Monday, September 19, 2011

Five Headache Triggers and How to Treat Them:

If you partied a little too hard this weekend, then you know where that headache you woke up with came from.  But here's a list from iVillage of five more headache triggers, and how to treat them.

#1.)  Hunger.  You've probably heard that some foods can cause migraines . . . like chocolate, caffeine, and certain kinds of cheese. But for most people, HOW OFTEN you eat is more important than WHAT you eat.  So if you get NORMAL headaches all the time . . . not migraines . . . try eating smaller meals, and eating more often.  It'll also help you lose weight.

 #2.)  Sex.  It's actually been shown to RELIEVE some types of pain.  But sometimes the muscles in your head and neck tense up so much, it gives you a headache.  And an increase in blood pressure can also do it. It doesn't happen to most people, but if you suffer from migraines, you're much more likely to have a problem.  So taking migraine meds BEFORE you get busy is the best way to prevent it.

#3.)  Hormones.  According to the National Headache Foundation, 60% of women who have migraines get them during their menstrual cycle.  And researchers think it has to do with the change in estrogen. To prevent them, talk to your doctor about taking an anti-inflamatory, like Advil or Aleve.  And start taking them a day or two before your cycle starts.

#4.)  Bad Posture.  Slouching can put more strain on the nerves near the top of your spine, which can cause what SEEMS like a migraine.  But you can prevent it by standing up straight, and by learning a few stretches: First, stretch the muscles in the back of your neck by tilting your head as far forward as you can, and holding it for 20 seconds.  Then tilt your head to each side and do the same thing.

 #5.)  Waking Up.  If you take too many pain killers before bed, you can wake up with what's called a "rebound headache."  And cluster headaches are sometimes called "alarm clock headaches" because they're so bad, they wake you up. Tension headaches are usually worse in the morning too, and unfortunately, iVillage doesn't really have a treatment for morning headaches, because they happen for so many reasons.  They say to talk to your doctor, and see what's best.

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