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10 Day-to-day changes that relieve headache

10 Day-to-day changes that relieve headache

Headaches are an extremely common problem. According to the Brazilian Headache Society, it is estimated that 76% of women and 57% of men have at least one episode of headache per month. Many of these pains are triggered by day-to-day attitudes, so even routine changes can help.

"The habits that can alleviate pain correspond to practices that improve overall health," says neurologist Edson Issamu, specialist of the São Camilo Hospitals Network of São Paulo (SP). More like knowing which habits can improve each person's headache?

Keeping a diary of pain is the answer. The practice, guided by most neurologists, involves the person keeping a notebook in which he notes his headache crises. "It is important that the person write down the beginning and the end of the crisis, as was the pain and its intensity, the place of the pain, if there was any possible trigger and if it medicated itself", guides the neurologist Bruna Mendonça, With these notes, it is possible to understand which habits may be causing the pain, such as whether it happened after a bad night's sleep or after consuming some food rich in caffeine, for example, and then try to reverse this. "In addition, it is important to take this diary to the appointment even if it is your first search for a doctor, so he or she will have more information to understand the picture."

taking the attitudes below your headache improves:

1. Try to cope better with stress

Stress is a common cause of headaches. "Stress causes inadequate brain hyperstimulation," says Issamu. In addition, some neurotransmitters related to stress also act by making the brain more susceptible to pain.

We know that often avoiding stress is impossible. For this reason, measures that reduce this sensation are useful ways to avoid headaches. "Practicing moderate physical activity, performing leisure activities, looking for moments of rest, practicing meditation or seeking acupuncture are valid forms", exemplifies the specialist. Consider losing weight

People who suffer from obesity have an extra risk factor for headaches. "This relationship is due to the existence of an inflammatory condition caused by both the pain and the substances present in the fatty tissue," explains Issamu. Therefore, people with obesity who have a lot of headaches can have weight loss a relief if other factors are not interfering too.

3. Always hydrate yourself

Dehydration is a common cause of headaches. This is because a contraction of the blood vessels occurs, reducing the oxygen that reaches the brain, which becomes a stimulus for pain. So when making your pain diary, it's worth noting that crises occur just on days when you drink less water and try to insert that habit into your routine.

4. Feed yourself often

Eating every three hours is not just an indication of nutritionists, but of neurologists as well: "Some people may have headaches triggered by prolonged fasting and the best way to avoid this is by eating often" , warns Bruna Mendonça. This is due to the substances released by the body when the food is missing. An example are catecholamines, which increase brain excitation. Avoid foods that trigger your pain

At mealtime, be careful with the foods you choose, as there are some that can trigger headaches. "Coffee, chocolate, red wine, soy sauce, smoked foods, sausages, citrus fruits and yellow cheeses are the main ones, but some people may have more particular triggers." I had a patient who had headaches when eating jackfruit, for example, "lists neurologist Bruna.

At this point the pain diary is crucial as it allows you to observe exactly what you ate before the crisis and even realize if there is a repetition of this pattern on other days. If so, try to avoid this item and see if there is an improvement.

6. Do not abuse alcohol

Alcohol is also heavily tied to headaches, and it's not just the hangover. "Alcohol is a major trigger for headache due to its potent extracranial vasodilator effect, which causes pain stimuli," says Issamu. Also, do not forget that alcohol increases the urge to urinate, which can lead to dehydration, another common cause of headaches.

7. Exercise

Physical activities are good for your health as a whole, including when you are suffering from headaches.

"During exercise the body releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that are related to well-being and have a preventive action for headaches, "teaches Bruna Mendonça. However, it is no use to practice these activities during pain, they are more a form of prevention than a treatment of the crisis.

8. Invest in caffeine, but in moderation!

Caffeine is a classic trigger of headaches (it's even a nuisance trigger food, remember?). However, when consumed in small amounts, it may be beneficial in headache.

"In small amounts, caffeine promotes extracranial vasoconstriction, decreasing the pain stimulus," says Edson Issamu. However, consuming 200 mg of the substance (equivalent to three espresso coffees) already causes a hyperstimulation of the mind, meaning it can trigger pain.

People who consume large amounts of caffeine a day should be careful when reducing it. "It is possible that abstinence from this nutrient causes even more headaches," says Bruna Mendonça.

9. Try to sleep more and better

Quality sleep is a great way to have better brain health. This includes less headaches.

"During sleep there occurs a normalization of brain chemicals, which avoids hyperstimulation and reduces stimuli that cause pain," says Issamu. In addition, people who sleep better have a reduction in stress.

10. Watch Your Posture

Adopting poor body posture, whether at work or at home, can also lead to headaches. "This causes inadequate muscle contractions, which can lead to tension headaches, especially if the problem is at the nape of the neck and behind the head."

When to seek a doctor?

It is always important to get medical help when you have it but there are situations where the urgency is greater: "in cases of headaches that become worse over time, or become more frequent and disrupt the quality of life, very frequent, lasting or intense pain, pain that wake the person in the morning, or people who have some chronic illness, especially in the circulatory system, the person should seek medical help more quickly, "says Bruna Mendonça. This is because in these cases the headaches, besides disturbing the day to day, can be symptoms of more serious problems and that need to be investigated.

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