Post of The Day

Types of Headaches

People often regard tension negatively possibly because it is an occurrence usually associated with negative situations or experiences. It is even sometimes regarded as a state of mind. Tension is actually a natural functioning of muscles.

Unlike its negative connotation, this physiological occurrence mainly serves as a protective act of maintaining the muscle’s state despite constant stretching or pulling. Tension is what prevents the muscles from completely tearing apart.

However, experiencing this often can take a toll on the muscles and may eventually cause fatigue and muscle rigidity. When this happens, it may lead to other muscular problems and even health problems not clearly related to muscle physiology such as headaches.

For many people, a headache is an infrequent annoyance that disappears after swallowing a few tablets. But for chronic headache sufferers, the effects can be far worse. During stressful situations a person’s muscles increase their tension property unconsciously. This may possibly be due to the changes stress creates within one’s brain governing chemical balances.

Since the brain basically directs every movement of a person’s body as well as other functioning of the entire system, altering chemical movements in the brain can cause changes within the entire body. Most of these changes are unconsciously experienced by the person which is why it is often difficult to control the effects. Tension of muscles become troublesome when experienced often, causes fatigue, and cannot be easily monitored as it usually happens in the sub-conscious.

The effects range from just a simple fatigue to a worse case of chronic headache. The World Headache Alliance has fourteen different classifications of headaches, from tension headaches and Migraines to headaches caused by ocular diabetic neuropathy.

Three of the most common forms of chronic headaches are tension headaches, Migraines, and cluster headaches. The likelihood of being afflicted with different headache disorders seems to be genes and gender-related, with women three times more likely to suffer from Migraines, and men four times more likely to get cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches are often called “suicide” or “ice pick” headaches due to the excruciating stabbing pain in or near the eyes. This type of headache disorder is rare, with less than 0.5% of the general population affected. Migraine, in comparison, affects roughly 10% of the population, causing pain that can range from irritating to debilitating.

Most headaches (over 66%) are tension-related headaches with over 60% of people suffering at least one tension headache each year. Tension-related headaches, unlike Migraines and cluster headaches, generally produce a steady ache rather than intense throbbing or shooting pains.

Headaches may not necessarily need hospitalization, however, it can surely prevent one from going to work or even performing important daily tasks. Because of the headache, a person’s stress level may further escalate, thus, causing a continuous process of cause and effect between stress and headaches. This situation when prolonged may become more difficult to treat or manage.

The most common treatments for headaches are analgesics such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. For more severe chronic headaches, however, a physician may prescribe antidepressants, muscle relaxers, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. With proper treatment, most headaches are gone within an hour or two, but in severe cases, the pain can last for days or even weeks without relief.

A concerning issue about this situation is the availability of some supposedly prescription medications for tension headaches. Most are accessible even without prescription, so people tend to self-prescribe and self-medicate. Despite of the benefits of using such drugs, they can still cause several side effects, which is a downside. Some side effects may even be worse than the actual sickness itself.

Major Ways Food Can Affect Headaches

Many common foods contain chemicals, particularly tyramines and nitrite, that have a direct effect on the brains of genetically prone individuals, triggering neural and blood vessel changes culminating in headaches. How often headache strikes and how severe it is depends on the degree of vulnerability and the cumulative impact of food and other triggers on the brain.

In some cases, the food factor stimulates constriction of blood vessels leading to blood-flow dysfunctions and transient neurological symptoms, such as vision disturbance. In other cases, the blood vessels outside the brain dilate and become inflamed, triggering pain.

Under this theory, all foods containg certain known chemical headache triggers are suspect like chocolate, aged cheese, bacon and red wine. Some researchers fervently believe many headaches in adults and children result from widespread and generally unrecognized food allergies or intolerances. The body may perceive a certain food as an antigen setting off events leading to vascular changes and headache.

Food constituents called amines may simply strike your brain all wrong. Such amines are well-recognized headache activating agents. For example, chocolate a reputed trigger of migraines contains phenylethylamine; Citrus fruit contains octopamine; most common headache trigger is tyramine which is found in alcoholic beverages (particularly red wine), dairy products (aged and hard cheeses, yogurt, sour cream), yeast products (certain breads and fresh cake), Certain meats (cured or processed), fruits ( figs, dates, raisins), nuts and sauerkraut.

Those who suffer from frequent migranes should try drinking a cup of ginger tea daily or making ginger a part of their diet. Ginger may just be as effective at aborting and preventing migranes as powerful prescription drugs. It has been used for centuries in some cultures to treat headaches, nausea and nervous disorders. Ginger operates much like aspirin in blocking prostaglandin synthesis, leading to reduction in inflammation and pain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *