Common Headache Triggers
Emotional Headache Triggers: Stress, depression, anxiety
Physical Headache Triggers: poor posture, menstruation, birth control pills, eye strain, teeth grinding, sleep loss or irregular sleep, dehydration, warm weather, over exertion, sex (seriously), long periods of exertion followed by rest (weekend headaches), strong smells or scents (paint, dust, perfume, cleaning chemicals, flowers), tight-fitting hats, hair bands or hair styles, smoking
Dietary Headache Triggers: skipping meals, too much sugar, too much salt, caffeine overuse or withdrawal, chocolate, foods and beverages containing tyramine (aged cheese, red wine, pickled, smoked, salted or dried meats, all nuts), foods containing nitrates and nitrites (processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, salami, cold cuts), foods containing MSG and other food additive chemicals, miso and soy sauce, citrus fruits, individual food allergies
Obvious Headache Triggers: blunt force trauma to the head, unsolicited sexual advances from a horny spouse, Fox News, warm beer, the Chicago Cubs…etc.
Natural and Alternative Headache Cures
Riboflavin (vitamin B-2). Yes, if you take a riboflavin supplement your urine will glow supernaturally, inspiring both fear and awe in the syphilitic mind of the nosy creep using the adjoining urinal. But that isn't its only benefit! Limited studies have shown high doses (400 mg once daily) of B-2 to be an effective preventive treatment for migraines.
Biofeedback. The failing school district I used to work for would bring in biofeedback specialists in an effort to keep staff from mass suicide. At first I thought it was new age crystal energy nonsense, but over the past few years I keep finding positive articles about this form of relaxation and body control training in much-respected medical sources. Once schooled in biofeedback, you'll learn to become aware of and change responses to stress and toil, such as tense muscles, body temperature, and heart rate.
Physical therapy. If you are suffering chronic tension headaches you may benefit from physical therapy. Over a period of therapy sessions, you will receive treatments as well as learn exercises and stretches to heal and strengthen tight or weakened muscles and correct poor posture habits.
Magnesium sulfate. Though more studies are needed, there is some evidence that magnesium may reduce the frequency and harshness of different kinds of headaches – particularly migraines. Research has shown that many people who suffer migraines also have a magnesium deficiency. This deficiency is particularly profound in women who experience headaches before and during menstruation. Dosage recommendations are around 200-600mg daily; however, it is important to talk things over with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
Butterbur. The herb butterbur has been shown in limited studies to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches and other headaches for some individuals. Butterbur is usually taken twice daily at a dose of 75 mg. Look for products that contain 15% petasin (active ingredient) and are PA (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) free.