The three most common primary headaches are:
If you’ve experienced a migraine, you already know that it can feel like the gray matter of your brains is going to ooze out of your head. This is the disabling mother of all headaches. It may come with add-ons of nausea, tingling in your limbs, an aura (light flashes), an ammonia smell or tingling beforehand.
Migraines occur in 17 percent of women and 6 percent of men. There are many links to migraines: stress, coffee, chocolate, medicine, a change in sleeping pattern or weather.
There actually appears to be survival value to migraines. People who get them tend to be meticulous and acutely aware of their environments. This makes them extra sensitive to pain and everything around them. Way back when, it came in handy when people could use their sixth sense to intuit whether predators or dangers were threatening their tribe.
Today, it seems that many women have migraines when there’s a fluctuation of estrogen. This happens before or after their periods, during the first trimester of pregnancy, postpartum and perimenopause.
Great sex is reported to make migraines better, if you feel good enough for it!
WATCH VIDEO: The Three Types of Headaches
Nine out of 10 women (and seven out of 10 men) experience a tension headache during their lives. It’s one of the most common pains around. The good news: It’s usually not there all the time and it’s usually mild to moderate, compared to migraine pain.
It used to be thought that tension headaches came from muscle tension. Now it’s believed that these headaches happen with fluctuations in endorphins and serotonin, which activate pain pathways in the brain.
These headaches have a ton of triggers: stress, bad posture, clenching your teeth, medications, being sluggish and skipping meals and sleep. Isolate these triggers so you can pinpoint the cause and avoid it.
The least common of major headaches comes with little warning, and in bunches. The pain is sharp, burning and excruciating within minutes. Some people describe it as a hot poker in the eye.
Lovely, we know. The pain may come with excessive tearing, stuffy or running nose, red eye and sweating. This is because the neurologic cacophony of the cluster headache often switches on your autopilot nervous system.
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