Got Headaches & Migraines?… Got Help!
Headaches rank #7 on the list of why people see their doctors, and there are more than 300 causes for head pain! Read and then do the daily health habits I list below, which will prevent many headaches and dramatically improve your overall health. For a quick effective natural treatment, drink one or two big glasses of water (20-30 ounces) at the first sign of a headache. (This is a picture of my daughter Annika on our way home from Haiti. She was drinking hot chocolate and did have a headache from a common cold that day. I gave her water and then one ibuprofen 200mg tablet.)
If you have regular headaches, record and journal when and how they occur and what you are doing, eating, or exposed to. This can help you and your doctor identify, prevent, and treat your headaches. For example, some people get headaches or migraines when they eat wheat or gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley). Removing gluten from their diet can remarkably improve their headaches. Be sure to see me or your doctor if you have any serious or recurring headaches.
Daily Health Habits for Headache & Migraine Prevention and Life!
- drink at least 2 large glasses of water when you awaken and then before each meal and after exercise (your body needs half your weight in ounces of plain water each day)
- eat breakfast and a healthy diet with at least 3 meals and 1 snack each day (a diet high in fiber & veggies & fruits, low in fat and simple carbs)
- take your daily vitamins and supplements (at least a well absorbed multivitamin like our Alphabase from Orthomolecular, Fish oil, Vitamin D, and if you have frequent headaches then our good B Complex or Cardio B)
- plan for and do 20-30 minutes aerobic exercise daily
- sleep at least 7-9 hours each night
- plan time daily to de-stress & make time for yourself and family – laugh a lot, connect spiritually (pray, read, Bible study), help others, take mini-breaks/chills (a time to disconnect and reconnect such as putting your head down or closing your eyes to think about, listen to, look at, read, sip, or appreciate something relaxing or enjoyable to you), get outside and enjoy nature, and more…
- if you suffer recurrent headaches, then journal them and your exposures, and try a well-absorbed B Complex Vitamin (like our Cardio B or B complex) and Magnesium (like our Reacted Magnesium) twice daily
Tension Headaches (or Common Headaches)
This is a general term for headaches that are not severe migraine headaches. They generally respond well to over-the-counter (OTC) products.
There is no overall best OTC medicine, except what works best for you! Good options are acetominophen (Tylenol), aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). A small amount of caffeine can boost the headache-easing power of your pain medicine, such as taking your medicine with tea or coffee or taking a headache pill that includes caffeine (such as Excedrin).
Headaches are nearly twice as likely in the first few days of a woman’s cycle than during the whole rest of her usual 28 day cycle. Knowing this, then women can plan ahead to make sure to do the daily health headache prevention habits.
Daily taking regularly a NSAID (with food) a few days before and after the onset of the period can help many women with menstrual headaches. Also or instead, taking a good B Complex Vitamin and a Magnesium Vitamin twice daily during the couple days before and after the period onset may well help. Birth control pills can help some women. Those with migraines may need the longer acting triptan migraine medicines, Amerge or Frova.
Caffeine Withdrawal Headache
Caffeine can be addictive, and abruptly stopping caffeine can cause a bad headache. The immediate solution is to drink or consume some caffeine. However over the long term, make sure to decrease your caffeine intake so when you take an occasional break from caffeine you do not get headaches. Drinking as little as 2 1/2 cups of coffee daily (Or drinking 3 Cokes or sodas with caffeine or taking daily medicine with caffeine like Excedrin) can make a person suffer withdrawal symptoms (such as headache, fatigue, and anxiety).
Medication Overuse Headaches
The recurrent daily use of headache medicine actually can cause and worsen headaches! This happens because the pain medicines taken to help headaches cause irritation (sensitization) of brain receptors. The frequent use of pain medicines leads to more sensitization which leads to more headaches. It usually takes weeks or even months of regular use for this bad cycle to occur. However if you believe your headaches are due to this, then you may need to see your doctor for expert help to end this cycle. First, try gradually decreasing the frequency of the medicine you are taking.
A sex headache is one that happens just before or during orgasm. It can be a dull throbbing ache in the back of the head or explosive and extremely painful. These headaches can be very serious. If you experience these, then you must set up an appointment with me or your doctor right away. You will need a full neurological work-up.
Migraine Headaches – see my next blog article!
My prayers for you all to do the daily health habits and have rare or no headaches!
Hugs, Dr. Lisa