(AscendHealthy.com) – They throb, they ache, they make ears ring and eyes sensitive to light — headaches can be excruciating. If you suffer from headaches on a frequent basis, you may be familiar with most of the ordinary causes. Headaches can come from some unexpected sources as well. Explore these 10 surprising causes of headaches and what you can do to treat or prevent them.
Is One of These Surprising Headache Causes Affecting You?
1. Being Too Relaxed
We’ve all heard about how being too stressed can cause a tension headache, but did you know that being too relaxed can cause a headache, too? When you’re busy all week and set to go, your body produces stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. When you get a break — a day or two off work in a row, for example — you’re suddenly experiencing withdrawal from those chemicals your body is used to receiving, almost like a person addicted to a drug might feel.
This type of headache might be alleviated with some physical activity or keeping and staying busy throughout the weekend, too — but then watch out for those tension headaches.
2. The Monthly Cycle
Yes, a woman’s period can make her miserable in a lot of ways, but did you know it might cause headaches? When estrogen levels drop just before a woman starts her period, it can cause blood vessels to dilate, sometimes leading to headache pain. Many women suffer from migraines that are related to their menstrual cycles.
There isn’t much you can do yourself to prevent these types of headaches on your own. Talking with a healthcare provider about hormone therapy to regulate estrogen might provide help in controlling the frequency and/or severity of migraines. Manage symptoms with rest and medication as you and your healthcare provider deem appropriate.
3. Your Purse, Briefcase or Backpack
If your purse, briefcase or backpack weighs more than seven pounds, and especially if you carry it on one side, you’re at risk of neck and back strain that may cause headaches. Lighten the load, alternate sides, or switch to a backpack that’s worn across both shoulders to help alleviate this potential cause.
4. Your Desk or Chair
Sitting in a chair that is too large or too small for you or that hits the back of your legs in the wrong places might throw off your posture, while sitting can cause stress/tension headaches. It might be time for a new chair. Try out multiple chairs before purchasing something new, and measure to ensure the chair is the right fit for you. You might experience far fewer headaches.
Like your chair can change your posture while sitting, poor posture while standing may create a strain on your neck and back that might lead to headaches. Proper posture may improve the causes of these types of headaches and reduce the frequency or even eliminate them.
6. Sex / Orgasm
For some people, both women and men, headaches during orgasm or after sex are common. This might be the result of muscle contractions in the head and neck during sex, along with the physical activity and the dilation of blood vessels, but experts aren’t certain of the exact cause.
The cure? Not having sex might be an option, but it’s not a valid solution for most people. Instead try to use positions that are less strenuous and less likely to put stress on the back and neck. You might also try to delay orgasm or even skip orgasm once in a while and see if that helps.
7. Weather Changes
Barometric pressure and electrical storms may both trigger headaches in those who are susceptible to them. If you don’t know where your headache is coming from, check your weather forecast for a storm.
8. Certain Food Triggers
Caffeine, chocolate, certain sharp cheeses, wine and fermented foods may all trigger headaches in some people who are prone to them. Consider keeping a food diary and compare it to your headaches to see if there might be a correlation. Once you have pinned down a suspect food, try eliminating that food from your diet.
9. Hunger / Skipping Meals
Just as some foods can trigger a headache, so can not eating. Skipping meals and allowing yourself to become too hungry may lead to a hunger headache and for some people, shaky hands and a dizzy feeling of weakness. To prevent this kind of headache, eat meals regularly and supplement with healthy snacks.
Exercise can cause exercise-induced headaches. For the same reasons sexual physical exertion may cause headaches, so does exercise exertion. This is likely a result of the increased flow of blood, rapid heartbeat, dilated blood vessels and exaggerated body movements. Take things slowly when exercising and work up to being able to handle more exertion over time.
These are just 10 possible causes of headaches that you might not have considered. Small lifestyle changes can prevent or help reduce the majority of these headaches. For breakthrough headaches you can take over-the-counter medication for headaches to help with the symptoms like pain and pressure. If the symptoms are severe enough, talk to your medical professional or doctor about other ways to treat your headaches.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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