Know Your Headache
There are over 45 million Americans that have severe enough headaches to take them to the E.R every year. 1
It has been spoken and written often by our politicians, that in order to defeat our enemy, we must know our enemy. If you suffer from chronic headaches, the very first step is learning who the enemy is. So before you grab the bottle of Tylenol, learn what’s actually happening to your body first.
If we give a man a pill, it will help him for a day. If we teach him how to heal himself, it will help him for a lifetime. So which do you want? The easy solution sold to you, or the truth?
The majority of headache are considered “tension” headaches. These can have symptoms wide ranging between sufferers. A tension headache the tightening of muscles in your head. Literally. This can be caused by several factors, but the overall theme is stress. Life stress, food sensitivities, bright lights, illness, and even changes in the atmospheric pressure.
Vascular headaches, a group that includes migraines, are thought to involve abnormal function of the brain's blood vessels or vascular system. 2 “The blood vessels in the head become enlarged, distended and inflamed, which alters the normal pulsation of the vessels and leads to a throbbing pain that usually worsens with physical activity.
Vascular headache is one of the four major types of headache, alongside muscle contraction (tension), traction and inflammatory headache. “ (from: News Medical Life and Science)
No one has been able to define specifically why these blood vessels tighten, but we know there are a few triggers like what you eat. Ripened cheese, cheddar, Brie, among others, onions, pickles, cured meats, avocados, fresh bread, red wine, sour cream, nuts, chocolate, coffee, tea, cola and alcohol are all things you should try avoiding. In an experiment at a Texas Neurology Clinic, over 25% of migraine sufferers improved when they stopped eating these foods. Also, anything that’s going to restrict your blood vessels will trigger vascular headaches.
Chemical Headaches 3
Use and long term use of commercial and over the counter pain relievers (to CURE headaches) causes headaches and/or makes them more severe. Some of the big players are codeine, acetaminophen, Demerol, ibuprofen and even aspirin. Yes. Aspirin.
A 1994 study soundly concluded a relationship between chronic acetaminophen use and kidney failure.
What’s “chronic” defined as, you ask? Try 1 pill a day for a year or more.
The survey also indicated that people who take large quantities of other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen acetaminophen, may increase their chances of kidney failure eight-fold. 4
When the New England Center for Headache, took people who experience chronic headaches off their daily dose of five or six painkillers, the results were clear. Two-thirds of the folks said they were having less headaches by the end of the month! 60 days later, 45% said they were experiencing even less pain than when they were on the prescriptions/medications. To top it off, these participants also no longer had to suffer with the side effects of those medications such as dizziness, insomnia, lowered immune system, digestive problems and more.
No Matter Which You Suffer From
There are some simple steps you can take now to prevent/treat most headaches.
Dehydration is the most common cause of headaches, so knowing that, you have even more reason to drink more water. Remember that when we become adults, we no longer feel thirst until we’re already dehydrated. So go get a glass!
Low Blood Sugar can cause headaches in the late morning, late afternoon and after naps.
Eating every 2-3 hours will help keep your blood sugar steady. (not spiking and dropping) So many people suffer chronic headaches (nearly daily) just because they don’t eat enough during the day.
Stop Staring at your Screen! Do you have less than perfect eyesight and not wearing glasses? Straining your eyes, especially on a computer screen can trigger headaches. So take a break! Let your eyes dilate and relax. You’re not a machine.
Knowing your enemy will help you defeat your enemy. Clearly, you taking pills for the last few decades hasn’t gotten you anywhere… why not try the holistic version of healing?
Linda Lavender writes articles to help folks with Auto Immune Disease, Depression, Anxiety and other health related illnesses.