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When many people get a headache, they reach for tried-and-true treatments, like Vanquish. However, there are also natural remedies that may bring relief without the prolonged use of medication.
All-natural headache relief remedies can work well alongside headache medications to reduce pain symptoms quickly and prevent them from coming back.
Individuals with headaches may wish to try one or more of these natural remedies on their own or in conjunction with a powerful headache medication that has brought relief in the past
5. Chiropractic Care and Adjustments
Chiropractic adjustments are also sometimes recommended for headache sufferers as part of a headache treatment strategy. This type of natural care can reduce oxidative stress, which prevents free radical damage in the body. Clinical trials have shown that basic spinal manipulation techniques can treat headaches and reduce their recurrence because they help reduce overall stress in the body.
Always have Vanquish® on hand to provide effective, yet gentle headache relief. view product info ❯
Whilst there is currently no cure for cluster headache, the treatment has become much more effective in the last 10 years.
Acute treatment is used to stop the pain once it has started. Treating cluster headache can be tricky because the pain becomes extremely severe very quickly – usually within 10 minutes. Thus the key to treating cluster headache during an attack is speed to reduce the excruciating pain as fast as possible.
Ordinary painkillers that you can buy over the counter are not usually effective, as the pain of cluster headache is too intense and they take too long to work.
- Oxygen is one of the safest ways to treat cluster headache. You need to breathe the oxygen in at a rate of between 7 and 12 litres per minute. The treatment usually starts to work within 15 to 20 minute. For some people the attack is delayed rather than stopped altogether.
From 1 February 2006, new regulations were introduced on the way oxygen is prescribed and delivered to people’s homes. Up to this time people with cluster headache obtained their oxygen cylinders from their chemist using a doctor’s prescription.
Your doctor will now need to send a Home Oxygen Order Form (HOOF) to one of the companies who has the contract to deliver oxygen in your area. You will also need to complete a Home Oxygen Consent Form (HCOF), enabling the supplier to receive information about you in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
If you are already using oxygen your GP can complete the HOOF form when you need a repeat prescription. If you are trying the treatment for the first time you may need to be referred to a specialist. It is worth asking the doctor to state that the oxygen is for cluster headache so that the supplier knows a high flow regulator is needed to ensure you get the oxygen at the required rate. The cylinders will then be delivered with the correct regulator, masks and any other equipment you may need. If you have queries on your supply, each contractor has a helpline. When the local contractor has the HOOF form you can ring them directly to re-order the cylinders.
- Sumatriptan injections have been found to reduce the pain within 10 minutes during an attack. In general tablets are less effective if you have cluster headache because of the time they take to work.
- Sumatriptan and zolmitriptan nasal sprays do help some people although the onset of action maybe slower than the injection.
Preventative treatment is used to try and stop the attack from starting in the first place. There is a far wider range of preventative treatments available now than in the recent past. You will need to take the preventative treatment when the cluster period starts and continue for about two weeks after the bout has ended. You will need to stop the drugs gradually and restart them if a new bout begins.
The most common preventative treatments are:
- Verapamil prescribed for cluster headache as research has shown that a daily dose can be effective in both episodic and chronic cluster headache. You will probably need to see a specialist in a hospital or clinic if you are prescribed this drug, because your heart will need to be monitored regularly using an ECG machine whilst the correct dose for you is established.
- Methysergide is effective in episodic (short term bouts) of cluster headache but needs caution in the treatment of chronic cluster headache as you should not take this for more than six months at a time.
- Lithium at a low dose can be effective although again this will need careful monitoring. It is more effective in treating chronic cluster headache than episodic.
- Corticosteroids are given because they are fast acting. They can be used in a short burst for 2 to 3 weeks in decreasing amounts as a first step to break the cycle. They are often used alongside other treatments which take longer to work. Corticosteroids are more effective for chronic cluster headache to break the cycle. If used for episodic cluster headache, when the medication is reduced the headaches come back.
- Ergotamine is infrequently prescribed. It can be helpful in reducing attacks at night if you take it at bedtime.
- Topiramate has recently been reported to be useful in cluster headache.
As with any drug treatment you may need to work with your doctor to determine what works best for you. You may need to try several treatment regimes before you discover the best one for you.
