Most common cause of daily head aches:
- Sinus pressure from allergies. Talk to your doctor about starting allergy medication, or about getting a blood test to identify your air borne triggers. If your immune system is constantly fighting respiratory pathogens, you’ll always be in a state of inflammation. This increases the amount of fluid and pressure in your sinuses.
- Caffeine. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine is not recommended to treat head aches. It’s the most consumed “drug” in the world. Our bodies develop a tolerance to this, and when we withdraw, can cause painful headaches. I advise most patients to not exceed 1 cup a day, preferably in the morning, and not to consume it through out the day. It can take up to 2 weeks to reset and feel any improvement.
- High blood pressure. This will cause those “pounding” head aches. If your blood pressure is consistently over 130/90, talk with your doctor about seeking treatment. Long standing high blood pressure naturally wears out the pump (your heart), and puts you at great risk for heart attack/failure and stroke. Pressure lowering medications can be much more effective.
- Food sensitivities. It’s no secret that a majority of the food we consume isn’t healthy, let alone real. Gluten, dairy, sulfites (especially in red wine) can trigger head aches. Talk to your doctor about getting a blood test for food sensitivities. Crashing from sugar highs can also cause head aches.
- Lack of sleep. Genetics determine how much sleep we each need; some require 10, others may only need six. Whatever the amount, our brains absolutely require rest. While we sleep, glial cells clean up the debris created by our neurons.
While there exist a myriad of other causes, these are the most common and easily fixed with a few simple behavioral changes.
–Danielle Kelvas, MD