Just about everyone is affected by headaches at one time or another. There are many different causes, including stress, anxiety, allergies, constipation, eyestrain, sinus pressure, muscle tension, hormonal imbalance, trauma to the head, nutritional deficiencies, exposure to irritants (pollution, perfumes, etc) and the use of alcohol, to name a few.
Most headaches fall under two categories, tension headaches and migraines. About 90 percent of all headaches are considered tension headaches, which are caused, as the name implies, by muscular tension. Migraines are caused by a disturbance in the blood circulation to the brain. Another type is the cluster headache. It is a severe throbbing pain usually on one side of the head, occurring 1-3 times a day.
Headaches that occur often can be a sign of an underlying health problem, a reaction to certain food or food additive, sinusitis, spinal misalignment, or vitamin deficiency.
Although most people, when inflicted by headache pain, take a common pain reliever, it is recommended that you try to treat the cause rather than the symptom. Even if you are suffering from a hangover headache, you will probably find that re-hydration (by drinking plenty of juice and water) will eliminate the cause, which will eliminate the symptom. Avoiding too much alcohol in the first place would ultimately be the best cure for the cause.
If you suspect that food or food additives are affecting you, it is important to test them, by isolating which one could be causing the headache. For example if you think wheat is affecting you, rather than testing by eating a slice of wheat bread, which contains other additives as well, try eating wheat in a purer form, such as cream of wheat.
Because many of the causes are related to poor blood circulation, tension, toxins and poor diet, there are natural alternatives that can help avoid your next potential headache.
As with many health related problems, cleansing the body of toxins will help keep the system running more efficiently. Cleansing the colon and a regular cycle of antioxidants will maintain the body's blood flow and avoid the build up of free radicals. (See Melt issue 2)
Primrose oil, vitamin E and Vitamin B3 help improve circulation.
For menstrual headaches, which are usually caused by variations in estrogen levels, supplements of Vitamin B6, potassium and extra magnesium can be helpful.
As earlier stated, if headaches are recurring, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem. It is important to consult your doctor if your headaches often or severe. In addition, remember to ask your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking any supplement.
|This article is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical advice if you have any concern about your health or physical condition, and you should always consult your physician before following the recommendations presented here.|
© Melt Magazine 2002