Skip to main content

Eliminating the cause of headaches

Headache disorders are extraordinarily common, yet very few population-based studies exist in spite of the high rates of occurrence in developing countries. This lack of statistics is due to limited funding and large, often rural populations. Fortunately, headaches can be significantly reduced through improved lifestyle factors like diet, exercise and stress reduction.

In developed countries, Tension Type Headache (TTH) can affect up to two-thirds of adult males and more than 80 percent of females. Statistics show about 3,000 migraine attacks occur every day per million people and as many as 1 in 20 adults has a headache nearly every day.

What are the types of headaches?


The most frequent types of headaches are migraines, tension and sinus. The symptoms of the headaches differ based on the individual and the unique causative triggers.  The goal should not be limited to treating headaches but preventing them through a proactive approach.

Migraines are common in adults and teenagers.   Symptoms include severe pain either on one or both sides of the head which moves from one area of the skull to another. Migraines are commonly grouped with a series of other symptoms as well.  One can experience an upset stomach, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound and moodiness.

The most common form of headache is the Tension Type Headache.  Pain associated with this type of headache commonly extends into the neck, shoulders and the middle of the back.  Poor posture, abnormal sleeping positions, past/current injuries and significant stress levels can all contribute to tension headaches.

Sinus headaches commonly affect individuals during weather changes and seasonal allergen exposure. Sinus headaches are caused by pressure in the nasal passages that can cause fever, eye strain and coughing. The pain is continuous and is commonly mistaken for a migraine type headache.

A cluster headache is the least common – but most severe – type of primary headache.  The intensity of this headache is very high and can be described as a burning or piercing pain.  This constant pain is located behind one eye or in the eye region.  Cluster headaches usually occur at a specific time of day and recur one to three times in a predictable pattern.
 

Associated risk factors found


Hormonal changes are a common cause of headaches in women. The physical, chemical and emotional stress of puberty, monthly menstrual cycles, pregnancies and menopause require constant hormonal fluctuations throughout life.  Even minor imbalances can be a cause of headaches.

Headaches can also be triggered by specific environmental factors such as exposure to secondhand smoke, fumes from household cleaners, perfumes, exposure to certain allergens and even eating certain foods. Stress, pollution, noise and certain types of lighting are other environmental factors that can trigger headaches.


What causes headaches?


As you can see, many of the causes of headaches are part of our everyday lives.  The secret to treatment and prevention is to improve how your body is able to respond to the onslaught of triggers.  This improved response can be achieved through dietary factors, quality exercise, stress reduction, proper sleep and adequate hydration levels. 

Exercise has been deemed one of the best ways to improve how your body responds to stress.  Engaging in an exercise program will improve neurology and circulation while reducing the damaging effects of stress.  Exercise helps balance hormones, encourage weight loss and aide in detoxification.  Together, these positive side effects will reduce the occurrence of headaches.



Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.

Email: drcorycouillard@gmail.com
Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
Twitter: DrCoryCouillard

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Can we now cure HIV in newborns?

Doctors are reporting that a child born with HIV that was put on an unusually aggressive treatment regimen has been functionally cured of the infection. Using the most sensitive HIV testing available, they were able to find only trace amounts of HIV "particles" but no virus capable of replicating, the research team reported.

"If there is a trial that shows this can happen again, then this will be very important," said Dr. Karin Nielsen, a pediatrician who specializes in infectious diseases at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. "You'll be able to treat people very intensively and reverse the disease."

The news provides no answers for adults living with HIV but it can be a landmark victory in the health of future generations. Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 babies are born infected with HIV according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

The treatment consisted of giving the newborn a three-drug…

Non-communicable diseases ravaging the poorest

The convergence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and infectious diseases (IDs) in low- and middle-income countries presents major challenges to the world’s poorest and most neglected groups of people. NCDs continue to escalate and cause hundreds of billions of dollars of loss annually despite aggressive lifestyle campaigns.

A NCD is a medical condition or disease that is non-infectious and non-transmissible amongst people. NCDs may be chronic diseases of long duration and slow progression, or they may result in more rapid death such as some types stroke and heart attacks. Unknowingly to most, NCDs also include autoimmune diseases, many cancers, asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and many more.

Most Low- to middle income countries has dual disease burdens of NCDs and IDs including tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and parasitic diseases. Unfortunately, experts, institutions and policies that support prevention and control of these two overarching disease categories have very limited int…

Strong health systems critical in addressing health threats in the African Region

Brazzaville, 8 April 2015 – The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti has called on the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Republic of Congo to advocate with their national governments to strengthen health systems to be able to address the health challenges facing the African Region. She briefed the diplomats about the on-going Ebola epidemic in West Africa, current and emerging health threats in the WHO African Region, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the strategic priorities for WHO’s work in the Region for 2015-2020. The Regional Director underscored the importance of strong national health systems to be able to withstand epidemics and emergencies while delivering essential health services to people who need them most. Dr Moeti pointed out that the Ebola epidemic has had devastating impacts on families, livelihoods, security, health workforce, service delivery and overall socioeconomic development of the seve…