Posted on: 03/07/2022 Posted by: helpagama Comments: 0

What is a headache?

Any pain from the back of the neck to the forehead is called a headache. These may occur in periodic intervals or continuously depending on different people and situations. The intensity of the pain can be variable, from a mild throbbing to a stab-like sensation. Accompanied by nausea or other discomforts, do not take them lightly. You must find the root cause and cure your headache, as it could be anything from a simple ailment to an underlying issue left untreated. Various solutions like pressure points, food intake, and de-stressing activities exist. It is vital to know the types of headaches to understand what you are going through.

Types of headaches:

  • One-sided headache.
  • Stabbing pain.
  • Exertion-related headache.
  • Chronic headache.
  • Sinus-related headache.
  • Cluster headache.
  • Tension or stress-related headache.
  • Migraine.

People suffering from one or more types of headaches may experience them anywhere between a few days a week to every day. In this case, you must break any unhealthy patterns that you follow. It could range from an irregular sleeping schedule, excess stress at work, an irregular diet, or other lifestyle issues.

A few general pointers to prevent the causes of headaches:

• Sleep well:

Maintain between 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily at a consistent time. For example, sleeping between 11 pm to 7 am one day and 12.30 am to 8.30 am one day may be a reasonable level of difference. But, on the contrary, sleeping between 12.30 am to 8.30 am one day, 4.30 am to 12.30 pm the next, and 6.30 am to 2.30 pm the third day is a terrible sleep schedule bound to trigger headaches and other issues.

• Exercise:

The key to healthy exercise is doing enough but not overdoing it. Excessive exercise causes dehydration, fatigue, and headaches and can be worse than less exercise. Know your physical limits. Of course, don’t skip your daily workout and do a healthy amount.

• Drink Water:

This point can’t be stressed enough. Drink a healthy amount of water every day. Respond to your body’s needs by drinking a little water when you’re thirsty. Don’t overdo this either as excess water consumption can damage your metabolism.

• Take some time off:

Picture this, you’re in the middle of your third back-to-back meeting since your workday started at 9 am. Try and find some time, maybe even 10 minutes to decompress and calm down. Maybe stare at a tree or a flower, or listen to music, or a combination of a few things that gets your nerves calmed and your head leveled. Excessive build-up of stress and tension is bound to trigger a headache eventually.

Understanding Migraine:

Every migraine is different in how intense the headache is, how often it occurs, and how long it lasts. Migraine can be a headache alone or a headache accompanied by nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and sensitivity to sounds and light.

There are phases to a migraine:

Pre-phase: You can have a stiff neck, food cravings, and mood swings up to a few days before the headache. There may be some sensory issues before or during the migraine, like blurry vision, impaired speech, and numbness in one’s arm.

Headache: The pain can range between mild to severe in intensity, although some people may skip this phase. Physical activity or any kind of exposure to lights and sounds can disturb deeply during the headache.

Post phase: Feelings of confusion, illness, exhaustion and general disorientation may occur once the headache has subsided.

Migraines are usually caused by:

Allergies: Some allergies may cause inflamed blood vessels, which are linked to migraines as well, and trigger the throbbing pain.

Genetics: It could run in your family history, and you have to be extra cautious when you are susceptible to migraine through your genes. Some mutations happen across generations as well.

Hormones: Women especially are more susceptible to hormonal changes, due to menstruation and these can trigger migraines.

Atmosphere: Changes in the weather, your stress and tension levels, diet and food quality, lack of sleep, certain smells, and similar factors can build upon you.

Remedies and treatments for migraine include:

Over-the-counter medication like aspirin and ibuprofen. Consult a doctor before making a decision.

Prescription medications can be used, after consulting your doctor if OTC medicines aren’t enough to solve your problem.

Lifestyle changes like regular exercise, avoiding certain foods that may trigger your migraine, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, regular exercise, yoga, and meditation could all benefit, and in the long run even reduce or get you rid of your migraines.

Headache during pregnancy:

Headache during pregnancy is mostly due to hormonal changes, stress and tension, and the entire physical changes happening in your body. We shall explore this in the three stages:

First Trimester:

The causes of headaches during the first trimester include:

  • Caffeine or alcohol withdrawal.
  • Stress
  • Weight gain
  • Hormonal changes
  • Increased blood volume
  • Weight gain
  • Poor nutrition
  • Low blood sugar
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dehydration
  • Issues with vision

Some foods like yeast, tomato, cheese, dairy, and chocolates may also cause headaches.

