"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

7 Causes of Headaches

When a headache hits, you wish it to go away. Painful, throbbing pain could be debilitating and end in missed appointments, work, or time with family and friends.

Regardless of whether you suffer from migraines, tension headaches, or cluster headaches (see “Is it your headache?“), chances are you'll have the opportunity to cut back their frequency by identifying what brings them on. Here's a take a look at probably the most common triggers for every of these kind of headaches.


Stress could cause tight muscles within the shoulders and neck, which regularly result in tension headaches. When tension headaches are frequent, the pain within the shoulder and neck muscles is perceived by the brain as a headache.

Hunger itself can trigger a migraine or tension headache. But eating certain foods can trigger migraines. This could be only one variety of food — reminiscent of beans or nuts — or many foods, reminiscent of avocados, bananas, cheese, chocolate, citrus, herring, dairy products and onions. Foods processed with nitrates, nitrites, yellow food dyes, or monosodium glutamate could be particularly problematic.

Alcohol consumption

Alcohol is a typical migraine trigger. For some people, a couple of ounces of red wine is all it takes to trigger a headache, although any variety of alcohol generally is a trigger. It's unclear whether the alcohol itself is guilty or whether one other ingredient within the drink is causing the issue.


Environmental aspects reminiscent of strong light, smoke, humidity, strong odors, or cold weather are related to migraine headaches. People with cluster headaches often note that their headaches occur with certain seasonal changes.


Changes in estrogen levels are related to migraines in women, and girls suffer from migraines more often than men. Menstruation could also be related to migraine in younger ladies. The various levels of estrogen during perimenopause can sometimes trigger migraines in women who've never experienced them before. Estrogen therapy may also trigger migraines. Menopause seems to eliminate migraines in most girls.

Caffeine withdrawal

If you normally eat caffeine in coffee or tea, stopping suddenly can trigger migraines. This could also be because caffeine causes blood vessels to constrict. Without caffeine, blood vessels widen and dilate with each heartbeat — a serious reason behind migraines.

Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep has been linked to migraines and tension headaches. For individuals with migraines, sleep can often stop an attack or a minimum of reduce the intensity of the pain.

Is it your headache?

Here are three common kinds of headaches and their symptoms.

  • Tension headache. The pain often starts within the neck and back and works as much as feel like a good band around your head. It often goes away with rest.
  • Half a headache. The pain normally starts on one side of the pinnacle, throbbing or pounding, and makes you sensitive to light and sound. It could cause nausea. Migraines can last for hours or days.
  • Cluster headache. A cluster headache looks like a pain in the attention. It could cause eye watering or redness, runny nose, or nasal congestion. It can last for minutes or hours, go away, and are available back several times a day. These cluster headaches can last for months, disappear and reappear long after.

what are you able to do

Understanding your headache triggers can show you how to avoid future headaches. But identifying triggers could be difficult, especially if you've a couple of (like many kinds of food). Try keeping a diary to notice the day, time, symptoms, and circumstances surrounding the headache (what did you eat? where did it occur?).

If avoiding triggers isn't enough to maintain headaches at bay, talk over with your doctor. There are many prescription medications in addition to pill-free treatments (acupuncture, meditation, biofeedback, leisure therapy) that will help reduce the frequency of headaches.

And you'll must go one step further: be certain you get enough sleep, exercise, eat a healthy food regimen, limit alcohol intake, and reduce stress. A headache is a hypersensitive condition, so you would like balance in your system to fight the triggers.

Photo: © peterschreiber.media/Getty Images