Dr. Rosemary Leonard answers a question on stress related illness in the company of Emma Howard.
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Host: Hello! We are answering questions on health and medical problems. I am joined by Dr. Rosemary Leonard, hello! Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Hello! Host: Rosemary I have got a question here, for women about possible stress related illness. She is wondered that she is getting lots of headaches, really bad headaches she says and she is feeling quite stressed, because she has recently suffered a bereavement and could this have anything to do with the headaches. Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Very-very much so, the commonest type of headache we see is called a tension headache. It's often brought on by stress but can also be tiredness and it's the muscles around the top of the scalp, just tighten up but insignificantly you don't get the pain so much in the scalp, but in the center of the head. The other thing that can happen, if you have had a bereavement is you don't sleep well and tiredness can give you a headache too. So what she needs to do is to try and relax get a good friend to give her a massage to gently relax her, make sure she is getting plenty of sleep put some lavender oil on the pillow and also there's nothing wrong with taking an occasional painkiller. However, if you are getting the bad headache she shouldn't take a lot of painkillers on a regular basis and I am talking here about standard painkillers like particular Paracetamol or Ibuprofen that you can buy from the chemist, because in fact, if you take more than 30 in a month you can then start getting rebound headaches when you stop the analgesic. Host: So you develop a dependency. Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Yeah, well it's as if the brain gets use to having the pain relief and then, when it doesn't have it you then develop a headache. Host: So addicted to painkiller is a very real thing that can happen to people? Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Yes very much so. Yes. Occasionally high blood pressure can also cause headache. So that's something that should be checked. But the thing that people really worry about with headaches, is brain tumors it's always going on the back of your mind and of course, you then get in a vicious circle, you worry you might got a mind tumor and the worry causes a headache. But in fact, it's very rare for brain tumor to cause just a headache; there's often other symptoms as well. Host: Now, we know this woman has told us that she is recently suffered a bereavement, do you think that talking about a bereavement can be very helpful. Now the bereavement counsel is about, do you think that would help relief what's worrying her? Dr. Rosemary Leonard: It can help a lot of people, but it doesn't help all. But certainly talking the -- Cruse is a very good charity where they do bereavement counseling, talking things through may be helpful for her, if she find there are things preying on her mind. But with a lots of betterment it's time you have to give it time to heal. Host: Rosemary, thank you. Well, if you have had a similar problem or are having a similar problem we hope that we have given you some help, but remember it's always best to go and see your own doctor for medical advice. Thanks for watching, we will be back with more health questions and answers.