Approximately 15% of Australians suffer from chronic headaches, and almost everyone has had a headache at some point in their lives. It’s one of the most common health complaints of people. It can be disabling. It can render you unproductive at work.
The MOST common types of headaches are:
- Tension headache which is a mild or moderate headache that feels like a tight band pressing around your head.
- Migraine which is a more severe headache that affects either side of the head. Severe migraine can bring about nausea and vomiting.
- Cluster headache occur in bouts of attacks that last for weeks to months followed by a period of remission.
What are the Common Causes of Headaches?
Headaches can be due to a number of factors. They could be due to overactive pain sensors in the head, heightened brain chemical activity, tightening of head and neck muscles, or dilation of blood vessels around the skull. Some people are more susceptible to headaches than others. Here are situations that bring on headaches:
Recovering from stress.
While you think you are more likely to get headaches when you are under stress, the truth is you are likely to get them after stress. Your cortisol levels are up during stress. After the period of stress, your cortisol levels drop. Then the neurotransmitters rush in. This rush of neurotransmitters triggers migraines. Many people get headaches after a stressful week, not during.
Solution: The link between water and stress reduction is well documented. All of our organs, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t running well — and that can lead to stress.
Habitual coffee drinkers usually get headaches when they skip a cup. This is due to many things. Loss of caffeine is accompanied by drop in cortisol and dilation of blood vessels in the brain, which trigger migraine attacks.
Solution: An alkaline diet is helpful during detoxification which you need to do to beat the pain. And drinking at least six to eight glasses of filtered water and sipping on some mineral waters can help replace the coffee habit.
How a hangover leads to headaches is poorly understood. It could be due to inflammatory effects of alcohol on arteries. It could be due to dehydration. (You urinate excessively during drinking sprees.) Alcohol wreaks havoc in your body, and headache is just one of the minor things to worry about.
Solution: You’ll feel miserable until you are rehydrated. Water is an excellent hangover remedy. So is orange juice, unless your stomach is too upset to handle it.
Slouching in front of the PC for 8 hours a day puts a lot of strain on your back, shoulder, and neck muscles. Muscle tension in your neck and back will lead to headaches.
Solution. As part of the solution to preventing tension in your muscles is.. surprise surprise- drink plenty of fluids. Don’t forget to drink fluids, especially water, to avoid dehydration.
Some people suffer from headaches when they exercise or do strenuous activities. This may be due to dilation of blood vessels around the head or it could just be a sign of dehydration
Solution: Plan on drinking one eight ounce bottle of water or more per hour of exercise, and include several ounces of juice or sports drink. If you’re not exercising, try to drink about 8 glasses of water, tea, or other fluids in a 24-hour period.
Summer Heat and Headaches.
Chronic headache sufferers are vulnerable to hot weather. According to a study published in Neurology Journal, you are 8% more likely to get migraines for every 9-degree rise in temperature. The hotter the weather, the more likely you are to suffer from headaches and migraines.
Solution: Stay hydrated. Drink more water during hot days, because you’re losing more water. Loss of water in your body causes the blood volume to drop. That means less blood is getting to the brain. Less blood means less oxygen for the brain.
Dehydration is by Far the Main Cause of Headaches
Dehydration causes blood vessels in the brain to dilate. This dilation triggers pain sensors. Also, dehydration that is accompanied by loss of electrolytes may trigger pain signals.
Dehydration gives rise to several conditions, including headaches, and should be attended to immediately. You should start hydrating yourself at the first sign of dehydration, which is thirst. Enduring your thirst much longer worsens dehydration. Severe dehydration is an emergency situation that requires intravenous rehydration.
You can completely prevent dehydration headaches by drinking enough fluids. People who are prone to headaches and migraines should increase their fluid intake to facilitate proper blood circulation and to normalise blood pressure. Enough water coursing through your system eliminates toxins that otherwise build up to cause conditions that precipitate headaches.
READ MORE> How Does Water Affect Our Blood Flow?
Avoid going thirsty for a very long period. Bring water with you to work, school, and hikes. Bring water anywhere you go. Drink more water during hot days and when you are working out in the gym. Replace coffee, sodas, and beer with water.
If you have been out there sweating under the sun, you probably need more than just water. Replenish lost electrolytes. A quick fix is to add a pinch of salt to a glass of water. Stir and drink slowly. This is a good and cheap way to reintroduce sodium into your body. Also, grab a banana for potassium.
All right, if you must drink water to treat your headaches, please drink properly filtered water. Contaminants such as lead or toxins produced by cyanobacteria can cause headaches too!