Common causes of chronic headaches

chronic headachesWhen you’re experiencing the latest in a never-ending series of chronic headaches, the last thing you want to do is figure out every reason why you’re feeling that sudden pounding in your head.

You just hurt and want relief fast, if not sooner.

If you’re looking for some completely safe ways to treat your chronic headache right now, I urge you to try any of the six natural headache remedies I posted in a recent article, before reaching for an aspirin or any other potentially harmful pharmaceutical pain “reliever.”

Once the pain is gone, rather than dreading the next one, it’s time to get proactive about your health to prevent chronic headaches by taking some very simple precautions, starting today.

What is a chronic headache?

After doing a review of online health resources (WebMD, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and others), I completely understand why some of you haven’t thought twice about reaching for the nearest pill.

Conventional medicine makes it so easy to throw one at the problem, considering the roughly 150 diagnostic headache categories already established by the experts.

Also, the symptoms of chronic headaches, again taking into account the source, may vary widely too, depending on how long the pain lasts, where it hurts the most, or whether you experience nausea or light sensitivity.

Some 14 percent of all Americans (45 million) suffer from chronic headaches, according to the National Headache Foundation, a surprising number in relation to all the chemical weapons used time after time by doctors to treat them.

Chronic headaches: The Lingering Side Effect

chronic headaches aspirinUnfortunately, conventional medicine hasn’t learned how to prevent chronic headaches before they occur. In fact, it’s rare that doctors actually address WHY headaches happen.

Typically, a patient will receive a prescription for a migraine medicine or some other pain-reducing drug, without knowing if this will be a long-term – or forever – solution, not to mention all the related side effects and (sometimes) addictive nature of some medications.

In fact, aspirin – the most commonly used drug in the world (especially for headaches) – isn’t free of side effects. In fact, one drug researcher believes aspirin would never have been approved by the FDA had it faced modern scrutiny due to its effect on a patient’s gastrointestinal system or, worse, bleeding in the brain.

Additionally, medical experts believe more than three million Americans at any time may be suffering from rebound headaches stemming from the overuse of pain medications.

Causes of Chronic Headaches

As a naturopath, I want to know why someone is getting chronic headaches, which usually involves at least one of the following reasons:

  1. Food allergies stemming from the hidden chemicals in our foods – think aspartame, nitrates, food dyes and MSG for starters – are often serious culprits. Eating too many carbs, especially wheat, can cause headaches too.Most processed foods contain chemicals that trigger headaches in food-sensitive people. So, if you’re really serious about getting rid of headaches, eliminate all the sources of food chemicals. And don’t forget all the chemicals in your personal care products; women especially are prone to using a variety of products to beautify themselves, but those products are filled with chemicals…so be conscious of what you’re putting on your body.
  2. In almost all cases I’ve treated in which migraines are involved, hormonal issues may be at work behind the scenes too. A blood test would need to be run to see what is happening hormonally, then you’ll want to work with someone that can help to balance them (preferably naturally!).
  3. Chronic headaches can be a product of a sedentary lifestyle – spending far too many hours of our days sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen – something our bodies aren’t designed to do. By nature, we’re hunter-gatherers, meaning our bodies are meant to move around, bend over, reach up and stretch far more than they typically do, creating structural imbalances.The easiest way to treat these imbalances is to incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine. Depending on the individual, exercise may mean taking breaks from the constant sitting to lift weights at your local gym, walk around your neighborhood or learn yoga.Chiropractic and acupuncture can be very helpful, but you can’t skip exercise. Besides, exercise is easier and doesn’t produce any side effects (unless you overdo it).
  4. The medication “cocktail” your doctor prescribes for conditions like high cholesterol may be causing unforeseen side effects like chronic headaches, another reason why it’s always important to address the true cause of a health problem before throwing a drug – or several – at it.

A naturopath looks at the entire health picture of the individual patient, addressing the cholesterol issue first and foremost with simpler, safer treatments. For example, a patient battling high cholesterol will likely be “prescribed” a more nutritional diet supported by making better, more natural food choices and taking good-for-you supplements that improve organ functioning.

Have you been searching for real answers to your specific health problems, like headaches, without all of the harmful side effects related to taking a drug?

If you’re looking for safer, better alternatives and needing help finding them, I provide Natural Health Services. If you’re interested, you can receive a free 10-minute phone consultation to help us get acquainted and begin your journey to a healthier, happier life free from chronic pain.