Is there any real possible connection between tension headaches and vitamins? The answer to this question is a very definitive yes; however, it goes far beyond a deficiency of vitamin D. Although there are several very effective treatments for this form of headache, if it becomes chronic, maybe it is time for you to try another approach for two reasons.
The first is that if you take large amounts of some of the traditional pain medications they can have serious side effects, and the second is that you need to attack the underlying cause that may be interfering with your brains ability to communicate.
What are they?
In fully building the connection between tension headaches and vitamins, it is very helpful to understand exactly what they are, the early warning signs, what can trigger it, and which vitamins can help and why they help.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and they can very often be confused with a migraine in some cases, but there are several major differences. With a migraine, you will also have visual disturbances such as flashing spots or areas of light, as well as nausea and vomiting in most cases, but it is very rare that this will ever occur with this form of headache. Instead, this form will be a mild to moderate pain that will literally feel like you have a tight band wrapped around your head, and although tension can certainly be one of the trigger points, it gets its name from this sensation, not from tension that may set it off.
For several years the medical community suggested that a muscle contraction that caused the sensitive of tension was the underlying cause, however, this is no longer the case. In fact, the only real consensus is that they do not know or understand that actual cause. However, what is understood are the warning signs and the symptoms.
Connecting tension headaches and vitamins continues with the warning signs and the symptoms that will develop and the first is the most obvious; a very dull aching pain in your head. Once this has started, you will next have the sensation of pressure as well as tightness in three places; your forehead, the sides of your head, as well as in the back of your head. If this was not bad enough, the next series of symptoms will develop and they include tenderness on your scalp as well as your shoulder and neck muscles. In some cases, you may also lose any type of an appetite, although this is not very common.
This form of headache can last for only 30 to 60 minutes in most cases, although it can also last for as long as seven days if it is severe enough. If you suffer from these symptoms for more than a couple of times each month, is has passed form what is referred to as episodic stage as it has now become chronic. In most all cases, the actual pain never reaches a severe state, but it is nonetheless very painful and troubling to you. However, there is something that everyone that suffers from any type of headache should be aware of; when to seek emergency treatment.
The symptoms of this most common type of headache do not vary or change, and if you experience any of the flowing symptoms it is not this type of headache and you should seek emergency medical help. This includes a very abrupt headache that is often described as a thunderbolt or someone hitting you with a blunt object, a headache with a very high fever, any type of confusion or vision problems, as well as one that affects your ability to speak. It will also include a headache that is prompted by any type of exertion or sudden movement.
Causes and Trigger Points:
The connection between tension headaches and vitamins continues with the potential causes as well as what can trigger them. For years the medical community felt that this form of headache was the result of muscle contractions that occurred in your face and or neck, as was triggered by some type of stress or emotion. However, after years of research, this could never be documented and the new theories are where the connection between this form of headache and nutrients begin to emerge.
There are new theories that are emerging that support the facts there is some type of an interference with your brains signals and your nerve pathways for one very basic reason; a much higher sensitivity to pain during this form of headache. These mixed signals are then involved in increasing your muscle tenderness, which in turn, causes your pain receptors too actually over react. There also seem to be some very definitive issues that can trigger these signals, and they include stress, anxiety, and depression.
Tension Headaches and Vitamins:
The connection between tension headaches and vitamins begins with vitamin D, as a deficiency of this nutrient is commonly found in people that suffer from this common form of headache. In numerous clinical tests when patients were given vitamin D and calcium supplements, the symptoms dramatically improved. However, there is still no confirmed reason why this nutrient actually helps to do this and does not explain the interruption of brain signals being sent to your nerves.
This is why the next connection with tension headaches and vitamins is gaining so much momentum; the B class of nutrients. Leading the list is vitamin B1, also referred to as thiamin. This nutrient is critical in making energy available to your brain, and if you are deficient of this nutrient, it can not only cause the death of several of your brain cells, it can also easily alter your moods and trigger anxiety as well as depression, which is exactly what is believed to trigger this form of headache.
Next on the list is vitamin B-2, or riboflavin. A deficiency of this nutrient has for several years been linked to migraine headaches, especially the blasts of light you experience, as a deficiency of it can cause your eyes to become very sensitive. However, it is also essential in transforming your amino acids into chemicals called neurotransmitters, which are very important to both your memory and thinking abilities.
However, the real power players with tension headaches and vitamins appear to be with B-6 and B-12.
B-6 is absolutely critical in your brain functions, as it is essential in creating neurotransmitters, and these are the chemicals that allow your brain cells to communicate with each other. B-12 is the key nutrient in your body in creating what is called your myelin, which is the fatty sheath that actually insulates your nerve fibers.
It can best be described as the nutrient that literally keeps the electrical impulses moving through your body, and if you are deficient of this vitamin, in can easily cause your pain perception to become altered, as well as numbness and tingling to occur. However, a deficiency also raises your blood levels of another substance referred to as homocysteine, which can be toxic in high doses to your brain cells, and is believed to be one of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
The connections between tension headaches and vitamins are extensive and go much further than just a deficiency of vitamin D. If you suffer from more than occasional bouts of this form of headache, maybe it is time to take another approach other than feeding it with pain relievers, and turn to B-vitamins.
|I am an avid lover of pets and my wife and I have had several pets throughout our years. We are especially fond of dogs, and we have a 12 year old Dalmatian (our 3rd) and a “mutt” that we rescued when someone threw him away to die in a vacant field.
He found us, nearly starved to death, and weighed about 2 pounds.
After severe bouts of mange and severe dehydration, and over 1,000.00 in veterinarian bills, we saved the little guys life, and he is one of the best, if not the best, dogs we have ever had and today is a muscular, fit, and firm 70 pound best friend.
After finishing my MBA, which at middle age was not easy, I decided to keep the research work ethics that I acquired, and devote about two hours each night in understanding the health benefits of supplementation for both humans and pets and how they might strengthen our, as well as our pets, immune system in a pre-emptive approach to health rather than a reactionary approach.
Both of my daughters are avid cat lovers, and asked me to help them with health concerns and challenges with their cats.
I am not a veterinarian nor claim to be, just a lover of pets that loves to research and pass on some knowledge that might be helpful, or at least stimulating to the thought process.