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7 Things to Avoid When Suffering from Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common complaints among adults, affecting millions of American adults every day. Headaches can range from everyday tension headaches to excruciating migraines. Headaches are set off by the expansion and contraction of blood vessels in the scalp. However, there are numerous causes this phenomenon, so it is important to try to avoid certain things that can trigger or worsen headaches. Keep reading to learn more about the things to avoid when suffering from headaches.

7 Things to Avoid When Suffering from Headaches


Stress is one of the leading causes of headaches. When excessive stress builds up over a long periods of time, the body weakens and becomes more susceptible to illness and pain. Helpful ways to manage stress are to practice yoga or meditation, taking a bath at night, reading, or listening to soothing music. Although stressful situations can't always be controlled, the reaction to them can be.


Skipping Meals

Blood sugar levels plummet when you skip meals, which causes headaches and tiredness. It is vital to eat healthy, balanced meals and snacks often to stay alert and prevent headaches. Eating regular meals that are rich in whole foods, like grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, can help to prevent headaches.


Drinking Caffeine

Caffeine can be beneficial in moderation; however, drinking too much caffeine can lead to or worsen headaches because it dehydrates the body. Conversely, if you regularly drink caffeine, cutting it out abruptly can also cause headaches. Try gradually decreasing caffeine intake to one or two cups of coffee a day.


Forgetting to Drink Water

Dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches. It is crucial to drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent headaches.


Eating Processed Foods

Processed meats (e.g., hot dogs, lunch meat, and bacon) are packed with nitrites and sodium, which are known to cause headaches. Other foods that have been known to cause headaches in certain individuals include aged cheese, Chinese food, fast food, and sugary snacks.


Insufficient Sleep

Getting plenty of sleep every night is essential for maintaining overall health and for your body to work at its best. Lack of sleep is a common cause of headaches. The average adult should get between seven to eight hours of sleep every night.



Living an inactive lifestyle can lead to numerous health problems, like chronic headaches, obesity, depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue.

Headaches affect millions of Americans every day, ranging from dull, mild tension headaches to debilitating migraines. Things like excessive stress, dehydration, and lack of sleep can lead to headaches. It is important to maintain an active lifestyle and balanced diet in order to prevent the frequency and intensity of headaches. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is also crucial for avoiding headaches. Read more about menstrual headaches.

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  • National Health Service UK. (2013). Tension-type headaches. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. (2011). Tension headaches. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from