Our bodies have many ways to tell us that something is wrong. Every ache and pain usually has a cause, and these red flags give us a heads up that something is not right. There are many reasons why you might have a headache, and much of them can be prevented. Not surprisingly, most of it stems from what you are eating, or not eating. Next time you get one of these dreaded headaches, think about each of these causes and you may be able to determine what your body is trying to tell you.

Are You Dehydrated?

Dehydration takes many tolls on the body, and headaches is only one of the byproducts. Serious problems can occur if you allow your body to become dehydrated, and sadly headaches are the least of your worries. When you don’t drink enough water, your brain starts to shrink and pull away from the skull, being that it is 80% water. The blood vessels in your brain also dilate due to the dropping of your blood volume from dehydration. Headaches that are caused by dehydration are usually accompanied by dry mouth and tend to get worse when you move around.

Are You Having Caffeine Withdrawals?

My fellow coffee drinkers know what caffeine is like a drug. We need our daily fix, or else we will go through withdrawals. Luckily, coffee is a good kind of drug that makes us better people to be around. Coffee turns me from a mombie into a functional human being. The problem is, if I ever miss my cup o’ joe in the morning I end up with an excruciating migraine. Those of you who have witnessed caffeine withdrawals know exactly what I mean. When you drink coffee, the arteries in your brain constrict. When you miss your coffee, the arteries dilate, which causes blood to flow faster in your brain, causing the dreaded headache. Personally, I make sure to have my coffee first thing each morning, because I need it- and it keeps the migraine away.

Do You Have A Toothache?

There was a time that I had a migraine for weeks, and I couldn’t find the cause for it. I took Tylenol like it was candy, but never found any relief. Then one day I woke up and had the most awful toothache in the world, that landed me in the dentist’s chair for an emergency wisdom tooth extraction. After the tooth was gone, there were no more headaches! The problem is, once you get a cavity the roots are exposed to hot and cold temperatures, as well as food. These things can stimulate the nerves, which send pain signals to other areas on the face. The moral of the story is, don’t put off dental care, get it taken care of right away and you may save yourself a lot of pain later on.

Do You Need To See The Eye Doctor?

Your eyes are so important to almost every aspect of your life, which means problems can arise if things are off. Headaches are a prime example. Even if you think your sight is fine, your eyes may be straining without you knowing it, causing migraines. Straining can overwork your eye muscles, and there can even be swelling that causes headaches throughout many areas in your head. The best way to rule out this possibility is to talk to your eye doctor. Get your vision checked, and be sure to mention your migraine problem. Your doctor will know how to help you, if they can.

Coming from someone who has dealt with chronic migraines my whole life, I feel your pain. It can be so frustrating when you get a throbbing headache out of nowhere, especially when they can be debilitating. All you want to do when a migraine strikes is lay down in the dark for hours, but that isn’t always possible. Listen to what your body is telling you, and be proactive. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

DSC_1631 (2)By: Gabrielle Pfeiffer

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