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What Headaches Tell You About Your Body

Headaches can range from the mildest to the most excruciating. The thing is, unlike other localized body pain, a headache is felt whenever a part of your body is unwell. It is your body’s way of communicating that something is wrong with it.

If you are hungry, you will have a headache. If you are tired, you will have a headache. If any parts of your body are in pain and not functioning well, it will let you know by the throbbing head pain.

What Causes Headaches

Headaches. That nagging discomfort that occurs in a blink when you encounter triggers you may not even be aware of. Stress, sleeplessness, or a whiff of a strong perfume can be enough to ruin your day.

Sometimes, headaches will clear away on their own. But when they become recurrent, it may point to other underlying causes. Treating the main cause is the only way of stopping a recurring headache.

What Headaches Tell You About Your Body- types of headaches

Generally, headaches are divided into two main categories: primary and secondary headaches.

Primary headache means that the problem itself is head pain. It is further divided into three types: tension, cluster, and migraine headache.

Secondary headaches arise as a symptom of other issues like sinusitis, infection, high blood pressure, stress, or injury. Sometimes, a headache also happens as one of the symptoms of stroke.

What Headaches Tell You About Your Body

Here’s a brief explanation to understand headaches better:

Primary headache is the most common headache that makes up about 90% of what people experience. Its exact cause is unknown; but according to experts, primary headache does not point to an underlying health condition.

Its main triggers are lifestyle factors like drinking alcohol, lack of sleep, stress, skipped meals, and poor posture. If you eat certain foods or encounter scents you are sensitive to, it is highly likely to cause a headache.  Highly processed foods that contain nitrates may also cause this nagging pain.

However, the location of the headache is variable for diagnoses since it can vary from person to person. Yet, it is a good enough starting point for doctors to diagnose its causes.

What Headaches Tell You About Your Body- headaches

Tension headaches are felt around the eyes, temples, upper neck area and base of the head. The recurring pain is felt like a tight pressure in the head and may last for about half an hour. Its symptoms are mild and are often caused by stress, anxiety, bruxism (teeth grinding during the night) and poor sleep.

Migraine headaches are one-sided which means they almost always occur only in one side of the head. The severe throbbing pain is sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Migraine headaches can last for a few hours until about 72 hours.

Cluster headaches are severe and occur on one side of the head, often in clusters. It means that it may happen regularly for months and be gone for some time. A cluster headache is accompanied by teary eyes, a red and stuffy nose, and eye puffiness. It may happen at the same time but only to one part of the head.

Underlying Causes of Headaches

A secondary headache is brought about by pain and inflammation happening in the different parts of the body. Most of these causes are rare but pose a more serious condition than primary headache. There are numerous possible causes of secondary headaches which vary in severity and are accompanied by other symptoms.

Sinus Headache: Sinus inflammation is caused by infections brought about by pathogens that cause flu and respiratory problems. Pollution, allergies, and dental infections may also cause it to swell, prompting a throbbing pain in the head. Sinus headache ranges from mild to severe. It is accompanied by a runny nose, fatigue, pain in the face, and pain that worsens with the changing temperature.

Put These Plants In Your Pillow To Relieve A Sinus Headache (Video)

Dehydration: If you lack water and body fluids, your body will fail to function properly. In adults, dehydration is not always felt until you are very thirsty, hurting your head and peeing dark yellow urine. If you feel a throbbing headache, especially during hot weather, your body might only be telling you to refill yourself with fluids.

Eye Strain: Using your eyes for a long time while doing something can stir up a mild headache. If you are reading, working long hours at your computer, or performing any task that requires intense focus, an eye strain can happen. You can solve it by taking regular breaks and having your eyes checked by a professional.

Influenza and Other Febrile Illnesses: Headaches are common in fever and flu which come with other respiratory symptoms. It is your body’s way of telling you that you are sick and need some rest. Once the flu clears away, the headache will also go on its own.

Panic Attacks: A pulsating headache that occurs only on one side of the face may happen if you have anxiety and panic attacks. It comes with other symptoms like shallow breathing, upset stomach, and fatigue whenever you are stressed over something. Practicing relaxation and managing your triggers may help lessen, if not prevent, this kind of headache.

Medication Headaches: Medication headache or rebound headache is caused by a long-term use of pain medication. Overdosage, especially if you are taking it for a migraine, can make matters worse. With a rebound headache, the pain will subside after taking medication and come back whenever it wears off.