Second and Third Trimester:

The causes of headaches during second and third trimesters include:

  • Excess weight
  • Postural problems
  • Lack of sleep
  • Strained and tight muscles
  • Dietary issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

In any of the cases above, the first precaution is to talk to your doctor before thinking about taking any medication. Aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided. The doctor may recommend some other form of medicine or natural remedies like:

  • Rest
  • Ice application
  • Heating pad
  • Massage therapy
  • Stretching
  • Exercise
  • Rosemary, peppermint, chamomile, and other essential oils

While headaches are common during pregnancy you must be always vigilant if the situation is getting too intense or out of control. While speaking to your doctor always discuss the headaches, their timing, intensity, and if you felt any triggers. Usually, they aren’t a sign of anything going wrong and occur because of the various changes the body goes through during the pregnancy but make sure to seek advice from time to time depending on the intensity and frequency.

Home remedies for the pain when you experience headache and some preventive measures:

Drink water:

This can be a sure shot cure at times when you’re dehydrated due to work, sun exposure, or a combination of a few factors in your routine. Eating water-rich foods can help maintain your water level throughout the day.

Magnesium:

Magnesium supplements like magnesium citrate can relieve headaches. Consult your doctor first, and start with smaller doses as one known side effect is diarrhea.

Limit alcohol:

Alcohol, when consumed dilates your blood vessels and eases blood flow. This can cause headaches in some people depending on how your body reacts to it. It can trigger migraine as well. Also, it is a diuretic, which can cause you to pass some electrolytes during frequent urination, leading to a headache. Test your limits on frequency of consumption and always drink in moderation.

Consistent sleep cycle:

Maintain a consistent sleep cycle to avoid headaches. A consistent sleep cycle ensures you are refreshed and your body’s maintenance and vital functions are running properly. It enables you to focus and concentrate better during your daytime activities, and also leaves you feeling rested and less irritable. You must avoid oversleeping as well, as this has been seen to trigger headaches in people.

Use essential oils and massage:

Oils like peppermint and lavender can be helpful when you have a headache. Also, getting a head massage can stimulate your nerves and blood flow when done properly, and can relieve headaches, and prevent future ones from occurring. Lavender oil’s fragrance is proven to soothe migraines when inhaled.

Cold compress:

Applying a cold compress has proven to reduce migraine and headaches, especially in women in a short period.

Caffeine:

While excess caffeine is the cause of some headaches, for some people a cup of coffee or tea can soothe one. Habitual consumers may also find that if they don’t get that morning or evening cup of tea it can cause a dull pain in their head which can be relieved by consuming the caffeine. While addiction or dependency on any substance is never recommended, consumption of tea and coffee in healthy amounts regularly can uplift your mood and boost your health.

Acupuncture:

The practice of inserting small needles and stimulating pressure points can alleviate headache pain and can prevent one from occurring for some time.

Yoga, Meditation, and Relaxation:

Whether it is to get away from your work for a short break or a regular yoga session you can avoid headaches and boost your concentration and mood. Meditation is also a way to calm your nerves and keep you from accumulating too much stress and tension.

Ginger Tea:

Ginger is known to contain certain compounds that have anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation effects on the body. This can soothe an existing headache or prevent an upcoming one. It is the go-to drink for winters and rainy seasons in many Indian households, where a good amount of ginger is boiled in chai whenever anyone has a cold or a headache.

Regular Exercise:

A regular and healthy amount of exercise can be a cure for most known ailments of the human body and this is true for headaches and migraines too. Just make sure not to overdo it as mentioned earlier.

Conclusion:

Our lifestyles seem to play a huge part in deciding the outcome of our health. The negative effects of headaches can interrupt one’s personal and work life. Whether it’s a bad mood at the dinner table with the family, lack of intimacy with a loved one, or reduced focus at work, the headache can make our lives unnecessarily messier.
All the preventive measures mentioned above incorporate some positive effects on your lifestyle and health, and in the journey to keep your headaches under check you may also land up achieving a healthy body and a sound mind leading to increased productivity and increased happiness.

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