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how to get rid of a headache without drugs

Nitrates and nitrites are food preservatives commonly added to items like hot dogs, sausages, and bacon to keep them fresh by preventing bacterial growth. This hypersensitivity to odors is called osmophobia and is common in those with chronic migraines (52). Strong odors like those from perfumes and cleaning alcohol intoxication wikipedia products can cause certain individuals to develop headaches. There are a number of high quality essential oils available, with Eden Botanicals being one of the best brands to consider. It’s also found in certain foods, such as aged cheeses, fermented foods, beer, wine, smoked fish, and cured meats.

  1. The American Migraine Foundation offers resources for how to talk to your practitioner about headaches in order to help you find the best plan of action.
  2. Headaches can vary in intensity from mild to severe, and there are several different types of headaches that you may experience.
  3. The smells of essential oils may bother some people, and experimenting with different oils that individuals find relaxing may be a way to ease headache symptoms.
  4. Strong odors like those from perfumes and cleaning products can cause certain individuals to develop headaches.

Yoga, nutritional supplements, essential oils, and dietary modifications are all natural, safe, and effective ways to reduce headache symptoms. Of the herbal supplements mentioned in the review alcohol and migraines listed above, curcumin and chamomile are generally considered safe. However, it’s important to check with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy to treat headaches.

Take some magnesium

If a headache seems to show up after meals, it may be helpful for people to keep a food journal of everything they eat each day. This may enable them to identify and avoid foods that could trigger headaches. Words on your iPad, for example, have far less contrast and definition than words on a printed page, making them harder to read.

Pain researchers from Missouri State University found that rats deprived of deep sleep showed changes in key proteins that suppress chronic pain. If you’re enjoying this article, consider supporting our award-winning journalism by subscribing. By purchasing a subscription you are helping to ensure the future of impactful stories about the discoveries and ideas shaping our world today. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

how to get rid of a headache without drugs

Several studies have shown that certain B vitamin supplements, including riboflavin (B2), folate, B12, and pyridoxine (B6) may reduce headache symptoms (32, 33, 34). For example, supplementing with 600 mg of magnesium citrate may be effective for reducing headaches in people with migraine (15). With tension-type headaches, some people also experience increased muscle tension, so releasing the trigger points could help, Dr. Newman says. “Have your significant other or friend press on the trapezius muscles in your shoulders,” he advises. Pressing on the temple areas or over the ears can also help relieve bands of tight muscles. Drinking more water or even adjusting your sleep schedule can legitimately help ward off a throbbing head.

ways to relieve a headache without medication

One of the simplest ways to reduce headache frequency and severity is to engage in physical activity. Nitrites may trigger headaches by causing the expansion of blood vessels (56). Therefore, people who get frequent headaches should be mindful of their caffeine intake (44). Aged cheeses, alcohol, chocolate, citrus fruits, and coffee are among the most commonly reported food triggers in people with migraines (1). However, getting too much sleep has also been shown to trigger headaches. Therefore, getting the right amount of rest important for those looking for natural headache prevention (22).

When a headache comes on, you want to do everything you can to make it stop. Medication usually does the trick, but taking medication isn’t something you should make a habit of—and sometimes you just don’t have any handy. Although the study was done on animals, the findings fall in line with other research that’s shown a connection between poor sleep and headaches in people, too, says Dr. Vila. Food sensitivities can trigger headaches—especially migraines, says Dr. Vila. With allergies or intolerances, you could create an inflammatory response as your immune system works to handle the “invader.” That can cause some inflammation in the brain as well, leading to a headache. She has been at Consumer Reports since 2008, covering health and food safety—heavy metals in the food supply and foodborne illness—plus healthcare and prescription drug costs, medical debt, and credit scores.

“Ice packs work because they basically numb the area,” Dr. Newman says. “Hot packs work because they increase the blood flow to that area.” If you’re at home, try stepping in the shower and letting the warm water hit your head. “There’s good evidence that if you do drink caffeine, you need to stay stable on the dose because reducing significantly can precipitate a withdrawal headache,” Dr. Rosen says. Since drinking too many caffeinated beverages can cause headaches in some people, try to average less than 150 milligrams of caffeine per day (about two 8-ounce cups of coffee), he adds.

The pain of a sinus headache is often described as deep and constant. Sudden movements, exercise, and leaning over can make sinus headaches feel worse as these activities increase the pressure on the sinuses. A cluster headache is located on one side of the head, face, or neck and does not switch sides. The pain may become more intense very quickly, often within the first five to 10 minutes. After a migraine, a tension headache is the most common form of headache. Read on to learn more about the varying types of headaches, what causes them, and how you can find relief at home.

“One of the core symptoms of migraines is photosensitivity,” Dr. Rosen says. “Light and noise can be directly impairing.” Distancing yourself from whatever’s exacerbating your pain can help you get back to 100% faster. If you can’t get away, try closing your eyes and relaxing for a moment. Most of us need to drink at least eight cups per day, advises Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, and that number goes up when you factor in heat, sweat, medications, and humidity shifts. “Start your day with a little refreshment in the form of 16 ounces of water — right away,” she says.

Get rid of your headache with acupuncture

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. If you’re interested in taking a ginger supplement, Pure Encapsulations Ginger Extract is a high quality supplement that provides 500 mg of ginger root extract per capsule. Studies suggest that consuming histamine may cause migraines in those who are sensitive to it (25). What’s more, being dehydrated can impair concentration and cause irritability, making your symptoms seem even worse (10).

To make a cold compress, fill a waterproof bag with ice and wrap it in a soft towel. Apply the compress to the back of your neck, your head, or your temples for headache relief. People with obesity, those with sleep disorders, those who smoke, and those with high caffeine intake are more at risk of experiencing headaches. People with a family health history of headaches are more prone to headache disorders too (6, 7, 8). People can try several natural and home remedies to get rid of a headache without using medication.

How to Cure a Headache Without Medication

A study of 400 people who experienced either migraine or tension headaches found that strong odors, especially perfumes, often triggered headaches (51). It also helps increase the effectiveness of common medications used to treat headaches, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen (43). Studies suggest that cold therapy may benefit those experiencing certain types of headaches, including headaches caused by nitrate medication used to treat heart conditions like chest pain (37). Applying cold or frozen compresses to your neck or head area decreases inflammation, slows nerve conduction, and constricts blood vessels, all of which could help reduce headache pain (36). B-complex supplements contain all eight of the B vitamins and are a safe, cost-effective way to naturally treat headache symptoms.

If natural remedies and OTC pain relievers aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to make an appointment, says Dr. Vila. You check your phone, turn back to your laptop, check your phone again, all the while with your tablet right within reach. Removing these from your diet for a few weeks and then re-introducing them one by one might give you some insight about whether they’re a factor.

Essential oils

These kinds of headaches do not only occur with bouts of heavy drinking. Even with light or moderate drinking, alcohol may lead to mild dehydration symptoms in some people or make headaches worse. The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.

However, if you get frequent headaches or your headaches stop you from performing everyday activities, you should discuss the issue with a healthcare professional. While traditional methods such as medications are often necessary, there are many natural and effective ways to prevent and treat headaches if you’re looking for a more holistic approach. To discover whether a certain food is causing frequent headaches, you may consider trying an elimination diet that teen drug abuse removes the foods most related to your headache symptoms. Studies have shown that treatment with supplemental magnesium, in many different doses and forms, may help reduce both the frequency and the severity of migraine headaches (14). Although many medications can be used to treat headache symptoms, a number of effective natural treatments also exist. Vitamin E may relieve headache pain and symptoms from menstrual migraine with a low risk of side effects.