PSYCHOLOGY OF OUR PHYSIOLOGYHarmful Headaches- 6 Root Causes & Remedies

Harmful Headaches- 6 Root Causes & Remedies

Headaches – Root Causes & Remedies

Headaches are deeply destroying!  There was a time many years ago, when my headaches were so blinding, that I spent the entire evening walking around with a wet cloth tied to my forehead. That was the only way I could cope with the pain. Without that cloth, I felt that I would simply fall down and pass out.

The mistake I made back then was to keep asking myself how I could fix my headache. Not once did I thought to ask myself what were the root causes of my headache. That was the reason that I failed in treating it for years. And then, it changed suddenly. 

How can you get to the root of your headaches?

Functional nutrition gets deep into personalised clinical assessment to understand what are the root causes of headaches. As a general idea, some of the root causes of a headache, especially if they are frequent and perpetuating, are listed below. Do understand that they might vary person to person.

Often times people might refer you to a Neurologist, but the thing to understand is that the root causes or causes of your headaches may not be within your head at all.

Let me take you through some of the root causes so that you can then understand the simple ways in which you can begin to support yourself. Remember that doing a little bit regularly is much better that promised remedies from a short term magical cure.

headaches

Can you eat to cure your headaches?

What are some of the root causes of a headache in your body?

Headaches can have multiple roots, yet, some of them might be interconnected as well.

Blood Sugar Imbalance: This is so common, with the solution being simple, yet hardly anyone gives it the importance that it deserves. Your body regulates glucose in your bloodstream very carefully. Sudden spikes caused by too much sugar or starch or imbalanced meals without fats and proteins, causes a sugar spike and a subsequent crash.

When blood sugar is too high, insulin response gets weak. Cortisol is also released, which is the stress hromone. When blood sugar is not stable and keeps peaking and crashing, one of the most common symptoms is a headache. I’ve learned from clincial practice, while closely monitoring blood sugar of clients, that more of them are super sensitive than they think they are.

headaches

Inflammation can cause headaches

Chronic Inflammation: Eating highly inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy and sugar on a regular basis, can be the simplest reason for headaches. Giving yourself even a few weeks of an elimination diet can result in reduced inflammation and less headaches.

Finding specific food allerges can also be helpful, but the common mistakes that most practitioners make is to do extensive allergy tests, where the results are in fact flawed when you test at a time where overall inflammation is very high. Simple elimination can be a better approach.

Toxic Overload: When you are allowing excessive toxic overload from frequent hair colouring, perfumes and even petrol fumes, your liver gets congested and then starts to buildup on metabolites such as estrogen and cortisol. These then start to behave like endogenous toxins, further aggravating the picture.

In clincical practice, I make sure that clients, especially women, first reduce the load from outside like chemical hair colours, before even working on the inside. If you would like to have a deep clincial assessment and a personalised bioindividual detoxification contact us. General cleanses will likely not benefit you.

Hormone Imbalance: Low progesterone and estrogen dominance can be a major reason for headaches that go along with different phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Low progesterone can be triggered by age, liver congestion, anti-depressants, high stress, excessive alcohol, nutrient deficiencies, poor sleep and high sugar diets.

In stress, your body also does not require an active reproductive system, so it can cause challenges with fertility. In women, since cortisol and progesterone are manufactured from the same cholesterol, in stress, the body prioritises cortisol over progesterone, so that might cause a lack of ovulation and insufficient progesterone, which then causes anxiety.

Poor Omega-3 Status: This is also a common challenge in restrictive diets. If you are on a diet which provides you inadequate levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids, then headaches can be a problem. It can cause congestion in your glymphatic system, which is the waste disposal system of your brain, and cause brain fog as well.

If you do have ethical reasons for not consuming fish, then you need to make sure that you get algae as a replacement. Multiple studies found the link between headaches and poor omega-3 status.

Phenols in Foods: Phenols are compounds comprising salicylates, histamines and glutamates. Glutamates can be a big trigger for headaches. Most people are only aware of MSG in chinese foods, but glutamates are also found in common foods such as yeast, soy sauce, vegemite, sauerkraut, gelatine, peas, corn and tomatoes.

In many people, certain genetic predispositions prevent metabolism of these compounds leading to symptoms such as a headache. Sensitivity can also be increased by deficiency of many B Vitamins.

How can you address the root causes of a headache and protect your body to get beyond a headache?

