You must be aware of what a headache is as most of us have experienced it atleast once in our life. But did you know when to consult a doctor or how to find out if your headache is more complicated than you think?
We’ve covered all you need to know and much more about Headaches.
What are Headaches?
Headaches are a very common condition that most people experience many times during their lifetime. The main symptom being a throbbing, constant, sharp or dull pain in your head or face region.
There’s more to a headache than people usually think. Different kinds of headaches can have their own set of symptoms and are a result of unique reasons. Therefore, each headache has a different treatment. Once you know the type of headache you have, it can be accordingly treated on consultation with your doctor.
Now, there are situations where the headache is not usually because of an underlying cause. For instance, it may occur due to lack of sleep, an incorrect eyeglass prescription, stress, loud noise exposure or tight head wear. In such cases, it is important to evaluate the headache and relieve yourself by getting some rest, or an over-the-counter pain reliever, some food or coffee, or spending some time in a peaceful surrounding.
Although, frequent or constantly severe headaches can affect a person’s quality of life. Most likely, the factors leading to such headaches may be:
- Emotional stress, anxiety or depression
- Migraine or high blood pressure
- Physical injury
- Environmental factors including weather changes
It is always good to know when a headache needs an urgent care and how to control majority of headaches that are not threatening to your health. Doctors categorise headaches based on whether the underlying condition is responsible for the pain. As per the International Headache Society, a headache can be primary, secondary or cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches; based on the source of the pain.
Primary Headaches include:
- Migraine Headaches usually affect children and adults.
- Tension Headaches occur more commonly in women than men. According to WHO, 1 in 20 people in the developed countries suffer with a daily tension headache.
- Cluster headaches are a rare form of primary headache. They most commonly affect men in their late 20s. Although sometimes women and children can also suffer from this headache.
Primary Headaches can be triggered by simple lifestyle factors like alcohol, processed meats, changes in sleep or lack of sleep, poor posture, skipped meals and stress.
Secondary Headaches occur mostly due to an underlying structural or infectious problem in the head or neck region. It covers a very broad range of medical conditions ranging from dental pain and problems, to an infected sinus, to life-threatening conditions like bleeding in the brain or infections like encephalitis or meningitis. Post-concussion headaches, headaches associated with substance abuse, or hangover headaches also fall into this category.
Cranial Neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches are slightly less common than primary and secondary headaches. Cranial neuralgia is the nerve pain that happens due to the inflammation of one of the 12 nerves coming from the brain that control the muscles and carry signals to and from the brain and neck. The trigeminal neuralgia affects the cranial nerve and the sensory nerve that supplies to the face, causing intense facial pain when inflamed or irritated.
Now that you are all caught up with the types, symptoms and causes of headaches, let’s dive into what to consume to potentially reduce the frequency and endurance of headaches. We’ve curated a list of fruits that you can eat if you are going through any one of the above headaches.
1. Water-packed Grapefruit Soothes Headaches
Grapefruit is a wonder fruit when it comes to soothing headaches. It contains a small amount of Magnesium, which helps reduce the pain of throbbing, severe headaches. It also is a storehouse of water that delivers healthy hydration to the brain and body thereby calming the nerves and controlling the headache. Another important component of Grapefruit is Vitamin C which helps keep away cold so as to reduce the occurrence of sinus headaches.
2. Bananas Are A Source Of Quick Energy
Dr. Brown from North Carolina suggests to grab a banana to keep Migraine attacks and Hypoglycemia at bay. Bananas are about 74% water, providing the body with hydration benefits while being rich in Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B and complex carbohydrates, all of which contribute to Headache relief. Truly a natural headache reliever, the most affordable and available all-year-round fruit is a star for quick energy recovery when people have headaches.
3. Magnesium-Rich Apricots Relax Your Mind
A favorite of many, both dried and fresh apricots are known for their large amounts of relaxing Magnesium which not only helps reduce the frequency of headaches but also decrease the duration of tension headaches. Adding a delectable flavor to your oatmeal breakfast or being a delightful dessert, apricots seem to know a way to the man’s heart.
4. Tart Cherries Are Enriched With Anti-Allergic Properties
Quercetin, a nutrient with natural anti-allergy and pain dulling properties is an important component of sweet and tart cherries. If you are looking to relieve your allergy-related headache or a general one, grab some of these refreshing cherries and experience the nutrient do its magic. Whether they are fresh or unsweetened, all cherries work on headache relief almost instantly.
5. Blueberries Are High In Antioxidants
Antioxidant-rich berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and particularly blueberries play a major role in reducing inflammation in the body. This, thereby lowers the blood pressure and reduces the vasodilation of blood vessels. Reduced vasodilation leads to lesser migraine headaches. Doctors also advise that consuming fruits that are high in antioxidants can help relieve sinus pressure over time.
6. Melons Have A Hydrating Effect
Getting through the day accomplishing one task after the other can get exhausting and make your body feel dehydrated. Apart from drinking sufficient amount of water, it is good to include fruits that have a hydrating effect. Melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and even honeydew contain large amounts of water that helps combat headache triggering dehydration. Almost 90% of melons is water, which makes it the most ideal fruit for consumption while controlling headaches like migraine.
In addition to these fruits, keeping yourself hydrated at all times is a good idea to keep headache in control. Drink sufficient water, or even have a cup of coffee or herbal tea a day to reduce or prevent headaches.
Other natural ways to reduce headaches include simple changes to your lifestyle. Try setting a healthy nighttime routine; eat at regular intervals and do not skip meals; find ways to reduce stress – see what best works to calm you down. Be it exercise, nature therapy, aroma therapy or even meditation.