Overview

Be Careful About What You Expose Yourself To

Researches have shown that certain chemicals and foods serve to either trigger a headache or aggravate an already existing one. Your nagging headache might be attributed to any of the factors like amphetamines, caffeine, sodium nitrite, alcohol, carbon tetrachloride, rubber cement, spray adhesives or even ink.

A worker working in a factory where he is in constant contact with fumes and other chemicals might complain of a persistent headache. If a person is working in a poorly ventilated environment then he might suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning. Those, who are employed in ammunition factories, may also complain of headaches. What actually happens is that the fumes in these places cause the blood vessels to dilate and swell thus leading to headaches.

Strong perfumes and loud and irritating noises can also be the cause of suffering in migraneurs. Thus they need to be extra careful.

Even nitrites and nitrates may trigger a vascular headache in certain people. Nitrates are usually found in medications for the heart and in certain chemicals used in the food and beverage industry. Nitrites are used as preservatives in certain foods. They are also present in ammunition factories. Although these chemicals are used in the most minimal of quantities, yet they might trigger reactions in certain susceptible people. So it is important to keep a track of what you are exposing yourself to.

Another common culprit for headaches is the compound Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) usually used in Chinese and oriental food as a flavoring agent and preferred for its meat-flavor inducing properties. Apart from Chinese and oriental cuisine, it is also found in many processed and canned food products. MSG can trigger a reaction as early as within 30 minutes of ingesting the food. So do check the food labels before you buy them from the store.

  The symptoms in this case range from tightness to pressure in the head, face and the chest, and perspiration. One way to minimize the reaction is by having a cup of complex carbohydrates in the form of rice or pasta before the meal.

Many people are addicted to their daily dose of caffeine, a stimulant, found in tea, coffee, colas and also in some products, in which it occurs naturally.

Interestingly, there is a paradoxical phenomenon known as caffeine rebound according to which excess of caffeine can lead to headaches, whereas the recommended dose can lead to relief from the same. That is why it is an important component in many pain-relief medications especially those used for migraine.

Alcohol is a very common culprit leading to intense headaches. A hangover is not uncommon either. It is actually the ethanol found in alcohol that is the real culprit. Firstly, because it is a vasodilator so it may cause headaches in certain patients. Moreover, it is also a diuretic. So it leads to draining of the essential vitamins, minerals and salts from the body.

Apart from ethanol, congeners, which impart a specific taste to the alcoholic beverages, can also be a cause of headaches.

Apart from the above mentioned factors there can be several others that lead to a headache. For example, in some people eggs trigger headaches, in some stress acts as a trigger, and in others, their postures might trigger headaches. The key is to, however, stay away from the triggers as much as possible.