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Getting Rid of Headache: Take Care of your Overall Health
Getting Rid of Headache: Take Care of your Overall Health
05 Dec 2023

Getting Rid of Headache: Take Care of your Overall Health

Headaches can be a common problem that people experience in their daily lives. This may range from mild to severe and can be caused by several factors, including dehydration, stress, sinus problems, and tension. Although there are over-the-counter and prescription medications available for treating headaches, some people may opt for natural remedies to get quick relief. It is also possible to manage headache symptoms at home with various natural therapies such as drinking water, applying a cold compress, practicing relaxation, taking a nap, using specific herbs, and more.

While natural remedies seem to be effective in relieving headaches, it is important to note that you should seek medical advice from a healthcare professional when experiencing frequent or severe headaches. This can help rule out any underlying health conditions. Some headaches can be a symptom of a more serious health concern, and your provider can assist with proper diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. With these natural remedies, you can find quick relief from headaches and improve your overall well-being.

Causes of headaches

Headaches have several causes, among which some are more serious than others.

Certain dietary and lifestyle factors might increase the risk of suffering from headaches. Examples include the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Deficiency of Nutrient
  • Lack Of Sleep
  • Undereating
  • Caffeine Withdrawal
  • Alcohol Use

But underlying health problems and serious injuries can be reasons for headaches.

For example, headaches may result from potentially life-threatening conditions, including blood clots, tumors, and traumatic brain injuries.

Infections of the central nervous system and overuse of medication can cause headaches. Some people are more likely to suffer from headaches than others.

People with sleep disorders, obesity, smoking addiction, and higher caffeine intake are at greater risk of experiencing headaches. People who have a family health history of headaches are also highly prone to headache disorders.

Are you experiencing any of the symptoms outlined in this article?

Contact the clinic today for a same-day GP appointment.

Natural remedies to treat headaches

Drink a sufficient amount of water

Inadequate hydration can be the reason for developing a headache. When you remain dehydrated for a long time, it may impair concentration and cause irritability, making the symptoms even worse.

It is suggested to drink more water, as this may reduce the occurrence, severity, and duration of headaches in some people. To avoid headaches from dehydration, try to focus on drinking sufficient water throughout the day and consume water-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits.

Include some magnesium in the diet

Magnesium is an important mineral for several functions in the body, including nerve transmission and blood sugar regulation. Interestingly, magnesium is a safe and effective remedy for treating the problem of headaches. Deficiency of magnesium is more common in people who suffer from frequent migraine headaches than in those who do not.

Treatment with supplemental magnesium, in various doses and forms, may help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. For example, supplementing with 600 mg of magnesium citrate appears to be effective in reducing headaches in people who already have migraines.

Taking magnesium supplements may lead to digestive side effects like diarrhea in some people. It is recommended to start with a smaller dose when treating headache symptoms and to consult your healthcare professional if you have any questions about the medication dosage.

Restrict the intake of alcohol

While consuming alcoholic drinks might not be a direct cause of headaches in most people, alcohol may trigger migraines in nearly one-third of those who suffer from frequent headaches. Furthermore, the intake of alcohol is a risk factor for tension headaches and cluster headaches, which are among the more severe types of headaches.

There are several ways in which alcohol can trigger headaches, including activating certain neuronal pathways, contributing to dehydration, provoking inflammation, and widening blood vessels, although the exact mechanism is still not fully understood. Individuals who experience frequent headaches could consider reducing their alcohol intake to determine if it benefits their symptoms.

Get an adequate amount of sleep

Sleep deprivation can be harmful to your health in various ways and may be a cause of headaches in some people. According to research, poor sleep quality and insomnia are somewhat related to increased headache frequency and severity. Sleep apnea is a health condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts again during sleep. It is associated with morning headaches, while insomnia is linked to increased headache severity in individuals with tension headaches.

However, it's worth noting that excessive sleep has also been shown to trigger headaches. Therefore, getting the right amount of rest is important for those who want to prevent headaches naturally. Aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night to maximize the benefits and maintain good health.

Do not consume foods that are high in histamine

Histamine is a chemical found naturally in your body that plays a vital role in the digestive, immune, and nervous systems. It is also found in certain foods such as aged cheeses, beer, cured meats, fermented foods, smoked fish, and wine.

Consuming histamine can trigger migraines in individuals who are highly sensitive to it. Some people cannot metabolize histamine properly due to impaired enzyme function responsible for breaking it down. Eliminating histamine-rich foods from the diet can help alleviate symptoms like headaches in those who are highly sensitive to histamine.

Try out essential oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids containing aromatic compounds from various plants. They offer several therapeutic benefits and are most often used topically, although some may be ingested. Using eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint essential oils can be helpful when you have a headache.

If you experience frequent headaches, consider diffusing essential oils or applying a small amount of essential oil, such as lavender or peppermint mixed with a carrier oil like jojoba, onto your temples or wrists.

