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6 Unlikely Headache Triggers

by Jonathan Gravel

Headaches can really ruin your day. When that pain spreads across your forehead, it can be difficult to focus on anything else. While a cup of chamomile tea may help, or popping a few headache pills, sometimes nothing can shift the pain. However, one of the best ways to cure a headache is to not have one at all. This means avoiding the things that trigger headaches. Knowing the triggers can help you steer clear of them, keeping your head happy and your mind clear.


preview-full-man-headache-computer-120628Obviously, it isn’t always easy to steer clear of stress, especially if you have a busy job or you run a life of mayhem. However, reducing your stress levels reduces the cortisol levels. Cortisol can make you tense, which causes tension in the head. Equally, stress makes your brain send pain signals to the nerves, giving the impression of damage where there is none. It is sort of like a warning signal that forces you to slow down. Try taking a supplement like Relax (Holy Basil) to naturally relieve stress in your life.

Strong smells

Studies have shown that sometimes strong fragrances can cause migraines. It is as though the brain becomes quickly overstimulated and responds with pain. This is because the brain is sending signals really quickly to the nerve cells to respond and overloading them.

Bad posture

Headaches can come from a physical issue such as poor posture. If you sit down at a desk all day, the likelihood is that your muscles are not moving around enough, causing them to stiffen up. This stiffening creates tension which can make your muscles ache as well as your head. As all the muscles are interconnected, making sure that you sit correctly at your desk, while also taking repeated short breaks can help you to feel less tense.


Cheese is simply delicious, but it really isn’t all that great for our bodies. Not only is it hard to digest, it contains a substance called tyramine. The older the cheese, the more tyramine it has in it. Studies have shown that tyramine can induce headaches, especially in people prone to migraines.

Red Wine

There are many things surrounding red wine that cause a headache. Firstly, the alcohol content will dehydrate you and a lack of water causes headaches. This is the reason for your hangover. However, sulfites in the wine also cause headaches as they poison you. This is why there are warning on wine bottles that say they contain sulfites. Moreover, red wine contains thiamine. While alcohol improves circulation, this means that the thiamine can get round the body quicker, which would explain why red wine is worse for triggering headaches than cheese.


preview-full-headache-625_625x350_51441750430Low blood sugar can be a cause of headaches. Although this doesn’t seem obvious at the time, eating usually makes you feel better if your brain is cloudy and you are a little cranky. However, to fix this, try eating something with complex carbohydrates rather than a candy bar. The sugar in a candy bar will peak the blood sugar, you will burn it quickly, then crash directly afterward.

Looking after your mind is important and reducing the stress and tension in your mental and physical body will help to reduce a number of headaches you get. Remember that diet and nutrition play a big role in this too, as people who are obese are 37% more likely to get regular and chronic headaches. Eat well, sleep well, and drink lots of water as all these things keep the whole body functioning effectively.

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