Apr 04 , 2022
Headaches... what can I take?
That really depends on what has caused your headache. The first question we would ask you is how much water have you drunk today? Then the check list goes from there to ascertain cause and what might be the best treatment. Some of the things on the checklist might include:
- dehydration, being over-heated
- extended or excess screen time, eye strain, bright lights, glare
- excess stress or when you relax after an excessive stressful time
- muscle tension especially neck and shoulders, poor posture, jaw clenching, frowning
- lack of fresh air/strong smells or fumes
- lack of sleep
- does the headache coincide with menstruation or menopausal symptoms
- caffeine or other drug withdrawal, hang over
- serotonin and nutrient deficiencies
- low blood sugar, skipped meals
- food intolerance e.g. sodium nitrates in cured meats, salicylate's, chocolate, red wine....
- toxic build up in colon
- sinus headache
Some answers are simple, like drinking water with some electrolytes added, getting yourself into a healthy regular sleep habit, reducing your time on screen devices or going for a walk in the fresh air/ensuring adequate ventilation in the room. Other issues may require a bit more intervention and this is where diet, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle choices can make a huge difference. There may even be more than one cause contributing to your headache. As an example: you missed your morning coffee, skipped lunch due to a stressful pressing deadline and just got your period = caffeine withdrawal/low blood sugar/excessive stress /low oestrogen.
You can reduce stress and tension by regularly including exercise, yoga, meditation/ prayer, massage or deep breathing into your lifestyle. Try a relaxing massage or bath using essential oils or epsom salts and ensuring you are taking adequate magnesium is important for muscle relaxation (as a supplement or topical application). Taking a supplement of chromium can help balance blood sugar levels as can eating 5-6 small meals a day. If your headache has a hormonal basis, you may benefit from using herbs to help balance your hormone levels which we can guide you on. If you suffer from migraine, we have Migrasticks available which contain essential oils to rub on the temples. Or you could choose medicinal grade essential oils of lavender or peppermint (not in pregnancy) as a steam inhalation or massaged into the skin. Feverfew is a great herb that has been traditionally used to treat headaches and prevent and treat migraines and may be ideal for you. Other products available in store include Naturopharm HeadMed homeopathic spray, Absolute Essential Headease, Malcolm Harker Sinus (for sinus headache), Cellfood, Elite electrolyte drops and zen magnesium balm.
Come and chat with us in store to help you find the remedies that may be best suited to you.