Know your headache

If you're anything like me, you'll be straight on the internet at the first sign of something not quite feeling right, trawling through different articles and diagnosing yourself with imminent death. Like the time I went to the doctors thinking I was having a heart attack and it turned out to be heart burn. Yeah, that happened! Anyway, this has been the case quite recently with some headaches I've been getting. Turns out I was just dehydrated and I'm totally fine (in case you were worried), but, I did learn you can get headaches for loads of different reasons. Here's just a couple from my research.

Tension headache

These are the most common types of headaches and won't be severe enough to stop you going about your daily routine, but can last from several hours to several days. Symptoms are a constant ache around both sides of the head, as though a tight band is stretched around it. Cause: Exact causes are unclear, but have been linked to stress, poor posture, skipping meals & dehydration. Treatment: Can usually be treated with ordinary painkillers, lifestyle changes such as getting regular sleep and staying hydrated.


Less common than tension headaches but more severe. Usually a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head. Some people might get other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound. Treatment: Most people can treat migraines with over the counter medication but if they persist see a doctor to get stronger medication and advice.

Hormone headaches

Headaches in women are often caused by hormones, and many notice a link with their periods. The combined pill and pregnancy can be a trigger. Treatment: Reducing your stress levels, having a regular sleeping pattern and ensuring you're not missing meals can help to keep these headaches at bay.

Cluster headaches

These are quite a rare type of headache that occur in clusters for a month or two at a time. They're excruciatingly painful, causing intense pain around one eye and often occur with other symptoms such as a watering or red eye or runny nose. Treatment: See a doctor for specific treatments to ease the pain and prevent further headaches.

Other causes of headache:

  • Drinking too much alcohol - basically dehydration (we've all been there!)
  • A head injury or concussion
  • A cold or flu
  • Sinusitis
  • Temporomandibular disorders (basically problems with your 'chewing' muscles)
  • Sleep Apnoea
Not quite found what you're looking for? Read more about headaches here. Disclaimer: I'm no doctor, so if you're having severe headaches, weakness or blurred vision PLEASE contact your GP to get an expert opinion.

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