Try out B-complex vitamins

B vitamins are a group of water-soluble micronutrients that play crucial roles in your body. For example, they are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and the conversion of food into energy. Some B vitamins may have a protective effect against headaches. Specific B vitamin supplements such as B12, folate, pyridoxine (B6), and riboflavin (B2) can alleviate headache symptoms.

B-complex supplements consist of all eight B vitamins and provide a safe way to naturally treat headache symptoms. B vitamins are a good choice for daily consumption because they are water-soluble, meaning any excess will be excreted in urine. When searching for a high-quality B-complex supplement, you can consider Nordic Naturals Vitamin B Complex, which contains highly absorbable forms of B vitamins such as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and methylcobalamin.

Soothe pain by applying a cold compress.

Using a cold compress can help alleviate headache symptoms. Applying a frozen or cold compress to your head or neck reduces inflammation, constricts blood vessels, and slows nerve conduction, all of which can alleviate headaches.

Cold therapy may be beneficial for individuals experiencing headaches, including those resulting from nitrate medication used to treat heart conditions such as chest pain. Take a waterproof bag filled with ice and then wrap it in a soft towel to create a cold compress. Apply this compress to the back of your head, neck, or temples to find relief from severe headaches.

Consider taking coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance produced naturally by your body, playing an important role in energy production and functioning as a powerful antioxidant. Taking CoQ10 supplements is a natural way to treat headaches.

According to studies, nearly 80 percent of people diagnosed with migraines demonstrated a reduction in the frequency, severity, and duration of migraines by taking 100 mg of CoQ10 daily. Another review, involving 6 studies, found that treatment with 30–800 mg of CoQ10 each day was effective in reducing the duration and frequency of migraines.

Opt for an elimination diet

Intolerances to certain foods might trigger headaches in some people. If you want to determine whether specific foods are causing your frequent headaches, consider following an elimination diet to remove foods associated with headache symptoms.

Commonly reported food triggers for migraines include citrus fruits, chocolate, coffee, and cheese. According to studies, nearly 50 people with migraines found that eliminating migraine-triggering foods from their diet greatly reduced the frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks.

Drink caffeinated tea or coffee

When you sip beverages such as tea, or coffee, this can give you some kind of relief from a headache. Caffeine increases alertness, constricts the blood vessels and improves mood which has a positive effect on headache symptoms. It helps to increase the effectiveness of common medications for treating headaches such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

If you stop taking caffeine, then this can also cause headaches when you are addicted to consuming large amounts regularly and stop it all of a sudden. People who get frequent headaches need to be mindful of their intake of caffeine.

Try acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into your skin to stimulate specific points on the body. This practice is associated with a reduction in headache symptoms and can be an effective therapy for people who suffer from migraines.

Both 5 and 10 sessions of acupuncture treatments have been effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. If you are seeking a natural way to treat chronic headaches, acupuncture may be a good choice.

Relax with yoga

Practicing yoga is a great way to enhance flexibility, alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve overall quality of life. Engaging in yoga may decrease the frequency and intensity of your headaches.

Headache frequency and intensity were reduced more in individuals who received both conventional care and yoga therapy than in those receiving conventional care alone. Additionally, yoga helps improve headache duration, frequency, and intensity in patients with tension-type headaches.

Avoid strong smells

Strong odors, such as those from cleaning products and perfumes, may trigger headaches in some individuals. People who experience tension headaches or migraines often find that strong odors are a common headache trigger. This heightened sensitivity to odors is known as osmophobia and is common among individuals with severe migraines. If you are sensitive to smells, avoiding perfumes and strongly scented foods can help reduce the likelihood of experiencing a migraine.

Try out herbal remedies

Certain herbs, such as butterbur, curcumin, and chamomile, may alleviate headache symptoms. Curcumin serves as a preventive treatment, while chamomile is effective as an acute treatment for migraines. The supplementation of butterbur is recommended due to its anti-inflammatory effects, which can be beneficial for individuals with migraines.

While some herbs are safe to take, it is essential to exercise caution when supplementing with them. This is because many of them may interact with prescribed medications and could be unsafe for pregnant women or individuals with certain health conditions.

Among the herbal supplements mentioned above, chamomile and curcumin are considered safe choices. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy to treat headaches.

Avoid nitrites and nitrates

Both nitrates and nitrites are food preservatives added to items such as bacon, hot dogs, and sausages to keep them fresh by preventing the growth of bacteria.

These additives have been shown to trigger headaches in some people. Nitrites, in particular, may induce headaches by expanding blood vessels. If you wish to reduce your exposure to nitrites, try to limit the consumption of processed meats in your diet and opt for nitrate-free products whenever possible.

Take some ginger

Ginger root contains various beneficial compounds, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances. Treatment with ginger supplements can alleviate pain in people who suffer from migraines. Furthermore, ginger treatments can reduce the problem of nausea and vomiting, which are common symptoms of severe headaches.

If you are considering taking a ginger supplement, Pure Encapsulations Ginger Extract is a quality product that provides 500 mg of ginger root extract per capsule. Alternatively, you can prepare a potent ginger tea, which is an affordable and healthy way to stay properly hydrated.

