Headaches can range from annoying to downright debilitating. Many people reach for the aspirin bottle as soon as a headache starts. Most headaches are not serious but some can be. However, if you have recurrent headaches there are 3 things you should know before taking aspirin.
1. A headache is a symptom
A headache is usually a symptom of an underlying problem. The headache itself is not a disease or disorder. If you continually mask the symptom (headache) by taking pain relief medication such as aspirin, it will be much harder to determine the cause.
There are many possible causes for a headache. In order to find out the cause of your headaches, your doctor will need to know the type of headache, the feeling of pain, whether it is a stabbing or dull ache, and the duration of a typical headache. Keep a diary of when headaches occur, what foods you ate and what you were doing prior to the onset of the headache. Many headaches are stress related and may come on stronger once the stress is removed.
2. Headache pain relief medications can cause headaches
Over the counter pain relief medications should not be taken too frequently. They can actually lead to more headaches if taken more than two or three times a week. This means that chronic headache sufferers may actually start to feel better once they stop taking a pain relief medication such as aspirin.
According to a recent study, untreated headaches went away as quickly as those that were treated with medication more than 50% of the time. The body is able to develop tolerance to pain that is not treated. Taking daily pain medications interferes with the body’s natural release of endorphins, the natural pain killers.
It can take several days or more for your body to remove the remaining medication from the system. You can aid your body by drinking more water than usual to help flush the system. In many instances you will no longer experience the headaches with the amount of frequency or intensity that you once did. Sometimes the headaches will go away entirely.
3. Prevention is better than cure
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to cure many mild illnesses. They can be effective in preventing headaches without the negative side effects associated with drug medications.
Feverfew can be taken as a tincture or tea to prevent headaches. It has a cumulative effect in the body when consumed daily.
Lavender is beneficial for stress-related headaches and is often taken as a tea. Drink a cup of tea each morning to help prevent the onset of a headache.
Chamomile is used to help calm nerves and can prevent tension headaches. It is most readily available as a soothing tea.
Many headaches are brought on by dehydration. It is important to consume plenty of water daily to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, chocolate and soft drinks.
Stress is a common cause of headache. Keep stress under control through meditation, yoga and regular exercise.
If you have recurrent or severe headaches you should consult a doctor to rule out any underlying problem that requires medical attention.