Stop Your Splitting Headache
Millions of Americans suffer excruciating headache pain on a daily basis and taking another aspirin isn’t doing the trick. One doctor explains the pain should not be ignored because headaches can be the body’s first red flag something more serious could be wrong.
Nicki Crider’s headaches have been so bad she’s stayed in bed for days, even missed work. “I’ve been having headaches daily since I was 13,” she says.
Carol Foster, M.D., neurologist at the Valley Neurological Headache and Research Center in Phoenix, says headaches are basically your brain cells being over-stimulated. Over-excitement, stress, lack of sleep or exercise, and a bad diet can all lead to pounding pain.
Crider says, “Watching what I eat seems to have made a significant difference. I have stayed away from things with soy in them, things with MSG, and things with any kind of additives.”
Dr. Foster believes continued use of over-the-counter drugs can desensitize the brain, in effect causing more headaches. “On every little brain cell there’s going to be a place where this drug goes and sits there and either turns that brain cell on or off,” she says. “We believe the continued use of these drugs make those parking places less sensitive, so your natural pain fighting chemicals are not as effective.”
She also says there are currently seven prescription drugs to relieve the pain.
Crider says her headaches have dramatically decreased due to one of those drugs and lifestyle changes. So the next time your head is pounding, consider calling your doctor before doctoring yourself. Dr. Foster strongly recommends serious headache sufferers first get a thorough physical. Painful headaches are also a red flag for brain tumors, liver disease, or a thyroid problem.