Most people often confuse with Migraines. Due to their similarity, at times it is extremely hard to tell them apart. A headache is caused by constriction of the vessels that carry blood, the dilation and constriction of these vessels release inflammatory substances that cause pain. The pain can be severe or mild and it could last for a few hours or a week. It may be experienced twice a month.
Migraines on the other hand cause a constant throbbing of the head shifting from one side to the other. While pregnancy headaches are common throughout the pregnancy period, you may want to look out for the following symptoms, which are characteristics of migraine:
- Dizzy spells
- Changing body temperature
- Light sensitivity
- Irritation to noise or smell
- Poor eating habits
- Extreme head pain that seems to affect the whole head or shifts from side to side
- Feeling of tiredness
- One may look pale
- Experiencing of abdominal pain, stomach upsets which may be accompanied with nausea and vomiting.
As evidenced from the features of migraines a headache is something not to take lightly. Another reason why you should not take the pregnancy headaches lightly is that research has shown that while 90% of headaches are migraines or tension based, the remaining 10% may be symptoms of neurological conditions, which rank as the third cause of death among pregnant women.
Migraines are known to increase the risk of eclampsia which is a condition characterized by fluid retention. Severe ones also cause vision problems, pain below the ribs and may even cause serious complications. Since it is difficult to ascertain a migraine while pregnant, make sure you are not silent about any pregnancy headaches. Consult with your physician to ascertain if he can carry out imaging of the brain to rule out any neurological problems.
However, while pregnant you may get many discomforts while the body is trying to adjust to the new changes that come with it. Back pain, which is the most severe of the pains during pregnancy, may be accompanied with sore feet, change in appetite and eating habits, nausea and varying emotional changes. Pregnancy headaches may also be part of this package.
Below are some of the causes of headaches
Pregnancy headaches due to tensions
When pregnant the body may become stressed especially during the first trimester due to a lot of changes and adaptation to accommodate the new unborn child. During this time, you may also battle with nausea causing the body to react and resist the change causing a lot of change, which ultimately leads to a headache. To deal with this kind of headache you need to break the tension by practicing relaxation techniques. Meditation and yoga are highly recommended but if you are not into them, you may consider taking up an activity that relaxes you.
Pregnancy headaches caused by hormonal changes
Estrogen and Progesterone are two key hormones working together to sustain the pregnancy. They adjusting from low levels to high levels cause you to have varied emotions during this period. This also explains why you may find yourself crying for no apparent reason, desiring specific things, temperature changes within your body and headache. Progesterone helps to relax your uterus (womb) and the blood vessels in your body including those in your head and neck blood pounds through these veins causing you to have headache. To avert this, it is advised that you improve your nutrition and eat mood-boosting foods such proteins, whole meals food in saturated low saturated fats and plenty of fruit and vegetables. A brisk walk will also help boost your mood and leave you refreshed.
Pregnancy headaches resulting from fall in blood sugar levels
One way of knowing that the pregnancy headache you have is caused by a fall in blood sugar levels is if it occurs at a specific time. This can be for example in the afternoon at a specific time even if you are not doing strenuous work. This implies that your doses of energy are being depleted and you may want to boost your energy by having an energy drink just before the time the pregnancy headaches recur.
Pregnancy headaches as an aftermath of withdrawal symptom
While pregnant one may be advised by the physician not to indulge in specific foods like excessive sugars, some stimulants like coffee and to stop smoking. If you are battling to stop the foods and items recommended by your doctor, you may find yourself having a headache. You may want to consult with your physician on alternatives and indulge in good eating habits that will help.
Pregnancy headaches as result of triggers
At times, you may find yourself eating the right kids of food, exercising and even practicing good habits as recommended by your physician but you find yourself with a headache when something happens. Researchers cite that while pregnant one is extremely sensitive to sound, light, noises specific smells agitate you and you find yourself having a headache. This is normal and it is recommended that you find yourself a silent place or a safe haven where you can retreat. Other factors that can contribute to headaches will pregnant include, increased blood volume and circulation, poor posture, wearing incorrect bra size, dehydration, nutrition, stress and high blood pressure. Regardless of how mild the pregnancy headaches are, do not keep silent about it and if pain persists, seek medical attention.
Continue reading How to Get Rid Of Pregnancy Headaches without Medication