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8 Unexpected Things That Might Be Causing Your Headaches

  • Things like stress and loud noises are among the most causes of headaches, however, there are some lesser-known triggers, from harmless old habits to weather fluctuations. Let’s review some surprising things that could be provoking your headaches.

    1. Strong smells 

    Many people have headaches that are caused by strong smells, like perfumes, cigarette smoke, and even gasoline. If you have had migraines, smells might be the primary culprit.

    2. Dehydration 

    Dehydration is another major culprit of frequent headaches. It’s essential to make sure that you are drinking enough water. Drink at least 64 to 70 ounces of water every day to help prevent various health issues and reverse the current health issues, including headaches. But do not overdo it. Drinking too much water is harmful as well.

    3. Pickled, aged, smoked, or marinated foods

    Tyramine is a naturally occurring compound that can lead to headaches. It’s found in a wide range of meats, fruits, and veggies. The highest amounts of this compound are in aged, marinated, smoked, or pickled foods, such as sauerkraut, tofu, cheeses, and pickles. 

    High amounts of tyramine are also contained in bananas, avocados, onions, and chocolate. The more tyramine you get, the worse your headaches are.

    4. Monosodium glutamate 

    Monosodium glutamate is a common food flavoring that’s related to headaches. Many people think MSG is specific to Chinese restaurants, however, the truth is that MSG pops up in a lot of packaged and processed foods, including potato chips and salad dressings. 

    When you consume foods containing MSG, it dilates your blood vessels and excites the nerves in your brain. This can contribute to a headache and trigger a migraine if you’re susceptible. You’ll likely begin to experience these effects within 20 to 25 minutes of consuming MSG.

    5. Jaw misalignment

    Jaw joint dysfunction and misalignment are two common culprits of headaches. A huge factor that leads to these headache attacks is a bad bite relationship, meaning the upper and lower jaws have poor alignment, which causes the muscles of the head and neck to strain.

    If you tend to clench your teeth while sleeping, it can lead to discomfort with frequent headaches or ear ringing as well. To treat headaches and bruxism, it’s essential to lower your levels of stress.

    6. Having sex 

    Having sex is probably one of the oddest reasons for headaches. What’s more, there is such a thing known as a sex headache. Though this type of headache is rare, it could be debilitating, both physically and mentally.

    Sex headaches are more common among men, and they usually stem from a spike in blood pressure. But if a sex headache happens for the very first time or its onset is extremely sudden, it’s essential to visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible to ensure there isn’t a serious underlying issue, such as a brain hemorrhage.

    7. Caffeine 

    Caffeine is one of those headache triggers that lots of people don’t want to hear about. This is a tricky trigger topic because small amounts can actually help fight a migraine, however, too much caffeine can increase your risk of getting a headache. If you cut back you can end up with a headache caused by caffeine withdrawal

    If you have a daily coffee or tea routine, it is best to keep your intake low to moderate to avoid triggering head pain.

    8. Poor posture 

    Bad posture is actually one of the most common reasons for tension headaches. Using hand-held tech devices, like tablets, laptops, and phones requires you to look down and put your neck in an unnatural position. Keeping your neck projected forward instead of maintaining a straight spine puts pressure on the joints and nerves in your neck.

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