We all get headaches from time to time and for most of us we take a few pain killers and think no more about it but if you’re getting them on a regular basis they can have huge impact on your life. If you’re prone to getting headaches on a regular basis or if you’ve suddenly started getting them the causes can be almost limitless but in most cases headaches are usually a symptom of another problem.
Too Much Sugar
If you’re eating lots of processed foods, junk, chocolates or sugars you’re going to be flooding your body with chemicals it has problems assimilating. If you’re getting headaches on a regular basis try reducing the amount of sugar you’re eating on a regular basis, try sweeteners in your tea or coffee and replace fizzy drinks with water wherever you can. Try cooking more of your own food so you know exactly what’s going onto it rather than eating too many ready meals and takeaways.
No Enough Sleep
One of the most common causes of headaches is not getting enough sleep so make sure you’re heading off to bed at a sensible time. If you struggle getting a regular sleep routine make sure you’re starting to wind down an hour before you’re planning on heading to bed. Shut the computer down and pick up a book or crossword, have a warm bath and a caffeine free hot drink. Make sure you’re not deviating from your regular sleep pattern too much at the weekend, it might be tempting to spend all day lazing in bed on a Sunday but it means you’ll struggle getting to sleep in the evening and you’re back to being too tired on Monday.
Not Enough Water
Up to 70% of your body is made up of water; your muscles are made up of around 75% water, even your bone need a lot of water so you need to make sure you’re keeping hydrated. If you’re not getting enough water throughout the day you’re going to find you’re more susceptible to headaches. Ideally you need to be getting through seven glasses of water a day but this number can vary dramatically depending on who you’re listing too. Instead of drinking tea and coffee throughout the day swap some of them for plain water instead, keep a bottle on your desk at work or in the car so you can always have a swig when you’re thirsty.
If you’re getting stressed you’ve got enough to be thinking about without having to deal with headaches too. If you are getting worked up or upset you’re likely to be getting a headache too so take a deep breath, walk through your problems in your head and plan your solution even if you can’t action anything yet. Once you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and accept the things that are out of your control the headache will soon start to dissipate.
A sinus headache can often be overlooked as a cause of a headache. You don’t have to be streaming with a cold to suffer from a sinus headache, something as subtle as a change in the weather could cause one. If there’s any pressure on the nasal passage, if you’re coughing a lot or even having trouble focusing your eyes this could result in a sinus headache. These can become very painful and debilitating to the point where they’re confused with a migraine because you wouldn’t think something so insignificant could do so much damage. In a lot of cases ten minutes over a steaming bowel of water with some eucalyptus will help.
Too Much Caffeine/Alcohol/Nicotine
Any drugs (legal of otherwise) you’re putting in your body need to be processed just like the excess sugar. If you drink lots of tea or coffee throughout the day, or if you look forward to a couple of pints in the evening or if you smoke you may well have found the cause of your headaches. Switch to caffeine free tea and coffee and alcohol free beer if you feel you need to have a drink when you get home and there are already a million reasons why you should quit smoking.
As silly as it may sound certain pain killers can contribute to headaches. They can make headaches worse and although they might not be directly responsible, if you’re taking them on a regular basis to combat a headache (or another type of pain) you could be fuelling the fire. This is because your body starts to become dependent and once you stop taking them you’re almost going through withdrawal symptoms so you take a few more and the body becomes used to them again. The best thing to do is stop taking them and try and grin through the pain for a few days until your body learns to cope on its own again.
Our eyes are such a small part of our bodies and unless you have a problem with them you tend to take them for granted but this can be very dangerous. As we become more and more technically advanced we spend more time staring at a screen, whether it’s the computer at work, television at home, tablet computers, smart phones, laptops etc – we’re spending a lot of time asking our eyes to focus on small details and too much of this can do damage. You might not even be aware you’re struggling to focus or your prescription is out of date but you need to make sure you see an optician on a regular basis.
If you’re just not moving around enough or getting and fresh air you could find this is causing your headaches. Try going for a walk in the evenings after work or investing in a small piece of home exercise equipment and you might find getting your heart rate up is all you needed stop those headaches for good.
These are just a few things that can cause headaches and you can follow all these pieces of advice and still be troubled with headaches; if they do persist it’s important you see your GP. It’s not uncommon for headaches to be dismissed as a cause of your lifestyle but there’s always the chance they are caused by something more serious to make sure you don’t give up until they’re resolves.
This post was written by a guest contributor. About the Author:
Jessica works for JTX Fitness treadmills and learnt a lot about headaches before she was diagnosed with a heart defect that turned out to be really easy to manage and now the headaches have stopped.