Headaches: Causes, Symptoms and Cures
If you suffer from headaches, you will know that this is not something to take lightly. Headaches can be so severe that some people have even committed or attempted to commit suicide in an attempt to get rid of the pain!
Before attempting to deal with headaches, it is important to understand the different type of headaches that people can suffer from.
Primary headaches are not related to life threatening causes as is the case with secondary headaches
Migraines fall under the primary classification of headaches.
While severe in nature, they are not life threatening, although suffers might feel like they are dying during an acute attack. Migraines usually occur when muscles, veins and arteries cramp up. Certain foods such as caffeine, chocolate, nuts and dairy products can trigger migraines. Other triggers for migraines include PMS, bright lights and dehydration.
Migraine headache symptoms include severe pain starting over the eye and moving into the head. They usually last for a few hours and are extremely debilitating. Sufferers are often nauseous and vomit during an attack. Doctors normally prescribe triptans to interrupt the pattern of the headache.
Some doctors perform a tiny incision in a small vein or artery in an attempt to interrupt the pattern of the headache.
Cluster headaches are similar in pattern to migraines
I suffered from cluster headaches due to dehydration after running the Comrades Marathon a number of years ago. The neurologist prescribed Inderal for 3 months and told me that every 5 years these headaches would re-appear. I am happy to report that they only re-appeared once and never again.
Over-using painkillers can also cause headaches
If you use painkillers more than 8 times a month, you run the risk of suffering from headaches. The painkillers cause headaches which in turn causes a vicious cycle of headaches. The other, even bigger problem, is that one becomes dependent upon painkillers. Many people become able to function only when they take painkillers.
Secondary headaches are out of your control
They are usually a result of some life threatening condition such as a growth in your brain or even a blood clot
It is imperative that you get your headaches diagnosed properly before attempting to self medicate yourself. Secondary headaches have a sudden onset and are different in symptoms of primary headaches or tension headaches. They are also extremely intense in nature (not that migraines and cluster headaches are not intense).
Tension headaches are most common and easy to identify. They start at the base of the neck and move upwards into the back of the head. They can arise from stress or sitting too long in front of a computer. High stress levels and obesity are two other common causes for tension headaches.
Some doctors are prescribing botox as a treatment method for certain types of headaches. It is believed that injecting botox can relieve pressure on the vein, thereby offering much needed relief and freedom from pain.
If you want to alleviate headaches in a more natural manner, it may be an idea to have a hair mineral analysis done to see whether mineral imbalances could be causing your headaches.
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