03 Feb The inner causes of chronic headache
Headaches are one of the most common problems that affect the daily life of many people. They can affect any person, regardless of age, race and gender and may occur on any part of the head on either side of the head or in a single position.
A headache can occur as a result of stress or some emotional distress. In most cases, this is a minor discomfort that subsides after the person rests or takes an analgesic. However, a significant portion of the population suffers from chronic headaches.
Chronic headache as a symptom of underlying diseases
In order for a headache to be characterized as chronic, it must occur 15 or more days out of the month over a period of more than three months. In this case, the headache may be expressed as a symptom of a medical disorder, such as deficiency of certain vitamins. It is important to emphasize that chronic headache is not only a symptom of the development of a disease, but may itself be the development of a disease.
In any case, like any chronic disease, chronic headaches are caused by the disruption of cellular balance due to metabolic and hormonal dysfunctions. It becomes clear that chronic headache is a complex and multifactorial symptom, which may be an indication of underlying diseases or impending biological risk and has a significant impact on the psychology and daily life of patients.
Types of Headaches
According to the International Headache Society (IHS), headaches are categorized as primary and secondary. Primary ones are not caused by another condition and include migraines, cumulative headaches and hypertension headaches.
On the other hand, secondary headaches are expressed with symptoms of headache that may obscure some underlying cause. These include alcohol consumption, blood clots, carbon monoxide poisoning, brain tumors, bleeding around or in the brain, concussion, dehydration, flu, glaucoma and panic. Nevertheless, it may be attributed to other underlying diseases, either mild or more severe.
The real causes of Chronic Headache
The primary causes of the development of chronic diseases, such as chronic headache, are related to the imbalance of enzymes, hormones and or other biomolecules. Such deficiencies and imbalances result in the biochemical diversion of the metabolic pathways and function of our cells.
In particular, a lack of a nutrient or an accumulated deficiency of micronutrients can be responsible for the onset of chronic headaches. Reduced food intake, low nutritional value of foods, over processed foods and dangerous diets are factors that can be blamed for cell damage and can contribute to the onset of chronic headaches. In particular, chronic headaches are usually due to insufficient levels of magnesium and certain B-complex vitamins.
Environmental and lifestyle factors
In fact, environmental factors, such as toxins and chemical substances that diffuse into the environment and can be stored in the adipose tissue of our cells, play a role in the onset of this chronic disease. Additional factors that may contribute to the presence of chronic headaches include alcohol, stress, sleep disturbances, and changes in weather or barometric pressure.
Scientific research suggests that people with chronic headaches often have hormonal imbalances. For example, cortisol levels in patients with chronic pain have been found to be higher than normal. Furthermore, the decline in estrogen has been associated with the appearance of migraines, which, in fact, are quite common in women shortly before the onset of menstruation or during ovulation.
The gut microbiome and the different combination of bacteria that can increase a person’s sensitivity to certain foods also play an important role in the onset of chronic headaches.
Glycosylation, Methylation, Oxidative stress and Chronic inflammation
Glycosylation, methylation, oxidative stress and the prevalence of chronic inflammation in the human body are complex molecular mechanisms that can contribute to cellular aging if deregulated.
The combination of some or even all of these deregulated mechanisms can alter the structure of the cells and impair the metabolic pathways, with the final consequence of the development of chronic diseases, including chronic headache.
The importance of early diagnosis
Early diagnosis of chronic headache is vital in order to identify the true causes of the condition and develop appropriate therapeutic protocols.
For this reason, people should immediately consult a doctor, if the headache starts suddenly and is accompanied by symptoms such as numbness or weakness in one limb, dizziness, lethargy, nausea, speech or vision problems, difficulty in concentrating, confusion, memory loss, photophobia, neck stiffness and fever.
Furthermore, it is advisable to seek medical advice if the headache starts after exercise or injury, when epileptic seizures and fainting are observed at the same time.
The classic therapeutic approaches for Chronic Headache
The usual medications for headache relief involve the use of analgesics after the onset of symptoms. There are many prescription and over-the-counter medications (painkillers) available that can relieve the pain of headaches.
However, these drugs on the one hand carry the risk of side effects and on the other hand do not provide a definitive cure to the problem. In addition, their excessive and uninterrupted use can cause addiction and in the process lead to the presence of more frequent headaches.
Modern Medical Treatment of Chronic Headache
The clinical context that includes nutritional factors, lifestyle changes, and the simultaneous elimination of the effects of the environment on the evolution of this chronic condition is the Modern Medical Reality. Through specialized diagnostic tests, the inner causes that caused the disease are identified at a cellular level and the appropriate therapies are formed, which are personalized based on the individual needs.
In most cases, what is most important to deal with is nutritional deficiencies, stress, weakened immune systems and hormone imbalances. For this reason, the protocols that are developed include the administration of micro- and macronutrients, restoring the balance of the hormonal system with Natural (Biomimetic) hormones and through a Molecular nutrition program.
With these methods, the immune system is strengthened, inflammations are reduced, the adequacy of nutrients is restored and hormonal and metabolic disorders are targeted. All these contribute to the treatment of chronic headache in a personalized manner.
Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.
Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).
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