral nasopharyngitis (common cold), Adenoiditis, AIDS, Alkhurma virus, Anaplasmosis, Aseptic meningitis, Aspergillus clavatus, Astrovirus, Blastomycosis, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Byssinosis, Brucellosis, Bruxism, Boutonneuse fever, Campylobacteriosis, California encephalitis virus, Chagas disease, Chikungunya, Cladosporium, Cotton fever, Coxsackie B, Cryptococcosis, Cysticercosis, Dengue fever, Dental infection, Ebola, Encephalitis, Fever, Feverfew, Freshers' Flu, Giardia lamblia, Glioblastoma multiforme, Gradenigo's syndrome, Group A streptococcal infection, Haemophilus influenzae serotype B infection, Hangover, Hantavirus, Hay fever, Harvest mite, Henipavirus, Herpes zoster, Hepatitis, Herpesviridae, HIV, Japanese encephalitis[, Hymenolepis infection, Influenza, Intracranial abscess / granuloma, Lábrea fever, Legionellosis, Lenvatinib , Leptospirosis, Listeriosis, Lyme disease, Malaria, Marburg virus, Mansonelliasis, Meningococcemia, Meningoencephalitis, Metabolic acidosis, Metal fume fever, Mononucleosis, Micropolyspora faeni, Monkeypox virus, Mucormycosis, Mumps, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Naegleria fowleri, Naegleria infection, Neisseria meningitidis, Nipah virus encephalitis, Nocardiosis, Norovirus, Oropouche fever, Pityriasis rosea, Psittacosis, Q fever, Ramsay Hunt syndromes, Rat-bite fever, Relapsing fever, Rhinovirus, Rickettsial infections, Rift valley fever, Ross River Fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Rubella, Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula, Snakebite, Scarlet fever, Scrumpox, Shingles, Siraitia grosvenorii, Sitophilus granarius, Sodoku, St. Louis encephalitis, Staphylococcal enteritis, Streptobacillus, Syphilis, Thermoactinomyces sacchari, Thermoactinomyces vulgaris, Trench fever, Trichinosis, Tuberculous meningitis, Tularemia, Typhoid fever, Viral Gastroenteritis, Viral Hepatitis C, West Nile Virus, Yellow fever, Yersinia Pestis Infection, Zika fever,
Musculoskeletal / Ortho Cervical spondylosis, Temporomandibular joint disorder,
Neurologic Acoustic neuroma, Apoplexy, Arachnoid cyst, Arcuate foramen, Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, Arnold nerve cough syndrome, Epilepsy, Idiopathic intracranial hypertension, Multiple sclerosis, Pituitary apoplexy, Posterior cervical sympathetic syndrome, Posterior leucoencephalopathy syndrome, Raised intracranial pressure, Spinal autonomic dysreflexia, West syndrome,
Nutritional / Metabolic Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency,
Obstetrics & Gynecology Eclampsia, Pre-eclampsia, Pregnancy, Premenstrual syndrome,
Oncologic Acoustic neuroma, Adrenal carcinoma, Adrenal tumor, Astrocytoma, Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor, Brain tumor, Brain Stem Gliomas, Carcinoid tumours and carcinoid syndrome, Craniopharyngioma, Ependymoma, Gliomatosis cerebri, Medulloblastoma, Meningioma, Oligoastrocytoma, Phaeochromocytoma, Polycythaemia rubra vera, Subdural hygroma, Tongue cancer,
Opthalmologic Acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy, Aneisokonia, Asthenopia, Computer vision syndrome, Ocular Neurosis, Oculogyric crisis, Progressive lenses,
Overdose / Toxicity Acute alcohol intoxication, Alcohol withdrawal, Alcoholism, Medication overuse,
Psychiatric Anxiety disorder, Functional disorders, Primary affective disorder, Chronic stress, Clinical depression, Workplace stress, Gulf War syndrome,
Pulmonary Acute bronchitis, Bird breeder's lung, Bird fancier's lung, Cheese worker's lung, Chemical worker's lung, Cough, Community-acquired pneumonia, Grain handler's lung, Hot tub lung, Humidifier lung, Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, Lower respiratory tract infection, Malt worker's lung, Nylon worker's lung, Obesity hypoventilation syndrome, Paprika splitter's lung,
Renal / Electrolyte Diabetic nephropathy, Hypercalcemia, Hyponatremia,
Rheum / Auto Immune / Allergy Antiphospholipid syndrome, Polymyalgia rheumatica, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Takayasu arteritis, Temporal arteritis, Wegener's granulomatosis,
Trauma Cervical spine trauma, Dental trauma,
Vascular Diseases & Malformations Arteriovenous malformation, Berry aneurysm, Carotid artery dissection, Cavernous angioma, Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis, Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, Cerebellar infarction, Cerebral aneurysm, Cerebral arteriovenous malformation, Cerebrovascular accident, Cerebrovascular disease, Epidural hematoma, Intracranial haemorrhage, Migraine, Posterior communicating artery aneurysm, Subarachnoid haemorrhage, Superior vena cava syndrome, Vascular headache, Vertebral artery dissection, Vertebro-basilar artery syndrome,
Miscellaneous Agastache rugosa, Bearberry, Cluster headache, Colloid cyst of third ventricle, Hepatic failure, Intracranial space-occupying lesion, Paroxysmal hemicrania, chronic, Parry-Romberg syndrome, Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome, Spontaneous intracranial hypotension, Standing (position), Thunderclap headache,

Causes by alphabetical order

References

  1. Sailer, Christian, Wasner, Susanne. Differential Diagnosis Pocket. Hermosa Beach, CA: Borm Bruckmeir Publishing LLC, 2002:77 ISBN 1591032016
  2. Kahan, Scott, Smith, Ellen G. In A Page: Signs and Symptoms. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2004:68 ISBN 140510368X

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