Headaches are one common malady with many different causes. They can totally ruin your day and become downright debilitating if they become chronic. There are so many possible causes of headaches, and although Advil or Tylenol will often knock one out, they don’t really get to the underlying cause and, over time, do have adverse effects.
PHOTO: Acupressure is an effective way to eliminate a headache by rubbing specific points on your head. Your fingers will tell you where to go!! Gently massage in a circular motion or simply press on these points for relief.
Let’s review some of the triggers:
Dehydration: The most common cause of headaches is dehydration. These headaches usually occur later in the day, in the afternoon or early evening. The solution is simple: make sure you’re getting enough fluids throughout the day, especially in fall and winter when indoor heat dries us out. A good rule of thumb is to drink about half your body weight in pounds as the number of ounces of fluids each day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds aim for 70 ounces of fluids each day. Most of the 70 ounces should be pure water but herbal teas, soup, smoothies and diluted juices would also count. At the first sign of a headache, drink a full glass of water, wait 20 minutes and see if you get relief. If your headache doesn’t subside go onto the next step.
Low blood sugar: The next most common cause of headaches is low blood sugar. So ask yourself, when was the last time you ate? And did you have too much sugar and too little protein when you did? Low blood sugar is an often overlooked cause of headaches. SO, after you have a big glass of water, eat some protein, a full meal or at least a snack such as beef jerky or peanut butter on a rice cake, and see if the headache resolves.
Sinus Congestion: Sinus congestion can also be the culprit, especially in the spring and fall. We recommend a combination of strategies, such as decreasing your intake of mucus-producing foods, like wheat, dairy, peanuts and high fat foods, and adding an herbal decongestant that won’t make you groggy. These include the powerful anti-oxidant, NAC, which thins mucous and a product called Sinupret.
Hidden food allergies: You wouldn’t know about these except through functional testing for IGG antibodies since these headaches can occur up to 48 hours after you’ve eaten the offending food, making them difficult to track. BeWell Associates offers delayed food allergy testing.
Chronic muscle tension: You can try a calcium magnesium supplement to see if it helps your headache by relaxing tense muscles, and herbs such as valerian and passionflower that have a soothing effect on the mind. There are many different herbal/vitamin combinations that calm the catecholamines, which are stress hormones that make us tense and achy. One product we especially like was formulated by a local psychologist