Headaches can be annoying and some can be very painful, but luckily most are not the sign of a serious illness. In fact, one common cause of headache is simply dehydration.
We live busy lives and sometimes work so hard we forget to take breaks. Our body needs to balance the amount of fluid we take in with the amount of fluid we let out through exhalation, sweating and urination. When we let out more than we take in, the result is dehydration, and even mild dehydration can cause a headache.
A dehydration headache can be tough to distinguish from other headaches. Pain could be mild to intense and can occur in the front, back or sides of the head. An easy way to tell if your headache is from dehydration is to drink one or two cups of water and see if your pain lessens or goes away completely.
Here are a few factors that could be causing a dehydration headache:
If you work or exercise outside on hot, humid and sunny days, be sure to take in extra fluids. Keep a water bottle nearby and be sure to drink non-caffeinated fluids during each break.
One of the reasons alcohol gives people a headache is that it dehydrates you. Alternating a glass of alcohol with a glass of water is an easy way to prevent dehydration and lessen the chance you will wake up with a headache the next day.
If you are sick and dealing with vomiting or loss of appetite, you may end up being dehydrated. Drink clear fluids such as water, juice with no pulp (like apple or grape juice) or clear broth as opposed to beef-based broths.
If you live in the mountains or at higher altitudes above sea level, you probably have already adjusted your lifestyle to incorporate more fluids. However, if you’re vacationing in the mountains, know that being at a higher altitude can cause you to lose more fluids more quickly, even just through breathing. Bring more water than you think you’ll need.
Chronic health conditions and medications
Certain health conditions (such as diabetes) and medications can put you more at risk for dehydration. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the effects your health condition and medications can have on you.
While replenishing fluids is the only way to cure your dehydration headache, if the pain is intense, you can take Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® or Goody’s® Extra Strength Headache Powder for fast pain relief, as you continue to put more fluids into you.