What causes headaches? Everyone gets them from time to time and they can be a huge PAIN to deal with.
UNCOVERING 5 COMMON CAUSES OF HEADACHES — AND HOW TO GET RID OF THEM
In fact, 9 out of 10 adults will experience at least one throughout their life. However, when headaches become a “regular” or debilitating part of life, you should take it as a warning sign. We’ve heard some of our patients say “It’s not a big deal. I only get headaches a couple times a month.” PSA: Although headaches are common, the are certainly not “normal”. Most often, headaches are a signal from your body trying to alert you that something is off. Headaches can show up for many different reasons, but here are 5 of the most common causes we see in our patients and what you can do to prevent headaches in the first place:
HEADACHE CAUSE #1:
Our body needs water and electrolytes to function – When we don’t have enough, our brain can actually contract or shrink due to fluid loss, leading to headaches. To stay optimally hydrated, we recommend drinking filtered water slowly throughout the day, away from meals. You can also add local, seasonal watery fruits and veggies to your daily meals, like leafy greens, watermelon, celery and cucumber. Remember, if the water is too icy cold this can also trigger a “brain freeze” type of pain, so we recommend cool water over ice water!
Looking for an added boost? Electrolyte Synergy is an electrolyte formula designed to keep you optimally hydrated – It’s amazing for both kids and adults. Dr. Bhat swears it tastes like lemon Gatorade!
HEADACHE CAUSE #2:
You might’ve heard that alcohol dehydrates you, but did you know some spirits like low quality vodka, when they smell kinda like ‘nail polish remover’ is because it can contain a small amount of the toxin acetone? No wonder we sometimes drink summer cocktails and feel terrible the next day! Our tips are to drink water in between drinks to keep yourself hydrated, avoid mixing sugar and alcohol as it can overburden the liver, and choose your drinks wisely – avoid low quality spirits, and/or make your cocktail with a lower alcohol content per drink. i.e. half a shot instead of a whole.
HEADACHE CAUSE #3:
Our body’s are smart! Sometimes when we aren’t sleeping deeply and we’re overtired, a headache is triggered as a reminder from our body to rest! Make sure to prioritize a bedtime routine to prime yourself for an optimal sleep – Things like dimming the lights, avoiding screens, and meditating before bed can help significantly.
HEADACHE CAUSE #4:
Ever heard of a food hangover? Sometimes, food sensitivities or intolerances can be the culprit when it comes to headaches. Inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy and sugar (which are some of the top) can also be a contributing factor. Sugar, for example, feeds the bad bacteria in our gut – When fed sugar this dysbiotic bacteria gets LOUD and throws a party, so to speak, so you’re left to clean up the mess – aka a headache strikes!
HEADACHE CAUSE #5:
If you’ve ever had a “tension” headache, this one’s for you! When our fascia is tight somewhere in our body, it can pull on our neck/scalp (yes, our scalp!) leading to a headache. Tension headaches are extremely common and are often described as feeling like you have a tight band around your head. Our daily habits like over-exercising, not standing in the correct posture, working in front of a screen, sitting for long periods of time and so on can cause these type of discomfort.
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