Reducing Headache Pain
Headaches can come and go at a moments notice. They are frustrating and can ruin your day (or even ruin your week if you do not treat it successfully).
Many people believe that headaches cannot be cured or should be left to heal on their own. However this has the potential to cause the headache to turn into a long lasting problem.
The main reason people get headaches is due to lack of hydration. Studies have shown that people who frequently drink water – as opposed to soft drinks – are less likely to have headaches and migraines. Water helps your body to regulate itself. It is important to consume enough water to keep your body and brain functioning as they should be.
The amount of water you should drink varies between different people and there are no solid numbers. However, you should aim to drink water every hour throughout the time that you are awake to reduce the risk of headaches. Headaches are not the only symptom of dehydration but they are the most common.
What most people do not realise is that headaches can be avoided.
If you experience frequent headaches it is important to go to a doctor to have a full check up to make sure it is nothing more serious.
Your diet can play a large role in the prevention (and cause) of headaches. Some foods trigger headaches for some people in a similar way to how allergies can cause a rash. Caffeine is a very common cause of headaches. People often drink more caffeine than they are aware of throughout the day.
If possible, cut down on the amount of caffeine you drink. You should also try to offset the amount of caffeine and sugar drinks you consume by always drinking water as well. If you have water at the same time this will allow your body to function – while still giving you the benefits of the caffeine. Caffeine is known to reduce headache pain – many prescription headache tablets include it. However, too much and too frequently will cause headaches.
Certain foods will cause the same effects but it is not easy to know which foods are causing the symptoms. If you believe food is the cause or you notice certain patterns (for example if you always have a headache an hour after eating) you may wish to eliminate certain parts of your diet.
Start by reducing the amount of sugary foods and drinks you consume. Sugars in foods often cause headaches and it is usually difficult to realise they are the culprit unless you cut them out of your diet altogether.
Exercise will help to fight the symptoms of a headache (provided you are well hydrated) as your brain releases endorphins associated with pain reduction when you exercise. Exercise will also help your body regulate its temperature – you will get used to exerting energy and your body will become more efficient.
Losing weight is often helpful if you have on-going headaches. Headaches are reported more and more frequently as the average weight of the population increases. It is difficult to show a study that shows this conclusively, but many doctors will recommend that you try to lose weight in order to relieve headache symptoms (if you are over weight).
Medicines are useful but should not be taken lightly. If no other methods work then you should only then consider taking medicines. Medicines relieve the symptoms but do not always help fight the cause of the problem. You do not want to become dependant on headache medication to function in day to day life, when the solution may be as simple as increasing your intake of water or changing your daily exercise routine.
All of the natural changes you can make to help aid in reducing headache symptoms also help you in other areas of health. Exercise will improve your physical and mental performance as well as your long-term health. The majority of people should drink more water than they do. And avoiding sugar based or fatty foods can prevent heart problems later in life.
To reduce headache pain you must try to identify the cause of the problem. Try to notice patterns in your weekly schedule and link them to when you experience headaches. Keep a log of all of your activities and write down how severe your headaches were. If your headaches are routine and often appear at a certain time of day you will know that it is very likely to be linked with something you have eaten or done in the hours prior to noticing the headache symptoms.
Reducing headache pain can be simple in some cases, but it is always important to consult with a medical professional in case there is a more serious underlying issue.