Headache Causes and How to Avoid Them

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Headache Causes and How to Avoid Them

Postby Sabina » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:27 pm

Six Headache Causes ... and How to Avoid Them
Taken from http://www.thirdage.com/pain-management/six-headache-causes-avoiding-them which has a crazy amount of ads!

Disclaimer: This is not a personal recommendation, but rather a text I thought has interesting information, that may be helpful to those who suffer from headaches.
If you have comments about any of the advice, or any personal advice to add to this, please do.

Guzzling coffee, skipping sleep, working late on a complicated project … these are the kind of activities we expect to cause headaches. But there are plenty of other ways to trigger a headache, and some of them can be avoided.
These six headache causes may surprise you, but you'll be pleased to find out how easy they are to prevent.

Trigger 1: Kicking Back on the Weekends

Getting a headache on the weekend is so cruel. You've worked all week for that free time, and now you're distracted by your throbbing head. Why does it happen? Turns out, the rapid change from tension (during the week) to relaxation (on the weekend) causes your brain to release all sorts of neurotransmitters at once. The blood vessels in your brain are overloaded, and you end up with a headache. How do you avoid this?

Stick to Your Routine
First, try to maintain some aspects of your weekday routine. Sleeping more than eight hours can cause headaches, as can caffeine withdrawal – so don't skip your daily brew. Also, incorporate exercise and relaxation into your work week. Both will help regulate the flow of those neurotransmitters during the week.

Trigger 2: Self-Treating Your Headaches

If you're popping painkillers to stave off your headaches, you could actually be causing … more headaches. Rebound headaches affect about two percent of the population, and they can occur if you're using Aspirin, Tylenol and other over-the-counter painkillers too often. The solution?

Check the Labels
First, refer to the usage directions on the label of the painkiller you're taking. If you've been taking more than the recommended amount, you should cut down. If you find that taking the recommended amount of painkillers doesn't work for you, ask your doctor to refer you to a headache specialist so you can find a safer way of managing your pain.


Trigger 3: Your Hormones

Many women get migraines just before or at the start of their periods, as a result of fluctuating hormone levels. Pregnancy and perimenopause will also cause hormonal changes that could lead to headaches. What can you do about it?

Manage Your Hormone Levels
If you find yourself consistently getting headaches around your period, speak to your doctor about taking a prescription triptan, such as Frova. Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen for the five to seven days around your period may also help reduce headache frequency.

Trigger 4: Harboring Anger

Anger causes the muscles in your head, neck and scalp to contract. If you stay angry long enough, those muscles will get tired, and you'll find yourself with a tension headache. How can you ease the tension?

Take a Deep Breath
The next time you feel yourself holding in anger, try this method: Take in a larger than normal breath; hold it for three to five seconds while pressing together the thumb and index finger on one of your hands. Then exhale slowly through parted lips, until all the air has been drained from your lungs. Repeat two or three times. This soothing move stops you from tensing your neck and shoulder muscles.


Trigger 5: Your Lunch

Some foods contain chemicals that can cause headaches. The tyramine in aged cheeses like Cheddar, Brie and Stilton, the theobromine in chocolate, and the aspartine in diet soda are all possible headache triggers. MSG, and the nitrates in processed meats and fish are also culprits. What should you do about these food triggers?

Keep a Food Diary
Everyone reacts to foods differently. To get a better idea of which foods are causing your headaches, keep a food diary. Note what you ate at each meal, and how your body felt afterward. Once you notice a correlation between a certain food and your headaches, try cutting that food out of your diet.

Trigger 6: Your Co-Worker's Perfume

Smell is an extremely powerful sense – more powerful than we often realize. In a recent study at the Headache Center of Atlanta, almost 50 percent of migraine sufferers attributed strong scents, such as perfume or household cleaners, to an attack. How can you keep the odors at bay?

Keep Your Nose to Yourself
You can't walk around in a gas mask all day, but you can make sure that your work and home spaces are well ventilated. You can also make sure that your home only has healthy scents in it by buying fragrance-free cleaning supplies.
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Sabina
 
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Re: Headache Causes and How to Avoid Them

Postby Sabina » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:42 am

I happen to not have a headache at the moment (I rarely ever have one), but I stumbled upon this, and since acupressure is pretty great, this probably works.

"Whether You believe you can, or you can't, you are right."
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Sabina
 
Posts: 1752
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:11 am
Location: Vienna, Austria
Personality: Ambivert
Favorite book: Confession by Tolstoy + Chess novel by Zweig
Favorite movie: Matrix + Baraka
Things I like: the arts, free thinkers, creativity, passion, intelligence, honesty
State of Mind or Tendency: Artistic
Kudos: 61


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