We don’t know what triggers the trigeminal neuron (located in your brain stem, its branches run towards your face), which releases chemicals that signal pain. These trigger the release of serotonin which counteracts the pain signals. People with a slow serotonin response are more likely to get headaches. Depression and sleep disorders, which are also serotonin-related, are two of the most common problems for headache sufferers.
Good To Know
People with depression often notice a decrease in headache frequency and severity when they begin treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). However, serotonin does not give a complete explanation for headaches. We need to do more research to understand the underlying mechanisms. It is possible that your headaches could be caused by an illness in another part your body.
You should consult your doctor if you experience headaches frequently. He will likely recommend a series of tests before determining a diagnosis. You can prevent headaches by identifying and eliminating triggers. To identify your headache triggers, keep a headache diary. When the headache started. What you were doing. Who you were with.
The location of your headache. How you felt (hot, cold and angry, sad, happy or anxious, etc. What and when you last ate. Any thoughts or ideas about what may have caused the headache? What you did/will do in order to relieve the pain and how it worked. What medications you were taking and how much. When the headache stopped. On a scale from 1-10, estimate how much pain you felt during the worst part of the headache.
You should start to see patterns in this log. You might notice a certain food, a person in your life, or they happen at the same time every day. Identifying the problem may be as simple as looking for patterns. Your doctor may be able to help you identify the problem by looking at your diary. What Kinds of Things Cause Headaches?
Chronic headache sufferers are more likely to experience stress and anxiety. These emotions seem to decrease the immune system’s ability to fight off pain. Headaches can be triggered by certain substances, such as nitrites and tyramine, MSG or alcohol. Medications: Nitroglycerin and blood thinners, antiseizure medications, blood thinners, and ulcer treatments.
You might be living or working in an area that is susceptible to noise, glare or other factors that could trigger headaches. Eating and sleeping patterns: Missing meals, not getting enough sleep, or getting too much. Strains: Strained eye, neck, shoulder muscles. Once you know what triggers your headaches and have an idea of the cause, take action. Have fun. It stimulates serotonin release.