What Causes Tension Headaches?
Tension headaches can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'very serious'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnose your symptoms now!
- check your overall health status
- have a doctor review your case (optional)
- identify any nutritional deficiencies
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose tension headaches, we could:
- Research the topic
- Find a doctor with the time
- Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.
Step 1: List all Possible Causes
We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "tension headaches" as a symptom. Here are eight of many possibilities (more below
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
- Magnesium Need
- PMS C
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Low Melatonin
- Allergic Tension
Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist
We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
intolerance of sugars
severe abdominal pain
carbohydrate craving during cycle
history of adolescent acne
allergies as a child
an enlarged nose
craving for salt
unusual vaginal bleeding
being very easily irritated
slightly tight muscles
specific muscle weakness
... and more than 120 others
Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause
A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of tension headaches:
|Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process
Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis
is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.
Do you get Tension Headaches? This is the most common type of headache where a dull, steady ache usually occurs on both sides of the head.
→ No / don't know
→ Probably had some/minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of tension headaches or current tension headaches, The Analyst™
will consider possibilities such as:
Double-blind studies have demonstrated that aspartame causes headaches. [Headache 1988:28(1) pp.10-14, Biological Psychiatry 1993:34(1) pp.13-17, Neurology 1994:44 pp.1787-93.]
Dehydration is an important trigger of migraines and tension headaches. The mechanisms are not entirely clear, but there appear to be several. Dehydration leads to:
- Narrowed blood vessels including those in the brain: A contributing factor for headaches
- Histamine release to induce thirst: Histamine can trigger migraines
- Decreased serotonin production: Changes in serotonin levels can trigger migraines
- Oxidative stress: A major trigger of migraines [Dr. Jonathan M. Borkum, Headache, Vol. 58, Issue 1, January 2018: pp.118-35]
Environmental Illness / MCS
Central nervous system dysfunction is common, resulting in headaches, chronic fatigue, poor short term memory, hyperactivity, and increased appetite leading to food cravings and overeating.
Low Melatonin Level
Migraines sufferers often are found to have reduced blood levels of melatonin.
Concerned or curious about your health? Try The Analyst™