Is Your Lifestyle Fueling Your Headaches?

Is Your Lifestyle Fueling Your Headaches?

Headaches are often easy to dismiss. The demands of everyday life, including job, family commitments, and busy schedules add up to tension, stress, and reaching for the ibuprofen. Coping with the day takes priority, and your discomfort often takes a back seat.

However, your lifestyle might be the fuel behind the headaches in the first place. In rare cases, headaches may be symptoms of a serious medical condition, but in most cases, they aren’t. Still, they can be distracting and even debilitating, keeping you from functioning efficiently or enjoying life.

When headaches are chronic, consider consultation with the physicians at La Pain Doctor. They’re headache specialists, they can often help you discover the reasons why your pain is frequent and recurring, and they can provide you with effective relief. But before you call, consider how elements of your lifestyle may contribute to your issue.

Primary headaches

The International Classification of Headache Disorders lists over 150 types of headaches, one of the most common pain experiences, shared by virtually everyone. Primary headaches are those which aren’t caused by another condition, and these tend to originate from the pain-sensitive mechanisms in your head. This could be chemical activity from your brain or due to blood vessels and nerves in your skull.

Certain lifestyle conditions can trigger these mechanisms, resulting in the headache pain you experience. Consider these aspects of your life when searching for the triggers of your own primary headaches.

Alcohol consumption

Red wine is a notorious headache trigger for some people, but any type of alcohol could be associated with headaches. It’s not yet known if alcohol, other ingredients in alcoholic beverages, or a combination of both bring on the headaches.

Diet and hunger

Putting off meals brings on migraines for some and tension headaches for others. Processed foods that include nitrates, nitrites, monosodium glutamate, or certain food dyes have been identified as headache triggers. Some food groups, like nuts or dairy products, could cause headaches, or you may have sensitivity to single foods. Avocados, bananas, and chocolate are three common offenders.

­­Caffeine

Consuming caffeine may not be as problematic as stopping. Withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping the regular use of coffee and tea often include headaches because caffeine contracts blood vessels. So, when you go without, these vessels relax and bulge with every heartbeat, a condition you may recognize from your pulsing, pounding pain.

Lack of sleep

The reasons for the connection between poor sleep and headaches isn’t known, except that the effects are real. A nap is often enough to clear the headache, but a consistent, healthy sleep pattern may help prevent issues.

Stress

Often experienced as tension in the shoulders and neck, stress contributes to headaches because of the way this tension gets perceived by the brain, particularly when stress headaches become chronic.

Making lifestyle changes could help you reduce the frequency or intensity of your headaches, but since there could be more than one issue contributing, home care may not be enough. Contact LA Pain Doctor when your efforts don’t provide the relief you want. You can schedule a consultation by calling the closest office directly or by requesting an appointment online. Relief is at hand, so book today.

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