Common Illnesses Symptoms and Remedies Headaches

About the symptoms of a headache and advice for the proper treatments or remedies



Pain or aching, usually beginning in the back of head. May feel like a band tightening around head.

M.D.: Common tension headaches are thought to be due to chronic tightening of the muscles of the scalp and neck as a reaction to stress.

Migraine, though it also can be brought on by stress, appears to involve arteries carrying blood to the brain. Pain is experienced when these arteries expand slightly, causing pressure on nerves around them.

Headaches, especially migraines, are thought to be brought on by hormonal changes, because contraceptive pills containing hormones bring them on in some people.

Foods that can cause headache in some people: chocolate and cheese. Also, food additives such as monosodium glutamate, nitrates, and nitrites are believed to cause headaches in some people.

Treatment includes an attempt to locate causes. A checklist includes: emotional stress; contraceptive pills; diet; premenstrual discomfort (see Menstrual Cramps section).

Aspirin, pain-relieving drugs, and tranquilizers are commonly prescribed for relief.

Nutritionist: Low blood sugar can cause headache; the condition can be corrected through a high-protein diet, with no sweets.

Anemia can also cause headaches; it can be corrected by taking vitamin B6 to help your body absorb needed iron.

Calcium, vitamin D, and the B-complex supplements have been found to help relieve chronic tension headache as well as migraines.

Potassium tablets have been found to be more useful than aspirin to relieve pain.

Headache after physical stress may be due to loss of salt, and can be relieved with a half-teaspoon of salt in a glass of water.

Psychiatrist: Worry, stress, anxiety, and depression can cause headache. Permanent relief comes after resolving inner conflicts or after solving a specific problem you have faced in such things as financial, family, or career matters.

Sometimes headaches are our unconscious way of punishing ourselves, or of turning our anger inward.

Acupuncturist: Temporary or permanent relief can be got, usually through work with liver and sex meridians, involving legs and arms.

Pressing acupressure points with your fingers can help; points are located down the center of the top of your head. Start at the hairline, press firmly, release, work toward back of head, to about 5 in. from forehead.

Herbalist: A tea made of cayenne, valerian root, and wild lettuce brings relief. Also: pennyroyal, chamomile, peppermint, thyme, or ginger teas.

Other: Sinus pain is sometimes confused with headache. Pain can also be caused by eyestrain.

Chronic headache pain is often related to spinal misalignment. This can be corrected with help from a chiropractor, an Alexander therapist, a person with Tai Chi training, or other body therapists.

Regular vigorous exercise loosens muscles and arteries, which can cause pain if they are tense.

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