What is a headache and what causes it?
Headaches are so common for most of us at one time or another. But can diabetes cause headaches? Many things cause headaches and diabetes is can be one of them. While there are medications to take, it’s better to turn and rely on natural headache treatments.
For me, they were never really a big problem thankfully. But so many people suffer from cluster, tension, and of course migraine headaches. There can be a zillion causes of this head pain and sometimes we have no idea what causes one particular bout.
The more you know about what causes head pain, the easier it is to treat it. I know that many folks treat it with advil, aspirin, ibuprofen, aleve, etc. Taking too much advil is bad for your liver and kidneys. Advil works great for me when I need it but I don’t stay on it for those reasons. The same goes for the others. I do take a baby aspirin each day by doctor’s orders but it’s not for headache pain, just as a blood thinner.
Were you aware that the major cause of a headache is dehydration? So the first thing you should do is to drink a glass of water to see if that eliminates the symptoms. Better yet, drink 8 glasses of water a day. That could be causing the issue if you’re not getting enough water.
The best thing for a headache is to prevent it in the first place. Listen, nobody likes any kind of pain no matter where in the body it comes from. Some people have more or less of a tolerance of pain in different areas of the body. I’ve had headaches and at the first sign I wan to treat it because I cannot function at all.
I remember one time many years ago I was taking an antibiotic and I had THE worst pain in my head ever. I just laid down on the bed and never forgot it because I had never had a headache like that. My heart goes out to those who suffer migraines. Ouch!
Let’s talk about what you can do to prevent headaches in the first place:
- Drink enough water! I can’t stress this enough in all of my articles on my website. Your body needs approximately 8 glasses of water a day. Do it! I never used to drink a lot of water but I do now because it’s the most important fluid that your body needs to survive and be healthy.
- Have your vision checked regularly! Your eyes are everything for you. I have my eyes checked twice a year. And since I’m a diabetic. it’s even more important. I sit in front of the computer and I take a break every twenty minutes to give my eyes a break. Extra stress on your eyes can lead to headaches.
- Spy on your food. That’s right. Watch everything you eat and record and remember what you ate right before your headache appeared. This way you may be able to avoid any headaches next time.
- Zzzzzzzzzz. If you’re not getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, that can trigger the head pain for sure. Make sure you get the right amount of sleep that’s right for you, usually 7-8 hours.
- Poor circulation. Were you aware that increasing your circulation in your neck and your head can help avoid them? You can do some simple exercises for your neck that would improve circulation. I do this in the morning when I get up or at night before bedtime.
- Caffeine. Too much caffeine can provoke a headache. Cut down on caffeine. You may notice a difference if you do. I don’t drink coffee but I do try and avoid caffeine in other foods and drinks.
- Sinuses. If you have develop a sinus infection, you may want to try and clear it up because otherwise they can trigger headaches.
- Eat regularly. Have your meals at the same time each day and do not skip any meals.
- Lose weight. Taking off the weight is healthy for you in every which form there is. It can certainly help with your head and the possible onslaught of a migraine.
- Sit up straight! I used to hear this all the time when I was growing up. But poor posture can have many bad effects on you including headaches. So mom was right! (As always)
- Kick stress to the curb. Stress. It’s amazing what can do to your health. The best way to avoid stress is try and stay relaxed with things such as meditation and yoga. Don’t let negative situations make you react to something rather than take a minute or two to think and then act calmly. Headaches are caused by stress for sure.
- Exercise. You know that exercise is healthy and good for you and you’ll never hear otherwise because it’s the truth! Walk, run, swim, play sports, ride a bike, just get moving.
- Smoking. It’s obviously one the worst things you can do for your health. For sure, smoking can play a part in your headache.
- Too much medication. Too many over the counter meds can actually increase the amount you get and the intensity of them.
- Avoid alcohol. Drinking alcohol, especial red wine can cause the head pounding. Stay away.
