If you’ve ever suffered from intense headache, you know just how debilitating its effects can be. It can ruin your day-to-day life for some time until you fully recover again. You simply can’t feel, look or perform to your best if you’ve a headache.
If you know any headache sufferer, or are one yourself, don’t worry, help is here!
First Learn The Causes (It’s not always migraine!)
Headaches can be a symptom of so many different conditions from migraines to allergies, so you need to be cautious. Some common causes of headaches include:
Migraines: While exact cause of migraines is still not clear, many things are believed to trigger their onset, including certain hormones, foods, sunlight, and stress.
Allergies: Many foods allergies can also trigger migraines. They also cause painful cluster headaches and sinus headaches due to congestion, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Stress: Excessive stress not only triggers migraines, but may also cause tight muscles. These muscles sometimes squeeze nerves leading to head, causing headaches. Stress also releases many stress hormones, for example cortisol, which sometimes unbalance normal hormone levels in the body leading to headaches.
Hormones: Fluctuating hormone levels can sometimes cause headaches, particularly in women.
Inflammation: Some inflammatory processes in the body can also pinch nerve pathways, leading to pain and headaches.
Alcohol: Excess alcohol intake can sometimes lead to raging hangover, and then you know exactly what I’m talking about! And many of us have not had this kind of experience, right? Headaches due to alcohol are likely due to dehydration and/or inflammation due to alcoholic beverages, which also deplete lots of B vitamins. This kind of suffering is enough to swear off drinking-at least as long as you remember that extreme pain of its aftereffects.
Tip: take a picture of yourself not looking so hot, lying in bed with “the spins” after a self-induced alcohol overindulgence, so you can look at it on your phone while you’re out and considering ordering another round of shots. 🙂
Tips for to Avoid Frequent Headaches
It’s worth a shot! You can minimize the number of headaches you experience by trying the following.
- Avoid common allergens
The most common allergenic foods include:
- Dairy products
- Lower your alcohol intake
I understand the term “moderate” has different meaning for different people. You may party a lot, but just know that as you work hard to balance your lifestyle and diet, you really don’t need to be a heavy drinker as you were in the past to get a buzz. Really!
- Follow a regular sleep schedule and get plenty of sleep
- Single out and avoid foods that trigger migraines
There are so many of these foods, so minimize or avoid them and you’ll have fewer headaches. Some foods that can trigger migraines are:
- Dairy products, especially cheese
- Smoked or cured meats avoid wine
- Foods containing nitrates
- Artificial sweeteners
- Canned soups
- Food additives
- Red wine
- Extremely cold foods, like ice cream
- Stay hydrated
Pay close attention to what that yellow pee is telling you and drink up!
- Minimize intake of various chemicals in your food by eating organic, whole plant foods and avoid processed foods.
- Don’t smoke, quit smoking if you smoke – Period
No compromises possible here. Also though, try to avoid second-hand smoke.
- It’s important to engage in regular stress reduction activities such as medication.
Even practicing deep breathing and sitting quietly for minutes per day can definitely help reduce stress.
- Get regular exercise
Exercises reduce stress, which can also help reduce the incidence of tension headaches. Yoga, which has always been the top most physical activity (plus so much more) for me, is expressly recommended.
- Take a glowing organic green smoothie for your breakfast as it is the healthiest way to start your day. This food will support your body instead of putting undue stress on it.
- Avoid any kind of caffeine intake, because it can trigger migraines and headaches. Instead, drink plain water
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory effect
Chia seeds, leafy greens, walnuts, and flaxseeds are few great sources.
- Learn more about your headache triggers
You can do that easily by maintaining a headache journal, as this will help you discover foods and activities that trigger your headaches. Keep in mind that your headache triggers may be different than from your roommate, mother or hubby.
- Avoid using air fresheners and chemical-based cleaning products around your house
A brisk 20 minute walk around the block is sufficient to release endorphins, which possess natural stress and pain fighting properties.
- Use ice pack
An ice pack at the top of your head can help relieve headache. You may also have some success by placing an icepack on your neck area.
- Use a good humidifier
Dry air irritates sinuses, and can trigger a headache. So use a humidifier when you sleep because it will help keep your sinuses from growing irritated.
- Take a whiff of lavender
Strong anecdotal evidence suggests that many people have been successful at alleviating headaches by sniffing pure lavender essential oils.
- Massage your neck
If you feel your headache is due to stress or tension, this can definitely help relax the muscles and relieve headache pain.
- Drink some ginger tea
Add some grated ginger to hot water and drink it to reduce inflammation and get lasting relief from headache.
- Listen to (calming) music
A 2003 study in NY showed the benefits of using music therapy for healing chronic headaches.
- Eat some pumpkin seeds
Many studies show that magnesium sulfate can relieve different types of headaches. Raw pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, so they are worth a try.
- Use moist heat
For headaches emanating from your neck, the best remedy is to dampen a towel with some hot water and place it at the back of your neck. If you have a microwave, you can use it to reheat your damp towel!
Sit in a comfortable, quite place, close your eyes and pay close attention to how you breathe. It’s important to visualize relaxation throughout your body as you do this.
- Eat something spicy
Studies show that capsaicin relieves headaches, so try to eat few hot peppers or you can also sprinkle come pepper or cayenne flakes on your food.
- Lie down somewhere in the dark
Sometimes when you minimize sensory input, it helps in stopping your head from pounding. Take few minutes n a quiet, dark room. This used to one of my favorite ones! Now as I’ve found some relief with ayurvedic herbs, I feel much relieved. Just chill out and tune out.
- Take a fairly hot shower and keep your head under water.
The heat from water will help alleviate some muscle tension that might be causing some pain. This approach always seems to help me!
Hope all these tips help you and your painful head to feel your best! Have you been successful in beating a headache with any of these tips, or do you have another one to share?