Caffeine Withdrawal Headache: Regular intake of caffeine makes the body dependent on it. If you stop its consumption, it will enlarge the blood vessels and put undue pressure on the surrounding nerves around the brain. The best way to mitigate it is to reduce the caffeine intake and consume it in moderation instead of abruptly stopping it.

Hypertension: Elevated blood pressure causes the blood to push through the arterial wall if you have hypertension. The throbbing pain can be felt on both sides of the head and gets worse with physical activity. Other symptoms like flushed face, numbness, tingling sensation, shortness of breath, and blurred vision are also present. If you’re not taking prescription medicine, you can try natural remedies such as Hawthorn Berries, Chamomile, Garlic, Ginger, Basil, Cinnamon and many others.

Secondary headaches may also arise as signs of diseases or injury such as but not limited to: brain aneurysm, brain tumor, concussion, encephalitis, glaucoma, meningitis, and stroke.

Home Remedies for Headaches

It is difficult to tell what exactly causes a headache. Doctors rely on accompanying signs and confirm it by running a series of tests.

If you have a mild headache that occurs because of flu, sinusitis, or obvious inflammation, home remedies can provide immediate relief.

You can take herbal teas if you are not currently taking any medication. Topical headache relief from essential oils also helps you feel better as they numb the pain receptors (but make sure to dilute them first)

A few potent herbal remedies for headaches are Ginger, Dill, Bay leaf, Turmeric, Watermelon juice, Basil, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Apple cider vinegar, Lavender oil, Mint, Eucalyptus oil, Lemon, Peppermint, Garlic, and Lemon balm.

DIY Headache Relief Remedy

What Headaches Tell You About Your Body- ground ginger and garlic

Ginger and garlic are effective for headaches and will also help in managing flu and respiratory problems. It is also great for headaches accompanying nausea and digestive issues.

You will need: 1 tbsp. minced garlic, 1 tbsp. freshly ground ginger root, and 3 cups of water.

  1. Add garlic and ginger to boiling water and inhale its steam for a few minutes.What Headaches Tell You About Your Body- steam
  2. You may also apply a paste of garlic and ginger and warm water as a poultice on your chest whenever you have cold and flu symptoms.

If you have a mild headache, steam inhalation, herbal teas, and essential oils are the go-to for pain relief. But if you have a bad and recurring headache, do take note of other symptoms.

Headaches are the body’s way of communicating internal malfunctions. So, pay close attention and don’t disregard the pain that keeps on bothering you.

45 Herbal Protocols for Common Ailments

45 Herbal Protocols for Common Ailments

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I don’t see the article mention depression as a reason for headache. Stress, yes. Somehow depression headaches happen for me. They will last 2 to 3 days and then I will come out of everything on the other side, better than before. I should use better techniques to deal with those. Medication headaches haven’t been a problem. Allergy and tension headaches are the worst.
Thank you for this article. Very informative!

Thank you so much for this timely article!!! It has helped me to understand my headache issue and to go “natural ” in treatment!!!

when I was a bartender I suffered from migranes and an old guy said to me “If you have a bad tooth on the same side of your head as the migrane get that extracted and your migrane will go” he was right

Sometimes when I get a headache, I eat a large bowl of plain white or brown rice and the headache goes away. Not sure why, but I assume it’s some chemical or toxin that was in the food I previously ate. I’m open to other ideas.

My headaches in the colder months are due to central heating drying out the air and sometimes leads to bloody nose too.

I combat it with a huge pot of simmering water on the stove during the day, (so I can watch over it, but it’s turned off at night for safety reasons) to rehydrate my home, seems my plants like it too as they always perk up.

I do add some herbs or even fruit to the water to scent the air (whatever does not set my allergies off.)

I have migraines. But most of my headaches are due to “squinting” even with my glasses. I have a deep furrow between my eyes. When I get Botox there, I’m headache free for 6 months

I never get headaches and I’m 85; what does that mean?

You are very lucky! I’ve experienced regular every day headaches my whole life and migraines since I was 19 – I am 74 now. Luckily, I’ve had the fortune of being prescribed medication for migraine headaches since 1996, which has been a God send. God bless you and wish you a longer life!

I just experienced Covid headache. I was down two days with it. Eyes hurt, teeth hurt temples to the top of my head. Worst headache ever ice helped some. It was debilitating.

Im just getting over covid the headaches are terrible any relief ideas.

Virus like shingles also cause terrible headache

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