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If you’re troubled by unexplained headaches, it’s time to give up popping those painkillers and find out the reason behind them. Did you know that there are different types of headaches and symptoms? What’s causing yours?
It is intriguing to see how a little body discomfort can actually throw you from being a 10 on an efficiency level to perhaps a 4! Headaches are a very common can instantly turn from being irritating to simply crippling. It comes in the way of every activity. Sleep, eat or exercise, this stubborn problem is always sitting on your head (quite literally too!)
When you have a headache, you either ignore it and hope it goes away or pop a pill. But there are many causes for headaches- some mundane but others that demand attention! But often, we tend to think that it may just go away on its own, but that’s not the correct path to take. Some headaches can actually be a your body’s way of telling you that something clearly isn’t right. But often, these headaches are primary in nature, which typically means that they are mostly caused due to over activity or changes in your pain-sensitive structures in your head.
Why Do Women Experience Frequent Headaches?
According to a recent survey conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, it was observed that women of reproductive age are the most likely to be affected by headaches, with one in four ladies under the age of 45 years report experiencing severe headaches!
Apart from regular insomnia and lifestyle changes, headaches are also largely a function of lifestyle and there are different causative factors through which it may be triggered.
What Causes Headaches Even When We Feel Otherwise Okay?
A whopping 75 percent of the brain is made up of water. When there’s a lack of it, the brain produces histamines that try to hold on to more water. This in turn causes a headache.
2. Vitamin D Deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin D has been cited as one of the causes of headaches and even depression. Doctors recommend sufficient intake of vitamin D supplements to keep healthy. You can also get it from the sun. Just make sure you protect yourself.
Not only vitamin D, but a deficiency in iron levels can also cause those pounding headaches. Unless you are suffering from a drastic deficiency, this can be fixed by simply upping your daily iron intake. Include folate rich foods like spinach, beans, meat, tomatoes in your diet and consult your doctor about supplements as well.
Doctors believe that unresolved stress can actually contribute to headaches. Work, personal or any other form of stress that you may have on a regular basis and if left undealt with, can increase and worsen situation.
5. Change in Body Clock
Any lifestyle change can alter body functions. If you sleep late, get up early and have constantly changing day schedules due to work, you may experience headaches. Body changes may trigger stress and most of the times this is due to travel, change in time zones and routines.
6. High Blood Pressure
It is difficult to conclude unless you get your BP checked, however headaches may be indicative of a high blood pressure or hypertension. The extra pressure in your blood increases pressure on your brain which eventually leads to chronic headaches.
7. Increased Caffeine Intake
Caffeine narrows your blood vessels. If you drink coffee on a regular basis, chances are that the days you skip your cuppa, you will experience headaches. This is because your body is used to the effect caffeine has on your blood vessels and when it is deprived, it triggers headaches. Try and slowly reduce your caffeine intake by cutting your daily dose to two cups a day and slowly bring the number down.
8. Skipping Meals
If you’ve been skipping meals, don’t. It won’t help you lose weight but will just reduce the sugar level in your body and cause headaches. Eating a balanced diet will keep you healthier and when coupled with some exercise, it’ll certainly help you drop the pounds! Many foods also contain preservatives that can trigger allergies in people and lead to migraine headaches. Consult a doctor to understand triggers and chart out a diet that eliminates allergy-causing foods.
Types of Headaches and Symptoms
There are primarily four kinds of headaches that women commonly experience. Some of these are a result of biological functions while some may entirely be a function of lifestyle.
1. Tension Headache
This is the most common headache and is caused by contraction of brain muscles. It’s not a continuous pain that you get, but it comes and goes. The intensity can be mild to moderate.
Though the exact cause of migraines has not yet been discovered, experts believe it could be caused by triggers that result in abnormal brain activities. The pain can be really intense and last for days. It can be accompanied by nausea, dizziness and loss of appetite.
3. Cluster Headache
This isn’t a very common kind of headache but can cause pain generally centred on one side and usually around the eye.Nasal congestion, swelling of the area around the eye, and watering of the eye may accompany it.
4. Hormone headacheH
This is caused due to reasons like menopause, pregnancy, use of birth control pills and menstruation.
Natural Remedies for Headaches
Mix ginger juice and lemon juice in equal portions and drink it twice a day to get relief. You can also mix a teaspoon of dried ginger powder in water to make a paste and apply it to your forehead.
Apply the juice of mint leaves to your forehead for quick relief from headache.
3. Ice pack
In case of migraines, apply an ice pack to the back of your neck. You can dip a washcloth in cold water and place it on your forehead for a few minutes too.
Nuts like almonds are known to have salicin which is an ingredient found in headache pain relievers. Consume a handful of almonds daily if you frequently experience headaches.
5. Peppermint oil
Known for its cooling property, peppermint oil helps open clogged blood vessels and and also enables blood flow. Mix 3 drops of peppermint oil with almond oil and gently massage all over your temples and back of your neck.
A general thumb of rule to ease headache caused by fatigue is to practice basic neck stretches. It improves blood flow and helps your muscles relax. Bend your neck sideways and move your chin up and down.
7. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has ingredients that help relieve pain and provide a soothing effect. Brew a warm cuppa daily and enjoy its goodness.
8. Supplement your Diet
Usually an addition of magnesium and B complex solves the problem of headaches. Magnesium reduces the frequency of headache attacks whereas B complex contains neurotransmitters like serotonin which helps deal with headaches better. Include foods rich in magnesium like legumes, tofu, dark chocolates and B complex rich foods like eggs, dairy and soy in your diet.
If headache treatments at home don’t help, set an appointment with your doctor. You don’t need to suffer in silence and hope you get better. Take action by trying to pinpoint the cause of your pain and remedy it.