Headaches are one of the most common neurological symptoms that people experience. The head pain that they cause is characteristic. You know when you have one.

It is very common for people to get a headache, up to 50% of the worldwide adult population currently has some type of headache disorder.

If you are between 25 and 45 years of age, you are in the age group most likely to experience a headache. They are also more common in women.

Signs & Symptoms

So, you have a headache, but which kind?

There are a lot of different types of headaches that have been identified. All of which vary slightly in the type of pain felt and in where you feel the pain.

When you have a migraine instead of a headache, you experience additional symptoms. 

Migraines tend to be felt in one side of the head and are a severe, throbbing pain. Additional signs that may accompany them include nausea, vomiting, cold hands, and increased sensitivity to sound or light.

Managing Headaches

While everyone knows what a headache is, everyone who has a headache will have it for slightly different reasons.

The different things that contribute to you having a headache will be different to other people you know. You need to consider dietary, hormonal, lifestyle, and health factors.

Knowing what contributes to your headaches helps you to manage and reduce them.

You can also improve how well you can function when you have a headache, reducing their severity.

Nutritional Support

To support your body nutritionally and help reduce headaches, you can try these tips:

  • Make sure you are fully hydrated, drinking approximately 2L of water per day.
  • Exclude stimulants and food or drinks that might dehydrate you.
  • Identify and avoid dietary triggers, if you don’t know any a good starting point is to avoid alcohol, aspartame, nitrites, amines and preservatives.
  • Help to maintain and stabilise blood sugar levels by eating regular meals containing whole foods, avoiding processed foods.
  • If you have food allergies, avoid the foods that trigger them.
  • B complex vitamin supplementation to help support cellular energy and metabolism. The need for B vitamins increases with stress and headaches, especially migraines – increase the need for these vitamins.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation and promote relaxation of blood vessels, both of which help relieve headaches.
  • Magnesium and coenzyme Q10 both help reduce headaches through a variety of actions.

Herbal Support for Headaches

There are a variety of lovely herbs that can help support you. They do this through a variety of different actions including:

  • Californian poppy is a hypnotic and an analgesic, helping relieve pain and encouraging sleep.
  • Lavender is a lovely nervous system support that promotes relaxation.
  • Ginger helps to reduce inflammation and reduce nausea, making it useful in the treatment of migraines.
  • Cramp bark helps to reduce spasms and constriction in muscles and blood vessels.
  • Verbena supports the nervous system and is a mild sedative.

And if you need further naturopathic support, seek health support here.

Ruth Griffiths

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