Causes of Headaches
Headaches can be a symptom of all kinds of conditions, from allergies to migraines. Some common headache causes include:
- Migraines: While medical science doesn’t know for sure what causes migraines, a number of things that may trigger their onset including certain foods, hormones, stress, and sunlight.
- Allergies: Food allergies can trigger migraines. They can also cause sinus headaches due to congestion, as well as painful cluster headaches according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
- Stress: Not only can stress trigger migraines, but being stressed out can cause tight muscles. These muscles may squeeze nerves leading to the head, causing a headache. Stress also releases stress hormones such as cortisol, which can unbalance hormone levels in the body leading to headaches.
- Hormones: According to the Mayo Clinic, fluctuating hormone patterns can cause headaches, particularly in women.
- Alcohol: If you’ve ever over-imbibed only to wake up to a raging hangover, then you know exactly what I’m talking about! And really, few among us have not had this experience, right? Headaches from alcohol are likely due to inflammation and/or dehydration from alcoholic beverages, which also deplete B vitamins. This kind of headache is enough to swear off drinking- at least as long as you remember the extreme pain of the aftereffects. Tip: take a picture of yourself not looking so hot, lying in bed with “the spins” after a self-induced alcohol overindulgence, so you can look at it on your phone while you’re out and considering ordering another round of shots.
- Inflammation: Inflammatory processes in the body can pinch nerve pathways, leading to headaches and pain.
Tips for to Avoid Headaches
It’s worth a shot! You may be able to minimize the number of headaches you have by trying the following.
1. Avoid foods that trigger migraines
A number of these foods exist, so minimize or avoid them and you may have fewer headaches. Foods associated with triggering migraines include:
- Smoked or cured meats
- Dairy products, especially cheese
- Foods containing nitrates
- Artificial sweeteners
- Canned soups
- Food additives
- Red wine
- Extremely cold foods, like ice cream
2. Avoid common allergens
The most common allergenic foods include:
- Dairy products
3. Get plenty of sleep by following a regular sleep schedule
4. Stay hydrated
Pay attention to what that yellow pee is telling you and drink up!
5. Moderate alcohol intake
I know that “moderate” means different things to different people. You may go out a lot, but just know that as you work to balance your diet and lifestyle, you really won’t need to drink as much as you did in the past to get a buzz. Really!
6. Minimize chemicals in your food by eating whole, organic plant foods and avoiding processed foods.
7. Get regular exercise
Exercise reduces stress, which can help reduce the incidence of tension headaches. Yoga, which is my main form of physical activity (plus so much more), is highly recommended.
8. Having a Glowing Green Smoothie for breakfast is a great way to start with healthy, organic foods that support your body instead of stressing it
9. Engage in regular stress reduction activities such as meditation
Even sitting quietly and practicing deep breathing for a few minutes per day can help reduce stress.
10. Avoid caffeine, which can trigger headaches. Instead, drink water
11. Don’t smoke – Period
No compromises here. Also though, avoid second-hand smoke.
12. Eat foods with omega-3 fatty acids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect
Leafy greens, chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts are a few great sources.
13. Avoid using chemical-based cleaning products and air fresheners around your house
14. Learn your headache triggers
By keeping a headache journal, you may be able to discover which foods and activities are triggering your headaches. What may trigger your headaches may be different than from your mother, roommate or hubby.
15. Use a humidifier
Dry air can irritate the sinuses, triggering a headache. Using a humidifier when you sleep may help keep your sinuses from growing irritated.
1. Talk to your doctor.
Have your physician take a closer look at your estrogen/progesterone balance, as well as your thyroid levels. Based on the results of these tests, the two of you can decide what treatment options may be best for you. If you suffer from severe menstrual migraines, applying progesterone cream to the skin may be helpful, but should be considered under the guidance of your doctor.
Once you have a better understanding of your hormonal profile, you can also use supplements to support nutritional deficiencies that might be contributing to headaches. Magnesium, CoQ10 and 5-HTP are all recommended for these purposes. Try any of my personally formulated Reset360 Supplements, such as my Daily Essentials Multivitamin. Talk to your doctor about proper dosage.