Move more

You can reduce the severity and frequency of headaches by engaging in physical activities. According to studies, exercise can significantly decrease the frequency, intensity, and duration of migraines. There are several ways to increase your activity level, and one of the easiest ways is to increase the number of steps you take throughout the day.

Tips to prevent headaches

If you are looking for suitable ways to prevent the problem of headache, these tips can be of great help:

  • Remain in proper hydration: Staying hydrated during the day is a simple way to lessen the risk of headaches while benefiting your overall health. Your hydration needs may vary based on the factors such as size of body, activity levels and more.
  • Detect underlying causes: There are potential underlying causes of headaches which include nutrient deficiencies. If you are having frequent headaches, then it is suggested to visit a healthcare professional for thorough checkup and rule out possible causes.
  • Eat regularly: If you undereat and restrict adding calories, then this can be the reason for you to develop a headache. Make sure you consume sufficient calories all through the day and do not spend a longer time without eating anything.
  • Get the right amount of sleep: Both sleep deprivation as well as oversleeping might trigger migraines. It is important to get the right amount of sleep which is not too much or too little. You should aim for 7–9 hours of sleep every night.
  • Try to manage stress level: Stress might trigger some kinds of headaches and take a toll on your overall health. You will have to incorporate healthy practices to manage stress level by exercising, taking medication and doing yoga. These are dome effective ways to lessen stress level as much as possible.

Other ways to prevent headaches

When natural remedies for headaches do not work for you, consider any lifestyle factors that might be contributing. Some of these are the following:

  • Exercise regularly to promote good blood circulation.
  • Eat and sleep on the right schedule.
  • Quit the habit of smoking.
  • Lessen the intake of alcohol.
  • Headaches may occur due to overexposure to screens such as computers, smartphones and TVs. Give your mind some break by adding screen-free time into your schedule.
  • Headache might be a symptom of strained eyesight. Find out how to get rid of a headache like updating your eyeglasses as per the prescription.

When you need to visit a doctor

Having an occasional mild headache is not a cause for concern, but when you suffer from frequent headaches or a persistent severe headache, it is advisable to seek medical care.

Headaches might be a symptom of a serious underlying health concern, such as a blood clot, tumor, or another medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Our doctors at a walk-in clinic in London can help to identify possible underlying causes of your headaches and provide you with proper care. They can also conduct tests to rule out health conditions and nutrient deficiencies, such as iron and B12 deficiencies, which may cause or worsen headache problems.

It is crucial to seek medical attention when you experience a headache after an injury or trauma, such as a fall, or if you suddenly and severely experience a headache. This could be a symptom of a serious medical condition.

Concerned about any of the issues raised in this article? It's well worth undergoing a full body health screening to check for underlying issues, with 4 GP appointments included in all Advanced and Elite MOTS throughout 2023.


What is the quickest home remedy to treat a headache?

Various home remedies may help alleviate headaches. If dehydration is the cause of your headache, then you should drink a sufficient amount of water to quickly improve the symptoms. Taking pain relievers like ibuprofen can also reduce your headache.

Relaxing in a dark room with a cold compress, drinking caffeine, inhaling lavender essential oils or peppermint, and avoiding loud noises can all help alleviate your headache. However, it's important to note that these remedies might not be effective for everyone. Suitable treatments are available based on the type and cause of the headache you are experiencing.

Are there any effective home remedies for headaches?

It is essential to avoid taking herbal supplements to treat a headache unless recommended by a healthcare professional. They will determine whether the supplements are safe for you, as various herbal supplements may interact with common medications and are not a safe choice for everyone. Additionally, it's important to avoid excessive caffeine consumption, as it can disrupt your sleep.

Is there anything that can make headaches worse?

Loud noises, strong smells, and bright lights can exacerbate the symptoms of headaches. When you are experiencing a significant headache, it is important to relax in a calm and quiet environment. Lack of sleep, certain foods, stress, alcohol, calorie restriction, hormonal fluctuations, and frequent use of headache medicine might trigger or worsen headaches.

Can headaches indicate a serious medical condition?

There are cases when headaches indicate an underlying medical condition, such as a sinus infection, neurological disorder, or hypertension. You should contact a healthcare provider who will diagnose the exact cause and then provide appropriate treatment.

How long can headaches last?

The duration of headaches will differ according to the type and cause. Common tension headaches can last for several hours though migraines may last from a few hours to several days. Cluster headaches are shorter though very intense, typically lasting from 15 minutes to 3 hours. You need to seek medical advice for persistent or severe headaches.

As people suffer from negative effects due to frequent headaches, it is necessary to look for natural and effective treatment options. Yoga, essential oils, nutritional supplements and dietary modifications are natural, effective and safe ways to lessen the symptoms of headache. Though traditional methods like medications are usually necessary, there are many natural and effective ways to treat as well as prevent headaches when you look for a holistic approach.

There are other ways to lessen the duration, frequency and severity of headache. You need to work with our healthcare professional at the walk-in clinic in London and draft a plan that will work best for your case.