Headaches seem such a common ailment that many of us do not even find the need to take them seriously. Stress and tension related to work, exam pressure, are all reasons to trigger a headache. In many people, food allergies, low sugar levels, sudden cessation from caffeine or nicotine and poor food choices could also lead to headaches. Reaching for an aspirin may be the easiest way but you may be enabling other serious problems that may remain undetected.
Majority of headaches are benign. Common causes are tension, migraine, eye strain, dehydration, low blood sugar, and sinusitis. The most common type of vascular headache is migraine. Often described as an intense throbbing in one area of the head, migraine is frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, inability to concentrate and intolerance towards light. Migraine attacks could last for hours, days or weeks disrupting your lifestyle. Though the exact cause of migraine is unknown just about anything could set it off. Migraine is often hereditary and is also interlinked with the dietary choices you make.
Headaches may also be triggered by certain specific foods, and simply changing your diet could be the most effective treatment. Common foods believed to trigger migraine include cabbage, tomato, onion, brinjal, pineapple, potato, canned fish, alcohol (mainly red wine and beer), chocolate, smoked meat, yoghurt, caffeine, milk, yeast-based foods such as cakes, bread, food containing mono-sodium glutamate, food colours and artificial sweeteners present in jams. Cheese, citrus fruits such as orange, sweet lime, lemon and grapefruit and ice-cold food or drinks are also believed to trigger headaches.
It can be challenging to discover the exact foods that may contribute to headache and migraine. It is best to consult health care professionals to ensure an appropriate diagnosis. Treatment options can include:
•Blood sugar headaches — avoid high glycemic index foods and try keeping your blood sugar levels constant by eating regularly.
•Caffeine headaches — Quitting too abruptly might lead to severe headaches. Your body needs time to adapt, so gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you consume.
•Detoxify from time to time — Detoxification, which can be done by using specific herbs and vegetable juices help to eliminate accumulated toxins (a cause for headaches) from the body, enabling smooth functioning of your body organs. Once you detect the causative factor behind your migraine, you might be able to defend yourself against a future attack.
•Fish oils such as Omega 3 can help prevent onset of headache. Likewise, garlic (fresh or in capsule form) is also an effective remedy for this condition.
•Consume ground flaxseeds everyday — these contain Omega 3 fats, which control prostaglandin synthesis that control pain.
•Try some ginger. It helps control prostaglandins, the hormone like substance that controls pain. Yes, ginger is a pain reliever. Take one teaspoon of pickled ginger or just slice an inch of fresh ginger, squeeze some lemon on it with a dash of black salt and chew it slowly.
•Meditation and deep breathing exercises are good ways to de-stress.
•Headaches related to muscular problems could be solved by physiotherapy.
Most headaches have more than one contributing factor, hence being able to investigate each factor, would only ensure a successful treatment.