It's not just loud music or a tight deadline or even an impending visit from your mother-in-law. With so
much going on, it can be hard to avoid headaches, but there are a few common (and unexpected) things you
can learn to avoid to prevent pain in the future.
Food and drink release neurotransmitters, which can cause headaches in some people. Common food
triggers include aspartame, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, and cheese to name a few.
When estrogen levels drop (especially right before your period), you may be more likely to get a
headache. Keep track of your cycle and plan when you can.
Your mom was right! Sit up straight to keep blood flowing (and move around when you can if you spend
extended periods of time bent over a desk).
Lack of physical activity
Even though over-exertion can increase your risk for headaches, staying sedentary doesn't help
either. As with most things in life, moderation is key. Talk to your doctor before beginning or
revising any exercise regimen.
Take it easy in the gym. Pushing too hard can result in an exertional headache from the swelling of
blood vessels in your head, neck and scalp.
Some prescription medications may have the potential to trigger a headache. If you notice an
increase, talk to your doctor.
Eating & sleeping patterns
Eat when you're hungry. Sleep enough (not too much or too little), and don't sleep in an odd
position in a cold room - it can make your muscles spasm.
It's not just loud, repetitive sounds. Even lower level or continuous noise can hurt. Calming music
and headphones may help.
Brightness from your computer screen, sunlight or overhead lights can make things painful. Turn them
down and try adding a desk lamp.
Stress can take a toll on you. Breathe, relax and take a stroll.
“So what should I do?”
Well, every body is different. But knowing what works for you (and what doesn't) can help you avoid
headaches in the future. Listen to your body. It's smarter than you think! Experiment and see what works
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