Struggling to break free of headaches?
A headache is no fun. Whether you have had them for years, weeks or just when you PMS – they impact quality of life and ruin some really good times. This doesn’t have to be the case though, as someone who suffered from headaches of stress, hormone imbalance and sugar imbalances I understand the pain and the new found freedom. Understand what may be some of your triggers and then look at which strategies give you optimal relief.
What’s behind the headache – The culprits
- Caffeine: Caffeine causes vasoconstriction (constricts blood vessels) and our bodies adjust to this over time (primarily the neurotransmitter adenosine). When there is no caffeine, they over dilate causing the throbbing headache. Avoid this by tapering down caffeine over the period of 1 week, and then switching to a milder form such as green tea and then to zero (if desired).
- Sugar: Eating sugar and refined grains increases insulin, and regular consumption can create highs and lows, leading to headaches. When you don’t eat all day or start a detox, there can be a period when the sugar highs and lows hit even harder: headaches, irritability, fatigue, hunger, nausea or anxiety. Include some complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, and brown rice to help a slower release of glucose. Another way is to have good protein and fat in each meal and some in snacks to avoid the lows.
- Lack of nutrients: Magnesium and B Vitamins are important to our nervous system – they help improve communication within our body. Easy way to help this is to eat your leafy greens, root vegetables, nuts, seeds,eggs, and legumes.
- Stress: Stress is a normal part of life and is not about to go away soon. Stress is a key player in our HPA axis (the primary hormone & metabolism axis) and can throw off our blood sugar, cortisol and other hormones. Focus on stress perception – can you take a new perspective on an old stressor? Mindfulness plays a critical role in reducing the negative impacts of stress.
- Neck & Muscle Stiffness: More and more of us are using the computer to work and the cell phone to communicate. Poor posture and slouching impair our blood flow and oxygen intake. Sit up and take deeper breaths. Remind yourself about posture throughout the day.
7 Simple Steps for Headache Relief
- Peppermint and lavender essential oil – A few drops on your neck or massaged into your third eye (between the eyebrows). Peppermint has antispasmodic qualities that help relax muscle spasms and tension.
- Protein in every meal – Helps keep blood sugar levels stable when eaten at every meal. When our body goes too low in blood sugar our brain is the first that suffers, avoiding the high avoids the crash.
- Hydrate – Headaches can sneak up on us when we get dehydrated, keep a stainless steel water bottle with you on the go and slowly sip on water throughout the day.
- Don’t skip meals – So important! Also if there are more than 4 hours between meals – have a snack!
- Sit up and take deep breaths – Make a background on your phone to remind you that you need air and good blood & oxygen flow to your brain.
- Mind you caffeine intake– Caffeine creates a dependency that when not satisfied, leads to headaches. Try to cut back slowly by drinking half the usual for 2-3 days and then again in half, etc, until you reach 1 or 0 cups.
- Magnesium – Try to get this through foods such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds. Research indicates that supplementing with 500mg in the evening can help provide some relief to headache sufferers.
Have you suffered long enough?
Let’s face it, your demands are not going away! It’s time you invest in your own health so you can keep up with all of your ambitions from raising a family to raising a business. Start with 10 day reset challenge, where you can detox to help break free of headaches for good. You will get full support for 10 days for free! Warning, day 2 and 3 your body will tell you if sugar or caffiene was a culprit for you. It’s a pain in the butt for 1 or 2 days, but it also helps you identify what your triggers are. By day 7 everyone is raving with great energy and no headaches. Sign up below.