If you struggle with chronic headaches, you’re not alone. Approximately 45 million Americans also complain of chronic headaches each year.
If you’re someone who deals with headaches on a regular basis, you know that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to treating them.
In order to find the right treatment for your headaches, you first need to work backward to try and figure out their cause. This is, of course, easier said than done, as there are dozens of different issues that can contribute to headaches.
To help you on your quest to nail down the source of your headaches, five of the most common causes of headaches are listed below.
1. You Have Bad Posture
Bad posture is one of the most common causes of tension headaches. When you consider the way the average person stands these days, it’s no wonder millions of people are dealing with chronic headaches.
Think about how people typically look when they’re walking around — they’re either hunched over their smartphone or they’re looking down at the ground to avoid accidentally making eye contact with someone (heaven forbid!). This hunched posture, also known as upper crossed syndrome, anterior head translation, and forward head posture, puts a ton of strain on the neck and upper back muscles.
When these muscles are chronically tense and contracted, nerves often become compressed and headaches tend to follow.
Common symptoms of posture-related tension headaches are most often characterized by mild-to-moderate pain on both sides of the neck or head.
In order to minimize these kinds of headaches, it’s important to work on straightening out your posture. Make an effort to stand up and sit straight, and try to sleep lying flat on your back rather than curling up with your head turned to one side.
It can also be helpful to work with a trainer or physical therapist to strengthen weak muscles in the back body and change your recruitment patterns to help you avoid slipping into bad habits.
Chiropractic care and massage therapy may also be beneficial.
2. You’re Not Sleeping Enough
Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can also contribute to frequent headaches and migraines.
The results of a Missouri State University study study showed that a lack of REM sleep changes the expression of proteins that both trigger and suppress chronic pain, as well as those that are thought to contribute to migraine headaches.
Headaches related to sleep deprivation are typically characterized by a dull, achy feeling or a feeling of pressure and heaviness in the forehead and/or at the top of the head.
One way to naturally improve your sleep quality and reduce headaches is to consume foods that are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral that aids in a number of important bodily functions, but most people are deficient in it. Magnesium is plentiful in foods like cashews and Brazil nuts.
3. You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
It common for the wisdom teeth to grow in crooked. When this happens, the teeth and jaw are forced into uncomfortable positions, and the pain often can radiate up into the head or down into the neck.
If you’ve been struggling with headaches, jaw pain, and/or toothaches for a while, these are all signs you may need your wisdom teeth removed.
Sinus pressure and sinus headaches can also be a sign that your wisdom teeth are impacted, or unable to fully erupt, and need to be removed.
4. You’re Dehydrated
Water is essential for all major functions in the body, and, if you’re not getting enough of it, you could be setting yourself up for dehydration headaches.
Forty-three percent of Americans drink less than four cups of water per day, and seven percent don’t drink any water at all!
A dehydration headache typically feels similar to a tension headache. If you feel a headache coming on, stop and ask yourself when you last drank water. Often, simply rehydrating with plain water can be enough to remedy the situation.
Some people are more likely to become dehydrated than others. If you fall into one of these groups, you’ll need to take extra care to make sure you’re getting enough water:
- People who live at a high altitude
- Elderly people
- People who suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes and kidney disease
- People whose medications increase urine output
- Endurance athletes
- People who live in hot, dry climates
If any of these situations apply to you and you struggle with chronic headaches, dehydration may very well explain your condition.
5. You’re Not Eating Enough
Finally, you may be causing headaches if you’re not eating enough food, or if you’re eating infrequently.
When your blood sugar drops, your body releases hormones that can contribute to headaches. These headaches can also come on if you’re eating lots of unhealthy foods that are known to cause blood sugar spikes and crashes — grains and refined carbs, sugary drinks, and highly processed food.
Blood sugar-related headaches are often accompanied by nausea, irritability, fatigue, and blurred vision. You might also notice sweating, yawning, cravings for sweet foods, and mood changes before the headache sets in.
If you think your headaches could be triggered by low blood sugar, work on keeping your blood sugar balanced by eating regular, healthy meals. Load your plate up with fibrous vegetables, protein, and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts, etc.) to avoid a carb-induced sugar spike.
Chronic headaches are frustrating at best and debilitating at worst. If you’re struggling with them, don’t give up hope! Do some detective work and consider whether or not one of these common causes could be the culprit.
Author Bio: Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.
