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What Are Dehydration Headaches?

by | Feb 26, 2022 | Health

Dehydration happens when your body uses or loses more fluid than it takes in, and your body cannot carry out its usual tasks due to a lack of water and other liquids. You will get dehydrated if you do not restore lost fluids. In reaction to dehydration, the pituitary gland (a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain) secretes vasopressin, a hormone that stimulates the kidneys to excrete less water. The result is an increase in the quantity of water in the blood. Consequently, sodium is diluted, and the sodium-water balance is restored. It is the usual feedback mechanism of our body in response to dehydration. A lack of vasopressin might cause the kidneys to excrete excessive fluid. As a result, you will be extremely thirsty and dehydrated. 

What Causes A Dehydration Headache?

A dehydration headache is caused by an imbalance of fluid and electrolytes in the body. When your body is dehydrated, your brain may constrict or shrink briefly due to the lack of fluid. It causes the brain to move away from the skull, which produces discomfort and a headache. One can typically feel headaches due to dehydration in the temple and forehead area of your skull. In reaction to dehydration, the pituitary gland (a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain) secretes vasopressin, a hormone that stimulates the kidneys to excrete less water. The result is an increase in the quantity of water in the blood.

Consequently, sodium is diluted, and the sodium-water balance is restored. It is the usual feedback mechanism of our body in response to dehydration. A lack of vasopressin might cause the kidneys to excrete excessive fluid. As a result, you will be extremely thirsty and dehydrated. 

What Are The Signs of Dehydration?

One of the signs that you are dehydrated is the occurrence of a headache. Headaches are a pretty common ailment that almost everyone will have at some point in their lives. A headache is characterised by pain in the head or face. It might be a pulsating, continuous, acute, or dull sensation. Your head will feel tighter when you are experiencing a headache. Other reasons due to which you might experience a headache are:

  • Fatigue: If you are tired and have muscles fatigued, you might experience a headache. 
  • Muscle tightness: Headaches due to tight muscles are called tension headaches which can occur when muscles are tensed or hyper contract. 
  • Dental issues: People also feel headaches while they clench their jaws, primarily seen in patients with dental ailments. 
  • Food sensitivity: When you have food sensitivities, your immune system recognizes certain foods as harmful to your body and releases antibodies into your bloodstream to fight them. Migraines can be caused by this immunological reaction and are primarily felt in the sinuses.
  • Accident: Accident-related post-traumatic headaches are secondary headaches produced by an injury and commonly occur in conjunction with other whiplash symptoms. 
  • Anxiety: A typical physical manifestation of anxiety is headaches. Tension headaches might occur when you’re upset or worried about something.
  • Light exposure: Due to the optic nerve stimulation, some people experience headaches while being exposed to flashes of light or excessive use of a computer. 
  • Posture: Poor posture can induce strain in the upper back, neck, and shoulders, resulting in a headache. When your traps muscles are tightened due to bad posture, it can lead to a headache since its insertion is in the base of the skull.
  • Exercise: Exertional headache is caused due to excessive movement leading to dilated blood vessels. However, there are also cases where physical inactivity manifests headaches. 
  • Hormonal imbalance: Hormone fluctuations are a vital contributor to persistent headaches and menstrual migraines in women. Consistent headaches, constant pressure, and growing stress levels in your head are all signs of hormone disruption. Fantastic Life focuses on developing nutrition plans that will assist you in naturally balancing hormones through dietary changes.
  • Medication side effects: Headaches can be caused as a side effect of some medications. These rebound headaches are characterised by a dull, persistent, tension-type headache that occurs daily or near-daily.

The first step is to recognize the reason behind your headache. Only then can you treat it efficiently. Headaches are not typical and should not be addressed as a genetic condition if your family members also experience them. One can treat headaches differently according to the reasons behind their manifestation. These can include medications or other treatments like staying hydrated, getting sufficient sleep, soothing pain with hot or cold compresses, meditation, taking a nutritious diet, limiting your light exposure, and maintaining hormonal balance. 

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