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Why Do Headaches Cause Nausea?

Why Do Headaches Cause Nausea?

Migraine headache is believed to be one of the reasons for nausea. Headaches and nausea together can be a symptom of some severe underlying disorder. Go through the following article for more information.
Madhura Pandit
A headache is one of the most common and at the same time one of the worst conditions experienced by people. It can be mild or severe; and can literally disrupt your daily activities. It is also one of the most common symptoms of several health conditions. In most of the cases, a headache is caused due to stress, tension, common cold, etc. However, if you experience headaches accompanied with nausea, then it is a condition that should not be ignored.
Nausea and Headaches
When one suffers from a headache and nausea, it is not the headache that actually causes nausea; both these symptoms are caused due to some underlying condition. Severe common cold, flu or any viral infection can cause a headache which is followed by other symptoms like nausea, body ache, chills, etc. In case of the common cold and flu, you also experience a runny nose, cough, etc. Along with viral infections, bacterial, fungal and other parasitic infections also lead to nausea, pain in the head and other symptoms. Drinking excess of alcohol is also one of the common conditions that gives rise to a headache and nausea together.
Secondly, another common factor that can cause this condition is a migraine. A migraine is a type of headache which is usually felt on one side of the head. The exact cause of a migraine is not known. However, there are several trigger factors like stress, motion sickness, etc. that can give rise to this condition.
Migraine headaches are often accompanied with nausea. So, why do migraines cause nausea. It is believed that the chemical changes in the brain that cause migraines, also cause nausea. Or, it is also believed that the severity of the pain of the migraine can be the potential cause of nausea. Apart from this, following are some of the potential causes that can cause constant headaches and nausea:
  • Head injury
  • Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)
  • Meningitis
  • Cluster headaches
  • Meniere's disease
  • Tinnitus
  • Aneurysm
  • Vertigo
  • Caffeine overdose
  • Side effects of prescription medication
  • Withdrawal symptoms
Although you find a long list of causes that can bring about headaches and nausea, most of the causes are quite rare. If you wish to know how often do headaches cause nausea and vomiting, then note that migraine and infections are the only common causes that can cause these symptoms. And of course, drinking and withdrawal reactions! However, this does not mean that a headache should be ignored. If it is accompanied or followed by any symptom, there is surely a serious underlying health disorder and hence, one should consult the doctor as soon as possible. Aneurysm and meningitis are very severe disorders which require emergency care.
Treating Headache and Nausea
Once you identify the reason for your headaches, treating it can be easier. In order to treat and prevent migraines, one should identify the trigger factors and try to avoid them as much as possible. Viral and other infections can be treated by medication. If the symptoms occur due to excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine containing products, then it is a temporary condition; and can be prevented by abstaining from drinking! Nearly all the above mentioned conditions can be treated effectively with the help of medication, alternative medication or home remedies.
Lastly, note that although there are several pain killers available in the market that can be gotten over-the-counter, it is advisable to consult a doctor to diagnose the underlying cause of the nausea and headache. This will help in an immediate diagnosis and timely treatment of any serious disorder. Take care!