Chronic headache is the condition in which the person experiences headaches very often. Proper treatment and long-term pain management is required to reduce the pain. This article provides information about the causes of this condition.
An estimated 40 million people in America are affected by chronic headache. In many cases, chronic headaches are accompanied by several other symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and body ache. A large number of people are affected from these headaches due to their lifestyle pattern and subsequent health conditions.
Most often, they occur because the receptors in your brain that are meant to control the pain and suppress it are not functioning well. In such a case, even minor triggers may result in chronic headaches.
Stress is one of the biggest triggers of not only chronic headaches, but also to a number of other health problems. Conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, brain dysfunction, etc., all have a cause lying in stress. Constant headaches may be caused due to mental or physical stress. When you are under a lot of stress due to work or personal problems, it is likely to affect your overall functioning and even cause a headache. Even if you are anxious about a particular event, depressed, or suffer from hypertension you may be afflicted with chronic headaches.
Anemia is a condition characterized by low iron and hemoglobin levels in the blood. One of the symptoms of anemia is constant headaches, along with fatigue. If you are affected by this condition, it may be one of the reasons you are experiencing those painful headaches so often.
Foods and Food Additives
There are certain food additives that you may be sensitive to that may be the cause for the headaches. For instance, monosodium glutamate was found to be one of the triggers for a variety of health conditions, which was why it was banned later. Also, processed foods that contain artificial sweeteners, high levels of sodium, nitrates, and other preservatives may cause this condition. Sometimes, just drinking too much milk or consuming rich milky products triggers headaches.
Fluctuations in hormonal levels are likely to be one of the reasons you get a chronic headache. Usually women are mainly affected by this condition during their menstrual cycle, menopause, or after the intake of oral contraceptive pills. This may happen even during pregnancy. Sometimes, one may have to undergo a hormone replacement therapy, which might further intensify the headaches.
Conditions of the Brain
Chronic headaches may be symptoms of underlying conditions of the brain. These include meningitis infection, a severe brain injury, a brain tumor, and inflammation of blood vessels that can cause a stroke. In such a case, other symptoms such as fever, pain in the neck, and weakness can also be observed. Also, if you experience such a headache after an injury on your head, it may have affected your brain. In case you experience any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.
Excess Intake of Medication
These headaches can also occur as a side effect of consuming too many medicines. If you take a painkiller regularly to alleviate the headaches on a regular basis, their prolonged use will prove ineffective, or may further intensify your headache. The time duration of the medicine intake and the type of medicine you have been taking to cure your headaches may affect the intensity and the recurring pattern of the headaches. This condition is known as medication overuse headache or a rebound headache.
Conditions of the Sinus
If you are affected by a sinus infection, where your nasal passages have been blocked completely, it can cause a case of chronic headaches and fatigue. This condition has a specific term known as sinus headache.
Excess Consumption of Caffeine
Regular consumption of caffeine-rich drinks or aerated drinks may trigger off chronic headaches. Though you may have felt better after drinking a cup of tea or coffee when suffering from a headache, if you keep up the habit and drink it too often, it will become a cause for the headache.
Usually, identifying the causes of a chronic headache is difficult, which is why choosing the right treatment for this condition becomes a difficult task. Identifying and then treating chronic recurring headaches may take some time, but if you suffer from them more often than it would be best to visit your doctor and find a cure for them. Since, in some cases, a chronic headache can be a symptom rather than a condition, diagnosing yourself can be risky, so avoid attempting it.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.