What A Headache Can Tell You About Your Health

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What A Headache Can Tell You About Your Health
What A Headache Can Tell You About Your Health

Video: What A Headache Can Tell You About Your Health

Video: What A Headache Can Tell You About Your Health
Video: 10 Things What Your Headaches Can Tell You About Your Health 2023, March

When headaches turn into a real nightmare, we remain calm - because in the nearest pharmacy there is always a pain reliever, taking which you can immediately continue doing business - and with greater productivity, speed and with a better mood.

However, doctors look at this with a grain of salt, because a headache is not always a case that does not oblige you to visit a specialist. “First of all, it is a symptom that can be caused by a whole range of diseases: from hypertension to disorders of the central nervous system,” says the chief physician and rheumatologist of the SpHévíz hotel, Dr. Gabor Domokos. “Other serious causes of headache include disorders of the musculoskeletal system arising from a sedentary lifestyle, excessive tension, and moderate to severe disorders of the cervical spine.”

All this may sound a little scary, but it clearly shows that something more serious can be hidden behind an ordinary headache. What common disorders in the body it can signal (and not only) - we understand in detail.

Headache - what is it like?


Scientists agree that the headache is caused by the "swelling" of blood vessels, which leads to stretching of the surrounding nerves and the subsequent triggering of pain signals. There are also separate "types" of headache: migraine, congestion and tension.


This type is most often characterized by a one-sided headache that comes back in cycles and is localized. It can intensify for three hours and only then subside.


There are four stages of migraine. The first stage is prodromal. It begins a few days before the onset of the first painful sensations and can result in yawning, a feeling of stiffness in the cervical spine, and cravings for constant snacking.

The second stage is the aura. It lasts 20 to 60 minutes and is characterized by specific physical sensations such as bright spots in front of the eyes, numbness in the face or one part of the body, difficulty speaking, or uncontrollable twitching.

The next stage is the attack stage, which can last from 4 to 72 hours. During this period, a person experiences pain in the head, suffers from increased sensitivity to light, touch, smells and sounds. These symptoms may also be accompanied by bouts of nausea. When the postdromal phase begins, the person feels a surge of fatigue and increased nervousness.



The headache can also be caused by muscle tension in the head or neck. Unlike migraines, to which a person may have a genetic predisposition, stress is a ubiquitous phenomenon that everyone faces today. Among the factors that cause them are stress, dehydration, autoimmune diseases, etc.

Frequent headaches - what does it mean?

To speak accurately about a chronic headache, it must last 15 days or more per month, for three consecutive months. But if attacks do not give you rest for, for example, only two weeks, this does not mean that the problem can be dismissed - in this situation it is better to make an appointment with a specialist. In order not to waste time in vain, we suggest you find out what headaches can actually say about your health.

1. You are dehydrated

With a headache, the first thing to look for is dietary habits and the amount of water consumed per day. Very often, a persistent headache indicates dehydration. If you don't eat enough, less oxygen begins to flow to the brain, which leads to pain. To avoid this, try to pay attention to the feeling of thirst, a dry mouth, and even yellow urine if these symptoms appear. Try to drink as much water as possible and include in the diet foods in which it is most abundant (tomatoes, watermelon, celery).


2. You have anemia

Anemia is caused by a deficiency of red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen through the cells and tissues of the body. A lack of red blood cells can lead to increased fatigue, feeling weak, breathing problems, etc. More severe cases of anemia can also cause headaches. Among the factors of the disease, the most common are iron deficiency, a low content of vitamin B12 and (or) folic acid. At the first sign of this disease, you should immediately consult a doctor.

3. It's about hormones

In women, headaches are often associated with PMS (premenstrual syndrome), so take note of this fact if you forget to mark important dates on your personal calendar. Before menstruation, the level of estrogen in a woman's body drops sharply, which can lead to acute pain in the head.

But this is not the only point: menopause, perimenopause, postpartum period and pregnancy - these special periods of women's health can also be accompanied by headaches, as they are associated with drastic hormonal changes. But this is more the norm than a deviation, although with severe migraines, it is best to consult a specialist and draw up a prophylactic course to relieve attacks.


4. You have a broken circadian rhythm

If you regularly wake up too early or late, it can lead to frequent headaches. And the blame is the downed biological clock. Try to keep track of how many hours of rest you need to avoid nodding the next day, and stick to that amount on a regular basis - even when traveling. The latter, by the way, are often the culprits of migraine attacks, especially if you move to a completely different climate and time zone (read also: "Acclimatization: symptoms, prevention and treatment of consequences").

5. Your body is on the "caffeine needle"

Caffeine is known to cause vasoconstriction. If you consume coffee drinks every day, and suddenly decide to spend one day without a mug with a fragrant drink, non-constricted blood vessels and pain in your head will definitely remind you of this omission. True, many experts do not consider such a condition unhealthy and advise to consume no more than two cups of such drinks a day - so as not to drink "extra", but at the same time not to suffer from a headache if you are an avid coffee lover.

6. You may have a chronic medical condition


Headache can be a side effect of a number of chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia (chronic musculoskeletal pain), lupus and diabetes. However, it is important to know about other symptoms that accompany such diagnoses. For example, in lupus, headache is accompanied by increased fatigue, joint pain, and skin irritation that is worsened by sunlight. Therefore, before making hasty conclusions, you should assess the strength of the headache, track its frequency and, if necessary, consult a specialist.

7. Your body is under stress

Stress can be different - sometimes we are clearly aware of its causes, and sometimes we may not even realize that we are nervous (see also: "How to adapt to stress if you are not coping with it?"). In the latter case, a simple tension in the head can easily develop into a migraine, and this is a completely different level of pain and discomfort. When the body is under stress, the muscles in the neck and scalp begin to contract intensely, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain. If you frequently experience incomprehensible (and severe) headache attacks, it is time to stop and analyze the situation: how well are you on a scale of one to five? Why is this so and not otherwise? And what influenced your condition - the way it is now? Remember: introspection and a conscious attitude to your body are above all.

Photo: Getty Images

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