Case and Discussion: Headache

A 35-year-old woman comes to your office to discuss her “bad headaches,” which started after having her first child 2 years ago. The headaches sometimes awaken her from sleep and at times can be disabling and occasionally require her to take Tylenol and rest in a dark room. Sometimes she vomits during an attack. Over the past 6 months, her headaches have become more severe and frequent, prompting her visit today.

  • What additional questions would you ask to learn more about her headaches?
  • How do you classify headaches?
  • How can you determine if this is an old headache or a new headache/s? Is this a chronic or episodic condition?
  • Can you make a definite diagnosis through an open-ended history followed by focused questions?
  • How can you use the patient history to distinguish between benign headaches and serious ones that require urgent attention?
  • What diagnostic tests do you want to include to help you with your diagnosis?
  • Create a differential diagnosis flow sheet for this patient for this patient and include the diagnostics related to the differentials.

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