- Bright lights. I’ve experienced this more than once. Bright lights can make you squint because it hurts your eyes. Next stop: headache city!
- Loud noise. This is another one that gets to me and can give me a real pain. Try and stay away from very loud noise.
Natural headache treatments
- Chocolate. Sorry, but I love chocolate too. You have to either eat less of it or avoid it altogether. The caffeine will set off your headache for sure.
- Peppermint oil. If you have blood vessels that are clogged which can result in a headache, then peppermint oil with menthol can help open them up and control your blood flow in your body. The scent of the peppermint oil can be beneficial for treating your headache. You can put a few drops with a bit of water and massage it into your forehead.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon is beneficial for so many ailments. Crush cinnamon sticks and mix with water. Rub it into your forehead and lay back for 20 minutes and then wash off.
- Apples and apple cider vinegar. You can have some apple if you arise with a headache. The old saying goes,” An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Apple cider vinegar is excellent for everything. You mix one or two teaspoons with honey and it works wonders.
- Yoga. Stretching, breathing, and relaxing does wonder for you including treating a headache. A good idea would be to set aside some time each day for practicing to prevent any headaches before they occur.
- Hot and cold compresses. Sometimes one works better than the other. For a cold compress, take an ice pack, or frozen bag of vegetables and lie down and put it on your forehead. For a hot compress a towel of some sorts with warm (not hot) water would work for your neck, or shoulders. You can do both simultaneously. Try it until you feel relief.
- Ginger root. Ginger has always been a good choice to treat nausea. When I was a kid my mom always gave me ginger ale. It worked wonders! If you’re a tea drinker, then make up a cup of ginger root tea.
- Try butterbur. This plant is related to daisies and was used as a natural remedy for headaches way back when the Native Americans discovered it. There are chemicals that aid in blood flow. It also helps with when your blood pressure is high, it helps control it thus reducing the migraine.
- Basil. Strong scents are very advantageous for headache treatment and basil fits the bill here. The tight muscles and extreme tension caused by a headache can be eliminated by basil oil acting as a muscle reliever.
- Feverfew. Feverfew is another herb that is know to be beneficial for nausea. Combine this with ginger root for a great headache remedy.
- Vitamin B2. Vitamin B complex is good for you because B2 combined with B12 are a great connection in increasing the production of energy inside your nerve cells.
- Vitamin D. There are so many folks who are deficient in vitamin D . It’s been studied that vitamin D could be responsible for the way your brain recognizes pain.
- Nuts. Nuts are just plain good and healthy for you. But almonds are the ones you need to act as pain relievers. I love almonds. They can act as pain relievers because of an ingredient known as salicin.
- Rosemary oil and thyme. A couple of drops of either of these on your forehead rubbed into gently for a few minutes can do wonders.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is another mineral that has a lot of health benefits. It will treat and calm your nerves and if you take it daily (as I do) it can help prevent the migraines. You can get it from nuts, seeds, and dark leafy green veggies.
For headaches, when is it time to see the doctor?
It is time to see your doctor when:
- You have symptoms that are systemic. Indications of feeling additional
- symptoms elsewhere in the body. Possibilities include weight loss, fever, or even loss of appetite.
- Symptoms that have to do with your neurological system including numbness, blurry vision, weakness on either side of your body or confusion.
- Out of nowhere. It appears out suddenly. You don’t want a headache that is a possibility of bleeding on the brain.
- Being over age 50 and you are having progressive or new headaches.
- Progressive headaches. If they are different than before and more often, this is cause for concern.
- Indications of a rash, fever, or a stiff neck could indicate an infection or the possibility of meningitis.
Most headaches are just annoying and uncomfortable but there are many that are serious enough that have to be addressed in some way. My hope is that you have some positive ways to avoid and treat headaches. Nothing can take the place of your physician and the medical experts.
But these natural remedies will hopefully treat the common headache. With a headache, you want to make sure your blood pressure is not high too either. This will help you if you want to check your numbers at home! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I would appreciate it. Thank you!