Find us @

Feature

Get off medication There are other ways to treat a headache without taking medication

How to best improve how you feel when a headache is acting up.

Published

on

A headache can occur at any time, but it seems to be more frequent on the hottest summer days, especially when a heatwave is in full swing.

Numerous reasons might cause headaches, according to Dr. Steve Allder, consultant neurologist at Re:Cognition Health (recognitionhealth.com). From heredity, diet, food intolerances, hunger, and allergies to hormones, lifestyle, weather, and environment, weariness, sleep disturbance or deprivation, severe activity, dehydration, and broader medical disorders.

Always consult your doctor if you are experiencing frequent or severe headaches so they can offer you the best course of action. But there may be other solutions that could help if you’re looking for ways to treat a bothersome headache without turning to drugs and pills.

Nine methods are suggested by experts for treating headaches without using drugs.

1. Sip some water

According to Dr. Anita Krishnan, consultant neurologist and divisional clinical director at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, “dehydration is a well-known cause for episodic headaches and exacerbate chronic headaches” (thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk). Drinking two to three liters of water throughout the day is advised for those who frequently get headaches.

Drink more water in hot weather and when working out because you lose water through perspiration, advises Allder.

a reliable approach to see if you should increase your water intake? If the color of your poop is darker than usual, you may be dehydrated.

2. Pay attention to your blood sugar.

Although the precise cause is unclear, hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, can cause headaches.

Low glucose levels can also cause migraine and cluster headaches, according to Dr. Deborah Lee of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy (doctorfox.co.uk). “Any adult who believes their headache might be brought on by low blood sugar would benefit from ingesting 15g of glucose right away. Three or four glucose tablets, three boiled sweets, four or five jelly babies, or a half cup of a carbonated beverage (not sugar-free) could be substituted for this.

It’s crucial to only heed medical advice that is tailored to your needs if you have diabetes or any health condition that could affect your blood glucose levels. As this is a medical emergency, Lee advises diabetics with low blood sugar to heed their doctor’s recommendations.

3. Obtain some rest.

You could discover that taking a quick sleep or going to bed earlier than usual relieves a headache. “Sleep does help in recovery from that attack when a person has a severe headache, the most prevalent type being migraine,” says Krishnan.

Experts concur that getting enough sleep each night is one of the greatest methods to avoid headaches.

According to studies, sleep deprivation promotes the creation of proteins that cause chronic pain and can result in uncomfortable migraines. REM sleep, which happens in 90 to 120 minute periods throughout the night, has also been related to more painful headaches.

4. Keep trigger foods at bay

People who suffer from migraines frequently discover which meals can trigger an attack or make their symptoms worse.

Dr. Leila Dehghan, a physician turned nutritionist at Plant Based Health Professionals, adds that dairy products, especially cheese, processed meats, sugar, chocolate, alcohol, and caffeine are some of the most frequently reported food triggers (plantbasedhealthprofessionals.com).

5. Watch out for caffeine withdrawal According to Dr. Bryony Henderson, Lead GP at Livi, “Caffeine withdrawal can cause a painful, acute, and throbbing headache” (livi.co.uk). This can occasionally be accompanied by nausea, anxiety, and irritability.

If you’re a coffee addict who wants to cut back on caffeine but this seems like a problem for you, it might be better to hold off going cold turkey.

Henderson advises “cutting down gradually over a period of six weeks.” You can try drizzling more water into your coffee, using smaller cups, or switching to tea or decaf instead.

6. Cover your eyes.

Dr. Nabila Jones, an optometrist and researcher at the specialized eye hospital company Optegra, claims that bright lights, particularly flickering lights and glare, can trigger migraine headaches (optegra.com). “Sit in a dark area and cover your eyes to assist manage this.”

What if a headache strikes when you’re outside in the sun? “Polarized lenses and sunglasses can assist minimize light intensity and glare when you’re outside, which will help lower pain levels.”

7. Keep strong odors away

Have you ever observed that some fragrances, like perfume or meals with strong flavors, that you normally enjoy, become intolerable when you have a headache?

Osmophobia, or an increased sensitivity to smells, is a typical symptom in those who suffer from recurrent migraines, according to Suzie Sawyer, a clinical nutritionist and health specialist at Nature’s Way (natures-way.com). Avoiding perfumes, cigarette smoke, and strongly scented foods may help reduce your risk of developing a migraine if you suspect you may be sensitive to odours.

8. Use an ice bag.

Many ice and cooling-based products that claim to treat headaches are available on the market, but do they actually work?

According to Krishnan, they only offer transient relief for headaches such migraines and cluster headaches. However, exercise caution because using too much cold water may not produce the desired results.

“Cold temperatures and so ice packs can spark off discomfort if someone has trigeminal neuralgia [a type of facial pain],” observes Krishnan.

9. Exercise regularly

Once a headache starts, endorphins, a naturally occurring painkiller, released by activity, can aid, according to Allder. Remember to stay hydrated and consume plenty of water because dehydration might make the pain worse. Moreover, especially in the heat, avoid going beyond.

If you are having symptoms that are persistent or getting worse and need individualized medical advice, always visit your doctor.