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What's the Link Between Nutrition and Headaches?

What's the Link Between Nutrition and Headaches?

If you regularly treat your headaches with an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, you know that what you put into your body impacts your head pain. 

It’s not just about what happens after the headache strikes. What you eat and drink can also directly affect the frequency and severity of your head pain, especially if you suffer from migraines.

Could nutrition make a difference in your headache? That depends, but we can help you find out. Jason Kouri, MDAminidhan Thakkar, MD, and our team specialize in treating people with headaches. In some cases, that means treating a separate condition that’s at play. In others, helping the person make meaningful lifestyle changes like adjusting their diet can bring relief. 

To find out what’s causing your head pain and get a personalized care plan, visit our Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas team at our offices in Fort Worth, Arlington, Waco, and Wichita Falls, Texas. 

How what you eat and drink affects your head pain

A healthy, balanced diet helps your body function its best, and head comfort is no exception. Foods you probably think of as unhealthy — like fried foods, ones with artificial sweeteners, and processed meats — can all contribute to your headaches. 

Beyond that, food sensitivities can cause headaches. Explore the list of foods that can contribute to head pain and think through what might trigger your own symptoms. Being mindful about what you eat and whether you experience a headache afterward can help you identify problem foods. 

It’s not just about what you eat, either. How much water you drink also plays a direct role in your head pain. You can get a dehydration headache if you aren’t getting enough liquids. 

This happens because the dehydration causes your brain to literally shrink, pulling away from your skull and putting pressure on your nerves. Fortunately, drinking water can generally quickly re-plump your brain and reverse this type of head pain. 

Nutrition and migraines

If you suffer from migraines, nutrition gets extra important. Choosing to eat a minimally processed, whole-food diet can help to keep your symptoms at bay. Certain chemicals added to foods can trigger migraine headaches, so choosing food that’s as close as possible to its natural source helps you steer clear of potential problems. 

Eating smaller meals more regularly may also be helpful. This way, you’re not flooding your body with nutrients that it has to process, taxing your system, and you avoid hunger, which can trigger migraines. 

Whether you get migraines, tension headaches, or other kinds of head pain, it’s well worth looking at what you eat and keeping an eye out for potential triggers. Here at Neuropathy & Pain Centers of Texas, Dr. Kouri and Dr. Thakkar can help. To partner with a team of headache specialists to move toward lasting relief, call the office nearest you or book your appointment online today. 

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