Improve Blood Sugar Balance: Fat, fibre, protein and colour is my mantra. While analysing daily meals of clients, I found it was far more common to have meals devoid of blood sugar balance than I thought. Make sure that every single meal has enough fat, fibre, protein and vegetables, and the starch or sugar is very low. In traditional meals, avoid skipping components that then impact blood sugar balance.

headaches

Eat to cure headaches

Reduce Inflammation: Try a four week elimination diet wthout gluten, dairy and sugar. Track your foods and your symptoms throughout and support yourself with ample phytonutrients and vitmains so that there are no deficiencies. You can get my Vibrant Vitamins Mighty Minerals E-Book here.

Remove Chemical Hair Colours: This one thing alone can be immensely helpful in getting over headaches. Hair colours are loaded with toxic chemicals that are a major root cause of many other health challenges. Either throw them out, or find natural options for yourself.

Address Hormonal Imbalance: You can begin to do this by reducing stress, getting better sleep, eating more phytonutrients and seeing that you are not eating a low fat diet. The low fat diet is a dangerous one for hormone health. Clinical assessment can actually show women with frequent headaches having poor cholesterol status, where cholesterol is the building block of your hormones.

Increase Omega-3: If you are open to eating animal protein, then increasing fresh wild caught fish and free range eggs can be helpful, not just for omega-3 but also for Choline, another important nutrient. If you have ethical reasons, then you have to get ample algal sources.

If you have been on algal sources for a long time and still suffer from headaches, experimenting with some animal sources to see if that changes can be beneficial.

Reduce Glutamates: Try a short period of reducing glutamates. These include yeast, soy sauce, vegemite, sauerkraut, gelatine, peas, corn, tomatoes and parmesan as well. Reducing fermented foods can also help.

I know that the general trend is to advice fermented foods for gut health, but I am always cautious of this generalised advice by health practitioners, who do not take individual sensitivites seriously, and more people are sensitive to these than you might think. I only suggest trying a short phase to see if anything shifts for you.

My Headache Curing Plate:

Here’s my headache curing plate, which helps me to deal with headaches much better.

  1. Fats – Half an avocado with ample olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Protein – Two free range eggs in ghee, a slice of fish or a bowl of hummus.
  3. Vegetables – Purple cabbage, leafy greens, apples and redcarrot shredded into a salad with roast cashew nuts. 
  4. Drink – Elixer of ground green pumpkin seeds, mint, raw honey and coconut milk.

Taking fifteen minutes in your day to put this together is not challenging at all, and beats ordering from anywhere. Isn’t taking that little bit of time in your day worth all the positive change this can do for you? Let me know!

headaches

1 Comment

  • Aruna Suresh

    Dear Deepa, I found this very useful Thanks Aruna

Comments are closed.

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#testimonial Deepa's detailed approach and calm demeanour makes you feel you are in the hands of a healer. She is extremely knowledgeable and I can lean on her expertise. She answered all my queries. Highly recommend Phytothrive. Deepa has extensive knowledge in functional nutrition and wholistic wellness - her approach is deep rooted and methodical. It was truly life changing for me! I have learned so much from Deepa. I am able to better understand the why's and how's of eating for a healthy mind and body. I had chronic inflammation, insomnia and pain when I started consulting with Deepa. These eight months have been therapeutic in so many ways. I do feel empowered by the knowledge and tools that Deepa has painstakingly explained through her detailed notes and chats. I am really grateful for her guidance.

Sridevi #cleanliving #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #holistichealth #holisticmedicine #intuitiveliving #mindbodygreen #liveinspired #mindandbody #mindfulliving #nourishyourself #mindbodyspirit #nutrition #nutritionexpert #foodasmedicine #integrativenutrition #holisticnutrition #immunityboost #gutbrainconnection #healthyfoodadvice #nutrientdense #nourishtoflourish #microbiome #nutritionbloggers #healersofinstagram #healingjourney #youaremagic #youarepowerful #manifestyourlife @himalayan.yogi @mysleepwhisperer
...

#cleanliving #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #holistichealth #holisticmedicine #intuitiveliving #mindbodygreen #liveinspired #mindandbody #mindfulliving #nourishyourself #mindbodyspirit #nutrition #nutritionexpert #foodasmedicine #integrativenutrition #holisticnutrition #immunityboost #gutbrainconnection #healthyfoodadvice #nutrientdense #nourishtoflourish #microbiome #nutritionbloggers #healersofinstagram #healingjourney #youaremagic #youarepowerful #manifestyourlife #positiveintentions via @mysleepwhisperer @himalayan.yogi ...

