How to prevent headaches
Headaches are a common ailment. While reaching for a painkiller seems like the easiest way of dealing with that splitting headache, by doing so, you might be inviting a serious problem. So, it’s important to understand the kinds of headaches, symptoms, causes, and how to get rid of that unbearable pain.
That said, a majority of headaches are benign and self-limiting. Among other things, stress, tension, arguments, work or exam pressure can trigger it. Food allergies, low sugar levels, consumption of very cold liquids, or sudden cessation from caffeine or nicotine, tension, migraine, eye strain, dehydration, and sinusitis can also cause headaches. Oestrogen supplements and oral contraceptives are also believed to be migraine triggers.
Common foods that can set off migraine include cabbage, tomato, onion, brinjal, pineapple, potato, canned fish, alcohol (mainly red wine and beer), chocolate, smoked meat, yoghurt, canned fish, peanuts, caffeine, milk, yeastbased food such as cake, bread, food containing monosodium glutamate, food colours and artificial sweeteners present in jam, jelly, etc. Cheese, citrus fruits such as orange, sweet lime, lemon and grapefruit can also cause headaches.
It is best to consult health care professionals to ensure an appropriate diagnosis and course of action. Generally speaking, treatment options can include: Avoid high glycaemic index foods and try keeping your blood sugar levels constant by eating regularly Quitting caffeine abruptly might lead to severe headaches. Your body needs time to adapt, so gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you consume over a period of days or week Detoxification, which can be done by using specific herbs and vegetable juices, helps eliminate accumulated toxins (a cause for headaches) from the body enabling smooth functioning of body organs Fish oils can help prevent the onset of headaches. Garlic (fresh or in capsule form) is also an effective remedy Consume ground flaxseeds every day. These contain omega-3 fats which influence prostaglandin synthesis that control pain. Two to four tablespoons of flaxseed powder consumed regularly for two to three months could reduce frequency of headaches substantially Ginger, too, helps control prostaglandins. Take one teaspoon of pickled ginger or a slice of fresh ginger, squeeze some lemon on it with a dash of black salt and chew it slowly Deep breathing exercises (pranayama) or exercising are good ways to de-stress. Walking briskly for half an hour could help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Anjali Mukerjee,