Avoid these common causes of headaches

It’s more than likely you will get a headache this year without any idea why.

The World Health Organization estimates that 50 percent of adults experiences a headache at least once every year, and 30 percent of those individuals also experience migraines. Most people have no idea what triggers their headache. There are all sorts of triggers, so here are some you might want to consider if you get regular headaches.

Man-made scents

The chemical molecules in perfumes can activate the trigeminal nerve endings that release pain signals in the brain. If you believe fragrances cause your headaches, keep a diary to track the fragrances you are exposed to at home. A diary of your diet is also worth keeping to monitor what you have eaten before the onset of a headache.

Birth control pills

Changes in oestrogen impact inflammation, stress and blood sugar, all of which are linked to migraines. Both menopause and the Pill can rapidly lower estrogen. Switch to non-hormonal birth control and see if this reduces your head pains.

Skipping breakfast

In a study of 1200 migraine sufferers, researchers found that fasting or missing a meal was the second most common trigger of headaches in men and the third most common trigger in women. Starting the day with a healthy snack is a great way to protect you from the onset of headaches.

Consuming too much aspirin

The single biggest, unrecognised cause of headache is probably medication or pain killer overuse, according to Kings College London professor of neurology Peter J. Goadsby. Professor Goadsby said people who took painkillers for 10 days or more a month were primed for a “rebound headache”, which occurs after the effects of medication have worn off.

Not sticking to a routine

If you don’t consistently sleep, exercise and eat at the same time, you could be contributing to the pain. “Regularity is very helpful at keeping headaches at bay,” Professor Goadsby said.