One of the most common health complaints, headaches affects around 20 million people in the UK. There are many different types of headaches, varying in pain levels and the disabling effects they have on our lives. We will explore the most common causes of headaches and how to manage the symptoms.
Types of Headaches
Whatever pain you are suffering from, it is always a good idea to get it checked out by a health professional. However, do your research to better understand the discomfort you are feeling and any repetitive pain patterns you experience. Here are a few of the commonly diagnosed headaches…
These are what are most commonly experienced as your normal, bog-standard headache. It typically feels like a persistent pain that affects both sides of the temple. Tension headaches are often described like a tight band stretched around the head. You can usually carry on with doing everyday activities and they don’t tend to interfere with sleep. They can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few days.
Migraines are less common than tension headaches and can be described as a severe, throbbing pain on one side of the head. Migraine sufferers also experience other symptoms, such as: nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound. Migraines are usually more severe than tension headaches and they can really interfere with your normal daily activities. Migraines can last for at least a couple of hours to a few days. Some people, who suffer from severe migraines, may they need to sleep it off in bed for a couple of days.
Cluster headaches are one of the most painful types of headache sufferers can have. What makes cluster headaches different is that the excruciating pain is usually restricted to one-side of the head, and typically around the eye area. The name ‘cluster headache’ refers to the way it comes on in cycles or clusters.
The good news is that it’s a rare type of headache, with around 1 in 1000 people experiencing them. It more commonly affects men and often starts when people hit their 30s and 40s, although any age group can suffer from these painful headaches.
Sometimes the cure can be the cause of the problem. Medication overuse headache is a condition resulting from the repeatedly using medicines or painkillers, such as, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and paracetamol. Often developing from an existing headache disorder, in which the overuse of medication causes more headaches. Therefore, it is important to always read the patient information leaflet alongside any medication you take and stick to the prescribed dosage.
Causes of Headaches…
Even being slightly dehydration can result in a headache. Some studies have shown that dehydration can cause your brain tissue to contract or shrink. Researchers have also discovered that more cognitive effort or brain power is needed when you are in a state of dehydration. Although the exact link between dehydration and headaches is yet to be determined.
Ensuring that you are drinking enough water daily can help you to avoid secondary ‘dehydration headaches’. Being dehydrated can trigger migraines and lead to other health issues, so make sure you keep your glass topped up.
A common cause of tension headaches is stress, in fact they’re sometimes referred to a ‘stress headaches’. When we experience psychological stress this often translates into a physiological response such as a headache. Stress is also common trigger for migraine headaches.
Migraines can be brought on by certain foods and drinks. Unfortunately most of our go-to treats can be migraine triggers. Dietary triggers include: chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol, tea and coffee. Foods containing higher levels of tyramine such as cured meats, smoked fish and cheeses are also common culprits. However, these triggers differ from person to person. Keeping a food diary can help you identify your food triggers around each migraine attack.
Getting too little and too much sleep can trigger a migraine. Chronic headache sufferers can also experience insomnia. Therefore, sleep quality and headaches have an interdependent relationship. There are theories that headaches are connected to the body’s circadian rhythm and any disturbances such as jet lag or shift work can initiate a headache. Going to sleep and waking up around the same times each day can help regulate your body’s natural rhythms.
Fluoride and Chlorine
Chlorine can cause the depletion of magnesium in the body. Magnesium deficiency can lead to the development of conditions such as migraine headaches. However, chlorine is deemed safe to use in the treatment of drinking water.
Fluoride is another chemical found naturally and also added to tap water. Historically, it was added to help improve dental health throughout communities in the UK. However, fluoride levels can build up in and affect the pineal gland. This gland stores serotonin, produces melatonin, and controls the sleep cycle. Depression is the common denominator of all these functions, and is a condition that is commonly linked to the onset of migraines.
At Aquatiere, we can’t solve your sleep issues or remove those pesky stresses in your life, but we know hydration! Installing a water filter system can cross off two of the causes of headaches in one go. Our single point of use water filters and our whole house systems can reduce fluoride and chlorine levels. Filtered water has a pleasant taste, free of chemicals and contaminants. Therefore we hope you will be encouraged to drink more of the good stuff and stay healthy and hydrated. If you have any questions, contact us and our team will be happy to help…