Why Do I Keep Getting Headaches?

Headache – an uncomfortable condition that everyone may experience once or twice in a year. It’s OK if you don’t suffer headaches more often, which often occurs if you miss to take enough sleep in the past weeks, you put up with cold or you build too much stress lately. But if you consider it normal to have headaches as often as 2-3 times in a week and you just take pain medications to kill the pain – don’t, because you might just make things worse.

Not asking your health care provider “why do I keep getting headaches” will not solve the problem. The symptom stay as it is and may become even more complicated. Knowing the root cause of your headache is very important to be able to prevent or minimize attacks in the future.

Why Do I Keep Getting Headaches?

1. Toxins Build Up

Pain is often associated to signs of low oxygen. Most headaches indicate decrease of oxygen level in the brain area due to toxins overload. Some drugs can even trigger headache to strike as a side effect.

2. Food or Seasonal Allergy

Headaches occur due to lack of nutrients and oxygen since the oxygen within the body is used to reduce the effects of some allergens which later become toxic.

3. Circulation Problems

Due to stress, nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalance may result to headaches. In effect, spasm of blood vessels occurs which lead to decrease in oxygen supply and blood flow in the brain. In extreme circulation problems, too much deficiency of oxygen and blood supply can lead to a stroke.

4. Alcohol

Many people suffer headache after drinking alcohol, even if they only sip a few shots. The only way to know if this is the main cause of the pain is to write it down in a journal in which you can keep a record of what you eat and drink and if you suffer a headache afterwards. If you find alcohol a problem, you’ll view and evaluate the trend as soon as possible.

5. Lack of Sleep

Are you not getting enough sleep lately? Not being able to give yourself enough sleep is one of the common causes that trigger headaches. Since sleep is the best time to rejuvenate and restore your body, falling short can greatly affect your normal bodily functions such as controlling pain.

6. Brain Disorders

If you suffer a brain disorder, it is inevitable to experience headaches more often than at sporadic occasions. Should you have this condition, it’s critical to contact your doctor because it can be a sign of a brain tumor, a blood clot, or an aneurysm which will amount to a serious ailment that needs immediate medical help.

7. Medical Overuse

Why do I keep getting headaches when I take medications immediately? This may be the case of rebound headaches or medication-overuse headaches. They occur to anyone who suffers tension-type headaches, migraines, or other severe headaches and takes pain relievers for more than 2 or 3 days a week. Medical overuse may:

  • Cause pounding, throbbing, achy or dull pain
  • Leave you awake first thing in the morning and persist all through the day
  • Start with a severe pain at first and wears off as the medication begins
  • Strike every day or almost every day
  • Involve irritability or nausea

The best way to cure medication-overuse headaches is to ask your doctor if there is a need to stop or reduce taking the medication that cause headache as a side effect.

8. Migraines

Migraines occur by as many as three times to women than men. They may:

  • Involve increased sensitivity to sound or light, vomiting or nausea
  • Strike at one side of your head
  • Involve pain that aggravates with routine activity
  • Usually take 4 to 72 hours when untreated

Treatment against migraine includes:

  • Medications that can be brought over the counter
  • Medications that requires prescriptions
  • Quiet, dark room for resting
  • Cold or hot compress applied to your neck or head
  • Drinking small amounts of caffeine
  • Massage

These treatments are intended to provide you relief against symptoms and prevent attacks in the future.

9. Tension-Type headaches

Some of the most common tension-type headaches are those that:

  • Often tighten like a band around the head
  • Create weak to average level of pain on either side of the head
  • Usually brought about by insufficient sleep, anxiety, depression, hunger, neck strain or stress
  • Strike at occasional times or over half of a month (chronic)
  • Take 30 minutes to weaken on a whole week

Treatment: Occasional tension-type headaches are often treated easily using over-the-counter medications such as:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, and others)
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, and others)
  • Aspirin

Other treatments that may help to reduce stress include:

  • Massage
  • Biofeedback
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Relaxation training
  • Meditation

10. Cluster Headaches

In rare cases, cluster headaches strike occasionally for a couple of weeks. A cluster period often lasts several months with at least one episode at the same time of day or night. In a day, you would suffer at least one or more clusters headaches, which may occur more often in men and in smokers. These headaches:

  • Usually start abruptly without any sign and tends to intensify within minutes
  • Strike at one side of the head only
  • Typically involve a limp eyelid on the affected area, redness or tearing of the eye and stuffy or runny nose
  • May take 15 minutes to 3 hours
  • May trigger agitating sensations

Treatment: Due to the sudden attack and termination of the pain of a cluster headache, pain relievers available over-the-counter aren’t effective. Treatments that may help include:

  • Injectable medication for fast relief when attack strikes such as sumatriptan
  • Preventive medications
  • Triptan nasal sprays prescribed by your doctor
  • Head rubbing, rocking or pacing when feeling restless during a cluster headache
  • Inhaling 100% oxygen using a mask

When to see a Doctor

Why do I keep getting headaches? Should you see your doctor, he or she can definitely provide you a more detailed answer to this question. But, when is the right time to call your doctor? The American Headache Society suggests keeping in mind the word “SNOOP” which is spelled out as:

  • ŸSystematic symptoms: Apart from headache, you may have other symptoms like weight loss, loss of appetite, or fever. These are secondary risk factors that require immediate help from your doctor, particularly if you have cancer or HIV, and suffer a headache at the same time.
  • ŸNeurologic symptoms: Neurologic symptoms involve blurry vision, confusion, personality changes, sharp facial pain, numbness or weakness on one side of the body.
  • ŸOnset: This refers to the sudden attack of headache without any warning. Onset or “thunderclap” headaches occur when there is bleeding in the brain.
  • ŸOlder: For people who are already more than 50 years old and suffer new or progressive headaches, they have to call their doctor as it may be a sign of a brain tumor or giant cell arteritis.
  • Progression: Immediate medical attention may be significant if your condition progresses into a different type of headache, such as if headaches are more frequent or gets stronger than ever before.
 
 
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