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HEADACHE

What is headache?

A headache is defined as “a pain or ache in the head…It accompanies many diseases and conditions, including emotional distress.” Headaches are one of the most common symptoms that can be experienced. Most people will experience a headache at some point of their lives.2 They can affect anyone regardless of age and gender.

What causes headache?

Headache can be triggered by a variety of factors. The most common cause of headaches is prolonged tension or stress. These are called tension headaches or muscle- contraction headaches. Virtually everyone suffers from this at some time. Muscles in your scalp, neck, and face tighten and contract, causing spasms and pain. Psychological factors such as anxiety, fatigue (e.g., eyestrain), and stress (e.g., long periods of concentration) as well as mechanical factors such as neck strain (e.g., working on acomputer for prolonged periods) are often the culprits  behind a typical tension headache. Migraines are generally more severe and can be debilitating. The cause of migraine is not known but many trigger factors are recognized. These include hormonal changes (during a woman’s menstrual cycle), certain foods (e.g., chocolate, aged cheeses), beverages (e.g., red wine), strong odours, lack of sleep, and even stress. It is not uncommon to experience mixed tension-migraine headaches.

Some primary headaches can be triggered by lifestyle factors, including:

1. Alcohol, particularly red wine.

2. Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates

3. Changes in sleep or lack of sleep

4. Poor posture

5. Skipped meals

6. Stress

Diet & Lifestyle

1. Dehydration is a major cause of headaches, So instead of popping a pain pill next time your head throbs, consider reaching for water-rich foods, like watermelon. “The natural water contained in both fruits and vegetables contains essential minerals, like magnesium, that are key in headache prevention.

2. Eat fruits like apples, papayas, mangoes, grapes and pears.

3. Buttermilk, salads, and boiled rice sautéed with cinnamon, cumin seeds and garlic or asafetida are good in the daytime.

4. Also, 5-6 almonds or walnuts and some raisins can be eaten each day.

5. Avoid refined, oily, spicy, cold and stale food.

6. Avoid yogurt, especially at night.

7. Avoid working for long hours continuously; take short breaks. Have a good night’s sleep in a dark room.

8. Avoid overexposure to cold or hot weather. Cover your head with an umbrella, or wear a hat or cap when you go out.

9. Baked Potato, Watermelon, cofee, Whole-Grain Toast, Almonds, Spicy Salsa, Sesame Seeds, Spinach Salad also reduces headache pain.

Headache – Home Remedies

1. Apply a paste of ground clay or sandalwood powder mixed with rose water for relief in burning sensation with headache.

2. Grind 10-12 grains of black pepper and 10-12 grains of rice with water to make it a paste. Apply this paste on affected area of the head for 15-20 minutes.

3. Mix ¼ teaspoon of clove powder with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon oil. Apply this paste on the affected area for 20-30 minutes.

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