What Can Cause Headaches and Migraines?
The best way to cure migraines is to first figure out what causes them. Here are some of the top causes of migraines and headaches.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headaches and migraines. When you don’t drink enough water and become dehydrated, it causes your brain to shrink inside your skull. As it shrinks, it pulls away from the skull which causes pain. Once you rehydrate yourself though, your brain will plump back up to its usual size and the headache should subside.
To avoid dehydration headaches, make sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day and even more if it’s hot or you’re exercising.
For some people, caffeine can be a major problem. For starters, caffeine withdrawal headaches are fairly common with people who have a caffeine dependency. Drinking just a cup of coffee per day can cause your body to become addicted to caffeine. Then, whenever you don’t drink a cup of coffee, it will cause a headache. The reason for this is that caffeine causes the blood vessels in your brain to narrow. When you don’t drink caffeine, the blood vessels widen which increases blood flow and therefore causes a headache. Many caffeine-containing foods, like coffee and chocolate, are also migraine triggers for some people.
Caffeine use also increases your risk of getting rebound headaches.
Smells are one of the most common migraine triggers. Perfume, paint, and other chemical smells are commonly blamed, but some food scents, such as onions, are also blamed for being migraine triggers.
For many people, exercise is a migraine trigger. The body’s sudden demand for oxygen and the change in heart action can dramatically impact the pressure and flow of blood in the brain, which can trigger a migraine.
Unfortunately, the increase in blood flow, dilation of blood vessels, and potential pressure on the neck and head can all trigger or worsen a migraine during sex.
Some people experience painful migraines as a result of their use of medications. Basically, any type of migraine medication can trigger these “medication overuse” headaches, and usually, the only solution is to go “cold turkey” and endure a period of intense, frequent migraines.
Another common cause of headaches and migraines is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMJ disorders mean that there is an imbalance between your jaw joints. This imbalance causes the muscles and tissues in your face to try and fix the imbalance. In the process, the muscles and tissues become strained. What many people don’t know is that the muscles adjacent to the TM joint actually span across the entire face. So when the muscle becomes strained, it can cause pain across the face and also trigger headaches. Those with TMJ will experience regular headaches in addition to other TMJ symptoms like jaw pain, ear pain, back and neck pain, and more.