Headache Remedies and ReliefIs your most common health complaint all in your head? If so, you are not alone.

According to the World Health Organization, 47% of adults experience headache pain. What causes the throbbing pain and what headache remedies can you use to find relief? Headaches may be felt in different ways and the root cause of the discomfort can vary. However, you can take some things into consideration that may help you determine the source of the problem.

Headache Remedies Begin with Addressing Nutrient Deficiencies

Are you getting the nutrients your body needs to feel your best? A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support healthy blood circulation, cardiovascular, and nervous system health. Specifically, vitamins A, B complex and C, as well as magnesium, calcium, and potassium can all help your head. Your diet should include more than carrots and bananas, but try new fruits and vegetables that are out of your ordinary meal plan to receive a wide spectrum of nutrients. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and chard, are particularly packed with nutrients.

Dehydration is a Primary Cause of Headache Pain

A main cause of a headache is dehydration. This is the body’s way of letting you know that you need H2O. Mood and cognition are also affected by dehydration. Most people are chronically dehydrated, because of the large assortment of beverage alternatives that can actually dehydrate your body even more, including soda and energy drinks. Furthermore, many people do not eat fresh fruits and vegetables that help replenish the body’s need for water. Drink at least eight glasses or 3 quarts of purified water each day to avoid dehydration.

Trans Fats & Partially Hydrogenated Oils

A good majority of pre-made, packaged foods contain hydrogenated oils and trans fats that are difficult for the body to breakdown and assimilate. These types of oils should be avoided, while more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including olive oil, nuts, and seeds, should be added to a healthy diet. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in omega-6 fatty acids can experience a reduction in head pain. You can easily include more good fats in your diet by adding almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and pecans to your salad or yogurt. Fish oil supplements can also be taken to obtain a concentrated amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

Blood Sugar Levels

A rapid increase in blood sugar levels can trigger headaches. Eating sugary substances, refined flours, and processed starches can lead to a blood sugar spike followed by a rapid decline. On the other end of the spectrum, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can also cause headaches as your body is in need of nourishment to stabilize blood sugar levels. Choose whole grains, legumes, lean protein, and healthy fats to support balanced blood sugar levels.

Caffeine’s Link to Heachaches

Caffeine is a primary offender for headaches. Oddly enough, it can both cause and prevent a headache. While caffeine may seem to lessen headache pain at first, it only causes more headaches in the future. This leads to a greater need for caffeine to ease the pain. For people who drink caffeine on a regular basis, this stimulant is likely a primary source for a throbbing head. Try avoiding caffeine for at least two to three weeks and see if your headaches are reduced or disappear. You may experience headaches from the caffeine withdrawals at first, but overtime these withdrawals should disappear.

Poor Gut Health

If you experience constipation, it means your body is having a difficult time getting rid of toxins and waste. This means the toxins return to your blood stream causing your blood vessels to constrict to form headache pain. Drinking purified water throughout the day, herbal tea, green vegetable and fruit smoothies, as well as supplementing with magnesium can help your body rapidly eliminate toxins.

Food Allergies

Our modern-day foods are filled with compounds that can cause an allergic reaction in the body. An overload on gluten, MSG, corn, artificial sweeteners, and other additives can cause negative reactions in the body and headaches. You can determine what foods you may have an intolerance or allergy to through a food intolerance test.

References

Benton D. Dehydration Influences Mood and Cognition: A Plausible Hypothesis? Nutrients. 2011;3:555-573.

Mensah JK, Okoli RI, Ohaju-Obodo JO, Eifediyi K. Phytochemical, nutritional and medical properties of some leafy vegetables consumed by Edo people of Nigeria. African J of Biotechnology.

Ramsden CE, Faurot KR, Zamora D, et al. Targeted alteration of dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids for the treatment of chronic headaches: A randomized trial. Pain. 2013 Nov;154(11):2441-51.

Wierzejska R. Caffeine–common ingredient in a diet and its influence on human health. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2012;63(2):141-7.

Williams SA, Pollack MF, Dibonaventura M. Effects of hypoglycemia on health-related quality of life, treatment satisfaction and healthcare resource utilization in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2011 Mar;91(3):363-70.

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