Why Do I Get Headaches?
After over 10 years suffering from headaches behind the eyes, I decided that it was high time to learn…Why do I get headaches? What triggers my headaches? What type of headache do I get? What makes my head go from feeling fine to excruciating pain?
These are all important questions to ask yourself and research on your own, even if you’ve received a diagnosis from a medical professional. I personally hadn’t asked myself this question until I started writing this series and decided to get serious about ending my headaches, I’d always just opted to listen to the medical professionals who knew more than me.
I quickly learned that medically, we don’t always know the cause of most types of headaches. We have theories, but there’s so much variance on a case by case basis that making an absolute diagnosis is impossible. That being said, I’m still glad I did the research.
Why Do I Get Headaches?
Because I see that having this basic understanding of why I get headaches is actually extremely important for 2 reasons:
First, if you know something about why you get headaches, your doctor will better be able to give you an accurate diagnosis, and thus a better treatment. Secondly, if you know why you get headaches you will have an easier time managing them because you’ll understand how to avoid your triggers.
Please understand that I am not telling you to skip out on seeing a doctor for a professional diagnosis, but I am saying that doing a little research on your own will be very helpful for everyone involved.
First, let’s cover the basics. I found that before we look at headache triggers, it’s important to learn about the two different ways that headaches are categorized by cause:
#1. Primary Headaches are classified as headaches that happen independent of any other medical condition; a migraine is a good example, but tension headaches and cluster headaches are also considered Primary Headaches most of the time. To relieve a Primary Headache you focus on the headache’s symptoms; many times you will simply be prescribed a strong pain killer, in which case you are recommended to turn to natural methods of relieving your headache (but more on that later).
#2. Secondary Headaches are caused by something else going on in your body. For example, a sinus headache can be caused by a sinus infection – Crazy, right? Similarly, you might experience headaches because of a fever, or even a dental problem like TMJ. To relieve a Secondary Headache, focus on identifying and remedying the medical problem that is causing the headache.
Now, I know that this information alone isn’t all that helpful, but it’s still good to know…Trust me, the more you learn about headaches, the better. To make it easy for you, I did some research and compiled this big list of some of the most common headache triggers:
20 Common Headache Triggers
- Bacterial Infection
- Bad Posture
- High Blood Pressure
- Hormonal Fluctuations
- Intense Exercise
- Lack of Sleep
- Muscle Tension and Posture
- Odors and Fumes
- Ponytail or Tight Hat (stresses the scalp muscles)
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Sinus Problems
- Stress and/or Fatigue
- Tyramine (found in wine and cheese, or anything that’s been aged)
And of course, there are some other rarer and more severe headache causes, such as a tumor or a glaucoma. This is one more reason why no matter how much you learn about headaches, I still have to recommend you see a doctor; an MRI might be in order.
Now that you know some of the most common reasons why you’re getting headaches, you should start paying attention everyday to what is potentially triggering them. This is why knowing common headache causes is important… Your doc’ will have a much easier time treating you if you can tell him “I get headaches when I’m stressed,” than if you simply tell him “my head hurts, fix it.”
As I was researching the answer to why I get headaches, I realized that there was another question that we needed to cover… What are the different types of headaches, and what do they mean?
Check out my next post for the answer: 6 Different Types of Headaches
Wherever you go, thanks for reading!