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What to Do About Your Headache?
February 3, 2015








You have a headache, so what do you do about it? That depends upon what type of headache you have. The different types of symptoms that you are experiencing will determine what type of headache you have and the many ways in which you can relieve it.







Types

It is estimated by the World Health Organization that about half of the adult population experience headaches. Headache disorders include migraines, tension headaches, sinus headaches, and cluster headaches. Each appears differently making it easier to determine and therefore ultimately deal with them.



Migraines can include pulsing, throbbing pain on one side of your head with or without nausea and or vomiting, auras or visual changes, sensitivity to light or sound and or tingling in the face or hands. Migraines can be caused by changes in weather, lack of sleep, or a drop in estrogen right before your period.  Tension headaches include a dull ache in the forehead, temples or back of the head, usually triggered by stress, fatigue or a strain in the neck and upper back muscles. Sinus headaches consist of pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose stemming from a sinus infection or allergies. Cluster headaches are more severe causing intense bouts of pain that can last from 15 minutes up to 3 hours and occur several times per day or weeks.


Treatment Options

Based upon the type of headache you experience you can determine the best course of action to take. There are several over the counter (OTC) migraine and headache relief medications that may help with your headache. It’s a matter of finding out which one works best for you, since everyone will not get the same result from the same medication. For migraines OTC formulas such as Excedrin, Advil Migraine or Midol can help, however prescription drugs prescribed by your doctor will work best in severe cases. For tension and sinus headaches Aleve, Motrin, Advil or Tylenol may help. For cluster headaches its best to consult your physician to determine the cause and ultimately the best course of treatment.

Of course there other alternatives to relieving headaches no matter the type. For migraine suffers adding supplements such as magnesium, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and Coenzyme Q10 have provided some relief. Migraine sufferers who added these supplements to their diet saw a reduced frequency of migraines and ultimately noticed that it can help to prevent migraines. Acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic, mediation, and exercise have been used for years to reduce tension headaches and relieve stress that can trigger a headache.


Other Factors

Diet plays a huge role in how we feel and has a direct effect on headaches.  Certain foods such as processed meats, aged cheeses, olives, pickles, caffeine, red wine, and aspartame have been known to trigger a headache, while foods high in magnesium (nuts, fish, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables) and vitamin B2 (eggs, chicken, turkey, milk, fortified bread and cereal) have been known to prevent migraines. To figure out if certain foods are causing your headaches, keep a food journal. Also avoid going long periods without eating which can lead to headaches. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.