Truth is tricky. It’s so easy to try a new diet or protocol and slip into denial over symptoms that arise. A classic version of this is missing a period after intermittent fasting but trying to ignore it. For a woman your cycle is as vital in information as a lab test!⁣


💛☸️💮💜💛⚛️💮💜💛⚛️💮💜💛⚛️⁣


Have you tried a new diet or protocol and ever convinced yourself that it’s working for you just because you’ve lost a lot of weight? Weight loss has become the highest parameter of efficacy even when there is chaos happening within which can include and not limited to:⁣

💛Frequent headaches ⁣

☸️Dysfunctional cycle⁣

💮Low iron or B12 within few months⁣

💜Frequent fevers and coughs⁣

💛Bad skin⁣

☸️Poor quality of sleep even if you are sleeping nine hours⁣

💮Mood fluctuation that includes anger, sadness and overwhelm⁣


💛☸️💮💜💛☸️💮💜💛☸️💮💜💛☸️⁣


Weight loss should not be enough if all this is happening as well. Health should come before anything else.⁣

#womenempoweringwomen #womenforwomen #womenoftheworld #womenstrong #empowerher #womenofimpact #sheinspiresme #holistichealing #holistichealth #holisticwellness #naturalhealth #naturalwellness #gutmicrobiome #nourishtoflourish #holisticnutritionist #integrativenutrition #foodasmedicine #foodmedicine #eatwholefoods #hormonebalance #hormonehealth #womenwellness #naturalmedicine #integrativehealth #microbiome #eatforhealth #immunityboost #healthyfoodadvice #healthyfoodguide #goodnutrition via @phytothrive_yogini @himalayan.yogi
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Fasting is great! But I’m seeing a lot of people who are unable to get benefits from this ancient practice. My guess is that this has a lot to do with sequence, present diet, level of stress and what’s happening within their body.⁣


💙❤️🤍💙❤️🤍💙🤍💙❤️🤍💙❤️🤍⁣


Some of the indications that the specific fasting approach you are following is not working for you are:⁣

💙Feeling more stressed and having poor resilience to stressors around you. This can include feeling weepy, angry or overwhelmed.⁣

💙Struggling with fatigue and forcing yourself to get through the fasting period irrespective of tiredness, dizziness or giddy.⁣

💙One of the greatest signs of impact is struggling with sleep. This can include inability to stay asleep and not being able to stay asleep for enough time.⁣

💙Not getting a period when you have always had a perfect cycle is a huge red flag. If your body thinks that it’s a state of emergency it shuts off reproductive function and you can miss ovulation and menstruation. I’ve actually heard women say they are happy about missing a cycle but this is really dangerous!⁣


💙🤍💙🤍💙🤍💙🤍💙🤍💙🤍💙🤍⁣


Does this mean fasting is not good? Far from it! I call the fasting approach that I use in practice as Strategic Fasting. This refers to using fasting techniques in specific ways at specific times with specific foods in the feeding window. It can be immensely therapeutic provided you bring it in correctly. ⁣




#womenempoweringwomen #womenforwomen #womenoftheworld #womenstrong #empowerher #womenofimpact #sheinspiresme #holistichealing #holistichealth #holisticwellness #naturalhealth #naturalwellness #gutmicrobiome #nourishtoflourish #holisticnutritionist #integrativenutrition #foodasmedicine #foodmedicine #eatwholefoods #hormonebalance #hormonehealth #womenwellness #naturalmedicine #integrativehealth #microbiome #eatforhealth #immunityboost #healthyfoodadvice #healthyfoodguide #goodnutrition via @mysleepwhisperer @himalayan.yogi
...

#cleanliving #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #holistichealth #holisticmedicine #intuitiveliving #mindbodygreen #liveinspired #mindandbody #mindfulliving #nourishyourself #mindbodyspirit #nutrition #nutritionexpert #foodasmedicine #integrativenutrition #holisticnutrition #immunityboost #gutbrainconnection #healthyfoodadvice #nutrientdense #nourishtoflourish #microbiome #nutritionbloggers #healersofinstagram #healingjourney #youaremagic #youarepowerful #manifestyourlife #positiveintentions via @mysleepwhisperer @himalayan.yogi ...

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