Tips for Making Your First Mammogram a Bit Easier
As you near 40, your doctor will probably recommend your first mammogram. If you have a family history of breast cancer, the request may be even sooner. The diagnostic test for breast cancer is not one to fear; in fact, its job is to bring comfort. It allows for regular awareness of the body and any changes that occur, and, while it can’t cure or prevent breast cancer, it is a step in catching it early. Don’t stress over the test. Here are some tips to help make the day a bit easier.
Start on a Positive Note
Having a screening doesn’t mean you have cancer. Take some time to remind yourself that this set of medical digital imaging is simply a photo shoot. As you drive to the facility, listen to your favorite music. Once you get there, bring a book or listen to a podcast through your headphones. Arrange to text with your best friends. Keep your mind off of the day and the process. Focus on happy thoughts or things you love.
A Second Screening Doesn’t Mean a Problem
You might find that you’re asked to return for additional screening. It’s okay. Don’t panic. Breasts are different for each person. Sometimes a second look is needed simply to identify your norm and not an indication of a problem. If possible, use the same location for your screening. If you can’t, bring a copy of your former pictures with you. This is important because the technicians and doctors can compare the images from screening to screening. This goes back to the idea that tissue is different for each person.
Do Something for Yourself
When it’s all done, treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. Grab a cup of coffee, meet up with a friend, or stroll through your favorite stores.
Mammograms, while not the most comfortable of events, help screen for abnormalities that can become problems. Early detection is helpful in saving lives.
6 Ways To Combat Sensitive Teeth
Having sensitive teeth can make the experience of eating certain foods a painful one. If left untreated, it may interfere with your daily life activities and cause severe pain. In this blog, we explore the best ways of tackling tooth sensitivity, although we still recommend that if you are suffering from any kind of tooth pain, you consult our dental clinic in London Victoria.
How Do Know If You Have Sensitive Teeth?
If you experience a painful stinging or throbbing sensation around you teeth each time you consume sugary sweets, hot or cold drinks and foods, and, in extreme cases, even a cold wind against your teeth, you are likely to be suffering from sensitive teeth.
The root cause of tooth sensitivity is the wearing away of cementum over the root or the erosion of enamel (the protective outer layers over the tooth). As a consequence, the tooth’s dentin becomes exposed which puts the sensitive nerve endings running through its tiny tubes at risk of getting damaged.
How Can You Combat Sensitive Teeth?
If you identify with any of the symptoms above, you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity. In order to alleviate the problem, you need to take certain measures;
1. Change Your Toothpaste
As the problem of sensitive teeth has become more widespread, several brands of toothpaste have been launched specifically to address the problem and help those who are suffering.
It is the presence of potassium nitrate which makes these kinds of toothpastes different from regular ones. This active ingredient works to block the tiny tubules present in the dentin. Changing your toothpaste may not treat sensitivity all by itself, but most dentists agree that it is a good place to start.
Some dentists believe that the reason why some people benefit from toothpastes designed specifically for sensitive teeth and others don’t, is because they use it for a short time and then stop because they do not see results right away. However, its use must be continued to get the real benefits, alongside any other treatment recommended by a dentist.
2. Change Your Brushing Style
There are some brushing habits which can make you more prone to sensitive teeth:
- Not brushing teeth for at least two minutes
- Brushing teeth too vigorously
- Not using a soft toothbrush
Brushing your teeth too vigorously can lead to the wearing away of enamel which results in increased sensitivity of the teeth. If your gums have receded, your tooth root is exposed or you have lost bone, this means in all likelihood that you are scrubbing too hard and eroding the cementum which will inevitably worsen tooth sensitivity.
Cementum is more prone to becoming worn away than enamel and it is a big loss when it disappears as it protects a tooth’s root. Changing your brushing habits can be difficult if you are trying to change a routine that you have followed for a long time, but this one simple change can do wonders for your oral health.
It is recommended by dentists that we brush or floss our teeth at least twice a day to keep the problem of sensitivity at bay. This ensures that oral hygiene is maintained and also prevents loss of gums which is known to be a trigger for tooth sensitivity.
3. Avoid Sugary Drinks and Acidic Food
The enamel which protects your teeth faces an attack each time you consume acidic foods such as pickles and oranges, fruit juices, fizzy drinks and red wine. The consumption of these foodstuffs should be limited to maintain optimum oral health.
You should also instil the habit of brushing your teeth after eating these kind of foods, but it is important not to do so within 20 minutes of eating. Brushing your teeth any earlier than 20 minutes after eating can further damage the enamel. Loss of enamel is irreversible and for this reason it is advised that you must pay attention to what you eat even if you aren’t yet facing the issue of sensitive teeth.
