There is nothing that undermines your energy, productivity and overall well-being more than a pulsating headache. If you catch yourself repeatedly popping Tylenol or Advil, it is advised that you take the time to determine the causes that are behind your headaches and make the necessary lifestyle changes so you can get rid of that developing painkiller addiction.
While it is not really shocking to know that stress causes headaches, what is really surprising to learn is that the International Headache Society claims that stress is what is actually to blame for 90% of headaches. So what is the reason behind why stress causes headaches?
The answer has everything to do with the stress hormone cortisol. While cortisol is crucial as part of our flight or flight response, too much of it causes or body to become tense, resulting in inflammation and blood sugar deregulation, which in turn cause headaches.
Another form of stress which can contribute to headaches is not getting enough sleep, again due to excessive cortisol. Our sleep cycle means we produce cortisol through the day and release cortisol through the night. If we are still stressed out during night, this results in underproduction of melatonin, which is crucial for our body’s rest and rejuvenation.
3) Muscular-Skeletal Imbalances
There are a number of reasons why our muscular-skeletal system can be defective, from pre-existing conditions, sleeping on the wrong pillow, weak core, carrying a bag that is too heavy on one shoulder and most commonly, a weak core and/or poor posture.
One classic headache trigger is poor posture when you are in front of your computer or smartphone, where your shoulders are slumped forward and the neck pokes forward as the upper back becomes rounded.
2) Food and Drink
A lot of food and drinks can cause headaches, but one obvious culprit is coffee. But the thing is, although having too much coffee is can trigger headaches, it can also happen to people who have not had enough coffee, a sign that they are undergoing caffeine withdrawal.
While coffee does have therapeutic benefits like increasing your mental performance and cognitive function, if it is causing you to get headaches, then it is a sign that you might be overdoing it.
Of you also think that the reason you have a headache is because you have not had enough coffee, then it means that you have a full addiction and that you might have to wean yourself off your favorite beverage and start over, like limiting yourself to only a cup or two each day. Other commonly-known headache triggers are sugar and food additives.
One of the most common causes of headaches is dehydration. Characterized by their “throbbing nature”, they are usually in conjunction with other dehydration symptoms like fatigue, dry mouth and nausea.
Physically demanding tasks, exercise, alcohol consumption, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and high temperature weather can all cause fluid loss.
As the human brain is made up of 80% water, dehydration causes our brain tissue to lose water, causing it to pull away from the skull and shrink.
According to doctors, the recommended number of liters a day should at least be 3% of your body weight. Excessive dehydration due to extreme exercises or an illness may need the aid of electrolytes in order to replenish the loss of fluids.