Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Breathing ?
Which of the following health conditions is not directly benefited by breathing exercises?
Anxiety
Fatigue
Diabetes
High blood pressure

 
 
 Medical Self-Care: Women's Health: Headaches 
 

The most common type of headaches women get include:

  • Tension or muscular headaches. Unconscious tensing of the face, neck or scalp muscles produces a dull, relentless ache. You feel the pressure in your forehead, temples or around the back of the head where the muscles of your upper back attach. Lack of sleep or stress can trigger tension headaches. Doing tedious work or reading a lot may cause muscular headaches. This type of headache can be treated with self-care procedures. (See page 33).
  • Migraine headaches. These tend to run in families and affect nearly 30% of all women at some time. A migraine usually starts as a throbbing pain on one side of the head and then spreads throughout the face and head. It can be severe and last for several days. Vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, flashing spots, sensitivity to light and ringing in the ears can accompany migraines.

Things that can trigger migraine headaches in women include:

  • Changing hormone levels.
  • Use of birth control pills.
  • Days before, during and after menstrual periods.
  • Food allergies.
  • Psychological stress.
  • Inadequate diet, such as skipping meals.

Migraines occur less often during pregnancy (especially the second half) and often disappear during menopause. Some women though, may get migraines for the first time during menopause. Migraines can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and other self-care procedures (See page 33) or may need prescription medicine.

Sinus headaches are characterized by pain in the face covering the sinus areas. These areas are located in the upper cheekbones, forehead and the bridge of your nose. Inflammation and fluid buildup cause the pain and bending over or touching the affected area seems to aggravate it. Colds, allergies, air pollution and other respiratory problems can trigger a sinus headache. Sinus headaches can often be treated with self-care procedures or by using over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, etc. (See self-care procedures on page 33). Prescription medicine may also be needed if these measures don’t bring relief or if you have a sinus infection that requires antibiotics.

Other common headaches women get are those linked to the menstrual cycle, menopause, viral infections, low blood sugar and uncorrected vision. Fortunately, these common types are not serious. Headaches that result from a blood clot, tumor or ruptured blood vessel (aneurysm) in the head are serious and need immediate attention. These headaches can be severe, last several days, gain in intensity and have other symptoms.

Questions to ask:

Is the headache associated with a serious head injury?Yes: Seek Care
No
Is the headache associated with pain in one eye, blurred vision, double vision, slurring of speech, mental confusion, personality change or problem in moving arms or legs?Yes: Seek Care
No
Is the headache associated with fever, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and a stiff neck?Yes: Seek Care
No
Has the headache come on suddenly and is it more serious than others you have had?Yes:See Doctor
No
Has the headache occurred at the same time of day, week or month?Yes:Call Doctor
No
Self-Care

Self-Care Procedures

For on-the-spot headache relief:

  • Rest in a quiet, dark room with your eyes closed.
  • Massage the base of your skull with your thumbs. Work from the ears toward the center of the back of your head. Massage both temples gently.
  • Take hot baths.
  • Place cold washcloths over your eyes.
  • Take the recommended dose of aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Do so at the beginning of the headache.

    [Note: Do not give aspirin or any medication containing salicylates to anyone 19 years of age or younger unless directed by a physician due to its association with Reye’s Syndrome, a potentially fatal condition.]

  • Practice a relaxation technique, such as visualizing a serene setting, meditating or deep breathing.
  • Get a gentle foot massage. Acupuncture points for headaches are found in the feet.
  • Keep a headache journal that records when, where and why headaches seem to occur.
  • Note early symptoms and try to abort a headache in its earliest stages.
  • Exercise regularly. This seems to keep headaches at bay.
  • Avoid scents that you know trigger headaches for you. These may be perfume, tobacco smoke, paint, varnish or gasoline fumes.
  • Eat 5-6 small meals instead of 3 large meals. Don’t skip meals and avoid sweets to ward off low blood sugar.
  • Avoid foods known to trigger headaches in sensitive people. Particularly troublesome food items may include:
    • Aged, canned, cured or processed meat such as bologna, ham, hot dogs and sausage.
    • Alcohol, especially wines.
    • Aspartame (artificial sweetener in NutraSweetâ).
    • Bananas (limit to 1/2 banana a day).
    • Caffeine from coffee, tea, cola and other soft drinks, chocolate, cocoa and some medications.
    • Cheese, especially aged ones such as cheddar.
    • Citrus fruit (limit to 1/2 cup a day).
    • Food additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).
    • Nuts and peanut butter.
    • Onions.
    • Pickled and preserved foods such as olives.
    • Sauerkraut.
    • Sour cream.
    • Soy sauce.
    • Vinegar.
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
 
 From Our Friends
 

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Stevia      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Healthy Products       Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar