“Not tonight, I have a headache.” How often do we hear this? Do we always believe it? Actually it may be true. Headaches are as common as getting pimples & acne during adolescence. There are different varieties of headaches. There is more. They get triggered unknowingly by many common reasons.
Headaches Triggered By Food: Certain food or combination of foods causes headaches. Dairy products like cheese are very common. Apart from that chocolates, citrus fruits, tomatoes, figs & milk together & many more. Too much intake of sugar results in a rapid increase in the blood sugar level & triggers a high level of insulin; eventually this causes the blood sugar to fall even lower than before & a headache sets in.
If you are now able to pinpoint the ache after particular intake of food, then changing your diet can resolve this at an early stage.
Sometimes extreme cold temperatures & food like ice cream or a cold drink can cause numbness & trigger the pain. Others are affected by junk food & Chinese food which have a high content of monosodium glumate (MSG).
Another classic reason for headache is caffeine abuse. People who consume plenty of tea, coffee, colas & chocolate are prone to this. It is an addiction & the moment they stop drinking the required amount for the day, they suffer headaches as a sign of withdrawal symptom. Smoking also triggers aches in many people accompanied with the burning sensation of the eyes. There is more. The best solution would be to give up smoking or limit it as much as possible.
Medications Hit Back: There are many victims of headaches who start taking pills even before the onset of one. A slight stressful situation & they pop couple of them. But actually if you reduce the intake of such medications, the headaches will become less frequent.
Most medications taken are anti-inflammatory drugs. There is more. They seem to give the relief but they actually damage the lining of the stomach, liver & in *some* cases even kidneys. Regular intake of these tablets may give rise to analgesic abuse headache.
The best way to handle this is have green tea or hot milk with honey which create a soothing effect on the nerves. Some people get relaxed with cold water or ice packs placed on their head. Try as much as possible to reduce the pain with external methods rather than giving up & grabbing the bottle of pills.
Toxin Headaches: Severe constipation can also trigger headache. The toxins accumulated for a long period of time do not get a release & that leads to various side effects. A diet with a lot of fibre helps to solve this. Fruits like banana, apples & papaya work wonders. Along with that one needs to drink minimum eight glasses of water daily.
Hunger Headaches: This is very common when people skip breakfast or lunches & even those who crash diet. The level of sugar in the body gets lowered because of lack of nutrition; it leads to the ache. The person also suffers from irritability & mood swings. Eating a balanced meal & at regular intervals can easily cure this pain attack.
Activity Headaches: The things we love doing the most occasionally gives rise to headaches like watching television for a long time or working on the computer. The glare of the screen fatigues the eyes, causes strain & gives rise to the headache. Similarly listening to loud music, or even using headphones causes similar throbbing pain.
Sun exposure for a long time triggers the ache. In such situations, attempt to sit in the shade, drink plenty of fluids & relax. Wear sunglasses or some kind of headgear like hat or scarf so that you can enjoy playing your favorite sport like golf, tennis or even enjoy shopping in the sun.
Hangover Headaches: Weekend partying or pub hopping can result in too much drinking. Do you follow? The excess intake of alcohol causes dehydration. It also affects the sleep & causes lowering of the blood sugar level. An additive called congeners present in certain brands of alcohol is known to cause this pain. If you can limit your drinking & keep the body hydrated with a lot of water then this headache can be managed.
Tension Headaches: This is very common & it starts off with a mild throbbing & then intensifies as the day progresses & becomes unbearable by evening. Sometimes this extends to the neck causes stiffness & soreness. There is more. The only way to manage this is relax, learn some breathing exercises or take a walk. Seek advice from colleagues & friends to resolve the problem & feel at ease again.
Migraine – The Killer Headache: This is the most painful headache of all. Its classic symptoms are severe pain on one side of the head. It lingers for three to four days constantly. The sufferer feels nauseous or has a gastric problem & is affected by noise & light. These get triggered with various foods like cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits etc. There are medications available which should be consulted with the doctor before consumption.
Studies have shown that women get three times more headache than men & usually more of migraine. It is recommended that sufferers should eat well-balanced meals at proper intervals, exercise regularly & get sufficient hours of sleep. If you are unable to bear the pain & find the frequency of headache increased then it is best to seek a doctor’s advice.
Life has many ups & downs & such pains do interrupt us from our normal routine but precautions can be taken to maintain a successful & accomplished existence.
©Nayna Chakrabarty, 2007
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Nayna Chakrabarty, a talented writer has many popular articles published on http://www.nayna.in
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