Most of us suffer from headaches at some time, making this an extremely common complaint. Headaches may be caused by a variety of factors, most of which are not serious. However in some cases a headache may be a symptom of a more serious disorder.
It is important to see your doctor if headaches become more severe or more frequent.
About 90% of headaches are caused by muscular tension due to poor posture, tense neck muscles, depression, stress, tiredness, etc. More severe headaches are known as cluster headaches or migraines. The majority of people who experience recurrent cluster headaches are male.
A variety of triggers can bring on cluster headaches or migraines, such as certain foods, stress, lack of sleep, smoke, low blood sugar levels, dehydration, food sensitivity, too much caffeine, alcohol, low levels of magnesium in the diet, etc. Your partner should try to identify and eliminate the triggers of his headaches.
Dehydration is a common cause of headaches as the tissues that surround the brain are mostly composed of water. If these tissues lose fluid they shrink, causing pain an irritation, so yes, you should encourage him to increase his water intake to about 2 litres of water a day.
For an immediate relief he can apply ice packs to the back of the neck and rest for at least 30 minutes, practice deep breathing to increase oxygen supply to the brain, and massage around the neck, and scalp with the fingertips.
Nutritionally speaking, a good balance diet including fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna will provide essential vitamins and minerals. Calcium and magnesium are very important, as they work together to help prevent headaches. Good sources of calcium and magnesium are dark green leafy vegetable such as kale or broccoli, beans and peas, nuts, raw chocolate, bananas, wheat germ.
By Jorge Bustamante
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