Not Tonight, I Have A Headache
Headaches have been thought to be a minor predicament; but research has shown that there is reason to be concerned about the consequences they bring.
According to the American Council for Headache Education, during the past year, 95% of women and 90% of men have suffered from a headache. In order to combat these headaches, Americans spend in excess of $4 billion annually on over-the-counter pain relievers. Further, headaches decrease productivity in the workplace and increase absenteeism in schools. In fact, migraine headache sufferers lose more than 157 million workdays a year!
Researchers believe that women may be more prone to headaches than men. One reason is the fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone occurring during the menstrual cycle. Hormone levels play a large part in the occurrence of headaches. Women often report fewer migraines during pregnancy due to more consistent hormonal levels. Since hormonal levels decline after menopause, post-menopausal women have fewer headaches. Migraines are sometimes reported to increase when taking oral contraceptives.
Currently, no definite cure or prevention of headaches is known. Two things women can do to help reduce the onset of a headache or lessen its effects are to get proper exercise and avoid “triggers” causing headaches. Although some of these triggers are outside one’s control, women need to be aware of what they are. They include, but are not limited to, premenstrual syndrome, chocolate, alcohol and changes in the weather.
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