Causes of Headaches

Daily Health Solutions, Healthy Living
on August 19, 2011
Think Stock

There are numerous types of headaches that are characterized by what causes them, as well as the pain type, frequency and duration. However, when it comes down to it, most of them have similar reasons within the body that your head is actually hurting. Common causes of headaches crop up all throughout an average modern lifestyle.

Blood pressure. One of the most common causes of headaches, abnormally high blood pressure is common in people who are overweight or obese, diabetic or overly stressed. Abnormally low blood pressure can also cause headaches if the brain does not get enough oxygen. Smoking also affects blood pressure, though the additives in most cigarettes may be the primary culprit of smoke-induced headaches.

Dehydration. Water is essential for the proper function of every system in the body. If you have recently experienced extreme temperatures or high-impact exercises, or consumed large amounts of caffeine or alcohol, this may be the cause of your headache.

Chemicals. This can be anything, from chemicals consumed through food, drink or medication to the naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain. Among other things, the American Headache Society states, “Depression and headache share many common clinical features, including mood disturbance and sleep dysfunction.” It is hypothesized that depression is a common cause of headache, though in some cases, headache may even be a depression trigger.

Injury. While not as common as the previous causes, injury to the brain, skull, neck or back often causes headaches. Eye strain, bad posture and holding an awkward position for a prolonged period of time may put pressure on these same nerves and cause headache. In addition, abnormal growths within the skull will undoubtedly cause a headache as pressure against the brain increases, but you’ll no doubt be relieved to know that this is not common. However, if you have chronic headaches with moderate to severe pain, you should schedule an examination with your doctor to rule out any serious causes. In most cases, your doctor will be able to offer suggestions to correct minor issues that may be causing your persistent headaches.