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The Link Between Dehydration and Headaches

The Link Between Dehydration and Headaches

The human body needs sufficient fluids to function at its best. In fact, when it’s not getting enough fluids through food and water, it generally lets you know. Dehydration headaches are a great example. 

The trick, though, is determining if dehydration is the root cause of your head pain, or if insufficient fluids are triggering another underlying condition. 

With expertise in headaches, Dr. Halina Snowball can help. Here at Integrated Pain Solutions in Stamford, Connecticut, she works closely with you to identify the root cause of your headache, whether that’s a lack of fluids, a primary headache disorder like migraines, or something else. Then, she tailors a treatment plan to help you find lasting relief. 

If it really is a dehydration headache, simply drinking enough water should bring you relief. 

Identifying a dehydration headache

Dehydration headaches are exactly what they sound like: head pain you develop because your body is low on fluids. You feel this discomfort because your brain shrinks when you aren’t getting enough fluids. That causes your brain to pull away from your skull, putting pressure on nerves and causing your headache. 

People experience dehydration headaches differently, so they can be tricky to pinpoint. The pain might feel like a dull ache or it might be sharp. You might feel it in one part of your head or all over. 

Because the pain itself varies, identifying a dehydration headache often hinges on evaluating any other symptoms you’re experiencing. These headaches might come with:

You can also look at your bathroom habits. If you haven’t needed to pee in a while, it often indicates your body is low in fluids. 

If you think you have a dehydration headache, take some time to rest and sip on water (drinking too much too fast can make you feel ill). As you rehydrate, your brain plumps back to its usual size. You should get relief within a few hours. 

Piecing together your head pain puzzle

While dehydration alone can be enough to trigger head pain, insufficient fluids can also make other underlying conditions worse. Specifically, it can trigger primary headache disorders like migraines and cluster headaches. In other words, the lack of fluids could be the root cause of your head pain, or it could just be exacerbating the actual root of your headache. 

When you make an appointment at our office, Dr. Snowball comes alongside you to understand your headaches, any accompanying symptoms, lifestyle factors that might play a role, and more. She works closely with you to find out what’s behind your head pain.

Then, she tailors treatment to help you get relief. If you have migraine headaches, for example, she might recommend stress management through yoga paired with targeted Botox® injections

Ultimately, dehydration could be to blame for your headache, or it could be just one piece of the puzzle. To get to the root of your head pain so Dr. Snowball can apply treatment, call our office at 203-293-0549 or request an appointment online today.

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