Headaches are a big part of life for some people, while others report never having had one in their lives. We’re all familiar with the most common – or what we think are the most common – causes for headaches which include the dreaded hangover, tension, and sinus problems. It may surprise you to learn that there are many other causes for headaches as well, and some of them may not even sound like they make a whole lot of sense. To say that the human body is a complex organism is an understatement, and there are many secrets that have not yet been uncovered. Here are a few potential causes of headaches for many people.
Yes, just the act of coughing can bring on a sudden headache. This happens most commonly for men who are over the age of 40 and is believed to be the result of increased pressure in the veins that are around the skull and the brain. These kinds of headaches may only last for a few miserable seconds, or for as long as 30 minutes or so.
Sitting on the toilet straining to finish up your business can cause a headache very similar to the one just mentioned. The straining can cause the pressure in those same blood vessels around the brain, and that can kind of tug a bit on areas where pain-producing nerves are present. The best answer for this is to address the underlying cause and find a good solution for constipation. More fiber in the diet would be a good start.
3. SKIPPING THE WARM-UP
There are good reasons we are always advised that warming up before plunging into a strenuous workout routine is a good idea. One of them is that it could help you avoid a headache which could bring your workout to an abrupt end. What causes exercise-induced headaches like this are not entirely clear, but experts think it could be related to changes in adrenaline levels. Easing into a routing with a warm-up will help keep prevent these episodes.
4. TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
A particularly pleasurable roll in the hay with a significant other can sometimes result in a head-splitting headache that will bring you down off that post-whoopee high in a big hurry. Sex can be a strenuous activity, particularly if it takes a while or involves multiple sessions. It could be that certain positions contribute to the likelihood of a headache, so be aware and try to avoid them if you want to decrease the chances of suffering instead of basking in the afterglow.
Yes, it’s somewhat ironic that the little blue pill which enables so many men to accomplish things that might otherwise be impossible can also cause headaches. The secret behind this miracle medication is that it helps dilate blood vessels, and unfortunately, that also includes blood vessels around the brain which can cause pressure that brings on a headache.
6. THE WEEKEND
Yeah, it sucks to think that you may wake up on Saturday or Sunday morning with a headache just because it’s the weekend. That really isn’t the reason, and it’s more likely to be caused by what you did not do on the weekend that you normally do during the week. A headache is a very common symptom of caffeine withdrawal, and instead of hitting the coffee shop at 7:00 am like you normally do every day on the way to work, on the weekend you may have slept in and missed your usual dose of morning caffeine.
7. YOU’RE RELAXED
Again, what a reason for a headache! Shouldn’t relaxation actually help cure or prevent a headache? While that is often the case, our bodies work in mysterious ways, and sometimes you’ll end up with a headache a day or two after you have experienced a stressful event. Being stressed causes the body to pump out extra amounts of a hormone called cortisol that helps to reduce pain. Once the stress is gone, cortisol levels go back down and it is more likely that headache-induced pain will take hold.
With so many of us working in office environments these days, we are much more susceptible to eye strain. We stare at computer monitors for many hours a day, and the glare from overhead lighting or windows can create the ideal environment for eye strain. In many cases, just getting a quality glare screen for your computer monitor can reduce eye strain and the headaches that go along with it.
9. CHEWING GUM
For years we’ve heard dentists warn us about the dangers of chewing too much gum. That, of course, was due to the high sugar content that was usually found in chewing gum. Now sugar-free is the norm, although artificial sweeteners may come with risks of their own. Whether or not the gum you chew has sugar or not, it’s the constant chewing that probably causes muscle tension in the jaw muscles which can trigger headaches. Getting back to those artificial sweeteners for a moment, it is also believed that some of them, such as aspartame, may also trigger headaches in some people.
10. WEIGHT PROBLEMS
It’s unlikely that people want to hear yet another way being overweight can affect your health, but please don’t shoot the messenger! Medial research has revealed that people who are overweight report having headaches about twice as often as people whose weight is considered normal. In general, inflammation is one of your body’s worst enemies, and being overweight causes more inflammation, including in the brain, which may explain all those headaches.