4. Paint Job By A Dentist
If the use of desensitising toothpaste is not having the desired impact, you can speak with your dentist about painted-on barriers. Plastic resins or fluoride varnish are desensitizing agents which can be applied to sensitive areas of your teeth.
They do not need to be reapplied for at least a few months or a couple of years, depending on the type of material which has been used.
Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is whitening treatment. However, this type of sensitivity doesn’t last long and usually subsides within a few days of the treatment being over.
5. Stop Grinding Teeth
Some people have a tendency to grind their teeth when they are tense or whilst they are asleep and this habit can cause damage to the teeth. Besides giving you a toothache, teeth grinding can wear away at the enamel on your teeth, resulting in a sensitivity problem.
If you are grinding your teeth and you are not even aware of it, a pain in the jaw or headache can give you a clue as to your habit. You may also need to change your sleeping position or have a mouth guard fitted to put an end to this habit.
6. Undergoing Treatment For Receding Gums
Normally, your gum tissue covers the root of your teeth, but if your gums have receded excessively, due to hard brushing or gum disease, the cementum may get worn away as the root becomes exposed. Your dentist may be able to restore or rebuild your receding gums which may include a treatment that involves tissue grafts.
Before proceeding with treatment, it is important to pinpoint the exact reason behind the increased sensitivity in your teeth. This way you will be able to come up with the right solution.
For example, if the cause of your heightened tooth sensitivity is receding gums due to aggressive brushing of teeth, you may have to change the way you brush your teeth before going ahead with a line of treatment.
Any treatment that you receive for tooth sensitivity will be ineffective until you address the underlying reason behind it. Even aggressive measures such as restorative treatment will be of little use if you haven’t stopped scrubbing your teeth in a harsh manner or drinking fizzy, sugary drinks, so it’s important to get to the root cause before proceeding with treatment.
What Are the Common Causes of Facial Sweating and How To Get Rid of It
Hyperhidrosis, commonly known as excessive sweating affects many people worldwide. There are many types of hyperhidrosis, amongst which sweaty palms and facial sweating are the most common. Most often than not, facial sweating is accompanied by blushing as both acts are triggered by a malfunction in the body’s sympathetic nervous system.
Facial sweating many not necessarily have medical implications all the time but certainly cause a lot of discomfort and embarrassment. People suffering from this condition also have low self esteem and are not very confident. They also have a higher anxiety level.
Causes of Facial Sweating
Facial sweating can leave a person feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. Many people suffer from this condition but the causes for it may vary. Listed below are few most common causes for facial sweating.
This means that elders in your family, most probably a mother or father could also be suffering from this condition and has now passed it on to their offspring. Humans have between two and four million sweat glands in their body. This amount and the location of these sweat glands are related to heredity.
2. Hormone Imbalance
An irregularity in the activities of the brain and nerves can also cause facial sweating. The body’s sympathetic nervous system is responsible for guarding the body and sends instructions to the brain to open and close sweat glands based on environment conditions.
Thus, when the body experiences unusual conditions, the nervous system send mixed signals to the brain which leads to excessive sweating in the face. Emotions such as stress, nervousness, depression and anxiety can cause similar instances as it causes alterations of nerve activity in the hypothalamus.
Weight issues can also lead to facial sweating. Overweight people tend to sweat more than slimmer ones because the body excretes excess minerals stored in the form on sweat. If the sweat glands are overactive in the face, it leads to facial sweating.
Treatments for Facial Sweating
1. Aloe Vera
Facial sweating can be treated with the help of aloe vera juice. Though it is milder than pure aloe vera, it is very effective in cooling the skin and brings down body temperature which causes reduction in sweating. Aloe vera juice is especially effective in regions with hotter weather and higher temperatures.
2. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is an effective astringent that dries out the skin and keeps it from getting sweaty. However, people with sensitive skin type should be careful while using this product as it could have adverse effects of such skin type. Antiperspirant wipes are also a good way to keep facial sweating in check. These products work gently on the skin without causing skin irritation and are designed especially to be used on the face. However, all these solutions are temporary treatments for facial sweating.
There are certain other treatments which can help you to get rid of excessive facial sweating such as High strength antiperspirants, Botox injections, Iontophoresis machine, Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery. Facial skin is very delicate and sensitive and hence one needs to be extra careful about what treatment one chooses to deal with facial sweating. Medical treatments like surgery and Botox can cause serious damage to the face if not carried out in the right manner. It is best to opt for iontophoresis machine which are safer and can be used as frequently as desired.