Nine Reasons Why You Might Have a A Headache

Nine Reasons Why You Might Have a A Headache

Blood Pressure and Chiropractic in Fort Wayne IN

Having headaches is no joke.  In fact, if you’ve ever experienced headaches, then you know first-hand how debilitating it can be. We are here to help at New Life Chiropractic in Fort Wayne, In.

Listen, there are lots of different things that can cause headaches. Some are caused by stress or eye-strain, perhaps from staring too long at a computer screen. Others are caused by illness or dehydration or because your lenses are the wrong prescription.  But did you realize that sometimes headaches are caused by chemicals that you’ve been exposed to, either airborne ones or those found in common foods and drinks?

Most of us will fall victim to aches in the forehead or behind the eyes every now and again, but if you find that headaches are a common problem in your life, or that you suffer from severe headaches or migraines, it’s probably worth investigating some of the likely causes so that you are best able to beat this problem once and for all.

You see, the hazardous Substance Data Bank lists over 700 common chemicals that can cause headaches[1]. Here are 9 common headache triggers it’s worth knowing about.


Alcohol

This one may be quite obvious, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a mention.  The relationship between alcohol consumption and headaches is not completely understood, but it’s believed to have something to do with congeners, substances other than the alcohol which are created during the fermentation process. On top of that, the alcohol itself can make you dehydrated, causing that horrible pounding head and dry mouth the morning after.

Maybe it’s time to try cutting out alcohol altogether, or at least to cut down[2].  When you do drink, you should alternate one glass of water with every glass of alcohol.


Perfumes and artificial fragrances

Strong smells, even when they are pleasant aromas, such as those found in perfumes, can activate the nerve cells in the nose, which stimulates the nervous system and can lead to head pain. While perfumes may be one of the worst offenders, air fresheners, fragranced soaps and cleaning products, deodorants and detergents can all have the same effect. If you find that you get frequenta headaches[3]try using unperfumed products and see if that makes a difference.


Sugar

Yet another reason to cut back on your sugar intake is that sugar leads to dehydration, which is a common cause for headaches. This is because after eating sugar your body needs water to dilute the sugar to stop it from harming you. As some of this water comes from your head you end up with a headache[4].


Caffeine

Occasional caffeine drinks may not cause a problem, but caffeine is a drug and headaches are a side effect of overuse. If you drink a lot of coffee, cola or energy drinks, and find that you suffer from headaches at times when you don’t drink these drinks, it is probably a good idea to start cutting back[5].


Chocolate

Perhaps most unfortunately of all, eating chocolate can cause a headache. Chocolate contains amines which cause the blood vessels to constrict and then expand which causes a headache and can be a trigger for migraines[6].


Aged cheeses

These also contain amines and so have the same headache and migraine causing properties as chocolate.


Diet sodas

For some people, chemicals such as artificial sweeteners added to diet sodas can trigger headaches and migraine[7].


Cigarette smoke

Have you noticed that your headaches can be triggered just by being in a smoke-filled atmosphere?  Passive smoking can cause all sorts of health problems, and one of them is headaches. The carbon monoxide in the cigarette smoke is to blame.[8] Smokers should stay outside, or better still give up.


Smoked, cured and fermented foods

It’s been known for decades that the chemical tyramine, found in many common foods causes headaches in some individuals.[9] Culprits may include smoked fish, cured meats, red wine, beer on tap, as well as some fermented foods such as soy sauce, miso and sauerkraut.  If you suspect that these or any other food you eat may be triggering your headaches, try cutting it out.

So how can you tell which, if any, of these substances is behind your headaches?  You might start by keeping a headache diary, noting whether you’ve been exposed to these or any other foods or chemicals in the hours leading up to the throbbing head.  Once you’ve identified the possible suspects, the next thing is to try cutting them out.  You may find that in the days or even weeks after you start cutting out triggers such as caffeine, the headaches actually get worse.  Don’t worry! This is just a sign that your body is detoxing effectively.  Persevere, and in a few weeks, you’ll be glad you did.

Lastly, if you haven’t already done so, try Chiropractic care.  Chiropractors are known for getting amazing results while giving headache sufferers quick relief.

  • [1] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-4610.1993.hed3310555.x/abstract
  • [2] http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/12/18/booze.hangovers.congener/
  • [3] http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/01/16/healthmag.headaches/index.html
  • [4] http://www.olsonnd.com/why-does-sugar-give-me-a-headache/
  • [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18625110
  • [6] http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/headache-food-triggers
  • [7] http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/headaches/Pages/Headachetriggers.aspx
  • [8] http://www.mhni.com/headache-pain-faq/non-drug-treatment-alternatives/smoking-cessation
  • [9] http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/tyramine-and-migraines#1

 

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New Life Chiropractic
2051 Reed Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46815
(260) 471-5433