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Do You Experience Frequent Headaches? 6 Underlying Medical Conditions That Trigger Headaches

Do You Experience Frequent Headaches? 6 Underlying Medical Conditions That Trigger Headaches

Given how common they are, many tend to ignore the occasional throbbing headache. But it is important to remember a lot of serious diseases can trigger headaches.

Though a lot of us seem to ignore headaches, it is important to pay attention to it, especially since recurring headaches can be caused due to serious health issues that may require immediate care and attention. According to Medical News Today, headaches are a sign of stress and can lead to multiple medical disorders. The condition can be so severe that it may affect your ability to perform even the simplest of daily activities with ease.

Headaches can occur at different places and the location of the pain can help determine what's causing it. However, it was found that not all people who experienced headaches consulted a doctor, leading to inadequate care and treatment. According to World Health Organization (WHO), only half of those identified with a severe headache or migraine consulted a doctor in the US and the UK in the span of 12 months. It also said that only two-third people were diagnosed.

Headaches also happen to be one of the most common medical conditions. The World Health Organization reported that almost half of adults around the world experience a headache in any given year. The report further mentions a 2017 survey according to which 18 percent of participants suffered from headaches multiple times a month.

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Headaches can be divided into primary and secondary. While primary headaches are stand-alone illnesses often caused due to overactivity, secondary headaches are symptoms caused due to other condition in the body.

Here are a few medical conditions that may trigger frequent headaches:

1. Sinus

According to WebMD, sinus refers to air-filled spaces in inside the forehead, cheekbones and behind the bridge of the nose. If a person is suffering from an allergy or an infection, the sinuses usually get inflamed causing a build-up of pressure leading to extremely painful headaches on one or both sides of the face. The person may also feel pain around their nose. A person suffering from sinus headache should make sure to rest, drink plenty of fluids and take painkillers. However, it is best to seek the advice of a doctor if the pain increases. 

2. Dehydration

A dehydration headache is a secondary type caused due to insufficient fluids in the body says Medical News Today. This headache can be mild or as severe as a migraine. Our body can only function with proper fluids and electrolytes. Though our body loses water through daily activities, it regains the water consistency in the body through the fluids we drink. However, sometimes, we lose water more easily leading to dehydration which thereby causes the brain to shrink or contract to prevent fluid loss. This results in dehydration headaches which can occur at the front, back, or all over the head. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is a sure shot way to tackle this.

3. Migraine

Severe headaches or migraines come under the primary category. Statistics show that over 15 percent of adults in the US complain about migraines. It was also found that the condition is prevalent two times more in women compared to men. According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition usually causes a throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation on one side of the head. The headaches may continue for a couple of hours to days and can often be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. If you experience flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg make sure to visit a doctor. Proper medication is important to reduce pain and prevent the migraines from recurring.

4. Hormonal changes

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Hormonal changes and headaches have a co-relation, especially in women. According to Healthline, hormonal changes experienced by women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapies can all cause headaches. The estrogen and progesterone hormones in women that play a major role in pregnancies and menstruation can affect chemicals in the brain so whenever there is an imbalance, the body experiences severe headaches. A person suffering from hormonal headaches also suffer from other symptoms like loss of appetite, decreased urination, joint pain, constipation, etc

5. Hypertension

High blood pressure or hypertension is not usually recognized easily without the use of a blood pressure monitor as the symptoms go unnoticed by a lot of people. However, intense headaches are a common symptom. According to Iranian Journal of Neurology, pain on both sides of the head occurs due to high blood pressure. Pain is usually caused due to the excess pressure on the brain. The headache caused can worsen if involved in physical activities.

6. Brain tumor

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According to WebMD, a tumor is a mass of tissue formed due to the accumulation of abnormal cells. In case of a brain tumor, it originates in the brain. However, not all the tumors diagnosed in the brain are cancerous. It is found that people between the age of 65 and 79 are most likely to be diagnosed with a brain tumor.  A very common symptom of this is headaches. If you are experiencing frequent headaches and normal medication seems to have no effect on it, consult a doctor to check for tumors.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321012.php
https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/sinus-headaches#1
https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317511.php
https://www.healthline.com/health/hormonal-headaches#symptoms
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-daily-headaches/in-depth/headaches/art-20046729
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3829292/
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322451.php
https://www.docsopinion.com/2017/07/17/causes-headache/
https://www.webmd.com/cancer/brain-cancer/brain-tumors-in-adults#2-5
https://www.statista.com/topics/1974/headache-and-migraine/

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.