Thursday, March 7, 2013

Headache Tip

Yesterday I had a bad headache. I've been having neck and shoulder issues for a while now and I was sure my pain was related to that. I was wrong. After being in pain for a couple of hours, I remembered the wise words of my daughter Dawn, "Mom, when you get a headache - drink water. A headache is a signal to your brain that you are dehydrated". I immediately downed a glass and a half of water and waited about 30 minutes and my headache was gone. Some of my neck and shoulder pain was eased and I wasn't hearing any crinkling from those joints - the water lubricated those joints.

When a lot of people get a headache, they immediately reach for the  pill bottle - they don't think about dehydration. In today's world of being on the go and eating fast foods, a lot of us reach for sodas or energy drinks to quench our thirst and don't think about drinking water. Drinking sodas or energy drinks can contribute to headaches because of the sugar and other chemical content that's in those drinks.

I was born and raised in Hawaii, and for all of my adult life there, I drank Diet Pepsi day and night - I hated water, never drank it unless there was nothing else. I know a lot of people who just don't like water. Well I didn't know that the aspartame in the soda, coupled with the Hawaii heat was why I was sick all the time - I was constantly getting headaches. It wasn't until years after moving to Washington State that an email went around talking about diet sodas and aspartame. The email basically said, "Aspartame stored at high temperatures turns into formaldehyde". That sent an immediate signal to my brain that I needed to stop drinking diet sodas, and it was then that I realized that most my headaches I got in Hawaii were from not drinking enough water. I have since stopped drinking sodas - I only indulge in a lemon lime soda when my tummy is upset, and now, I only drink water.

Not only will drinking water keep you hydrated, it can also alleviate a lot of pain by keeping your joints lubricated and it can also curb your hunger. If you don't like water or it tastes bland to you, adding fruits, veggies and herbs can greatly enhance the flavor to make it more appealing. The best way to drink water on the go is to get a BPA free water bottle (sold at most outdoor or big box stores), and filter your water. This will eliminate plastic bottles filling up our landfills.

So the next time you get a headache, reach for a water bottle instead of the pill bottle. How much water should you drink in a day? Go here to figure out how much water you should be drinking based on your weight and answering some other questions. If after drinking water, your head still hurts and you have these symptomscall  your doctor - you need medical attention, something that water cannot help.

Drink Water My Friends!

 Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!

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