Dehydration – Can Be a Cause of Headaches?

It is quite common for people to disregard the importance of hydration. Many people around the world in their busy lives, don´t really have enough time to think about what they considered small priorities such as drinking water. We often neglect the power of drinking a lot of water throughout the day and this could be the problem as to why people around the world always feel that no matter how much they stay active, eat right, get enough sleep, etc, they never feel fully awake and rejuvenated. Often, they feel sluggish and still needing to reach for cups of coffee throughout the day to keep themselves on track with their work. In addition to that, people often report nausea, sickness, and headaches that can accompany them throughout the day and often wrongly attribute these symptoms to a lot of coffee drinking or too much strenuous use of the brain, and while that could be part of the case, the major problem for most people is their lack of water consumption. They are simply dehydrated and exhibit these symptoms as a message from their body saying that the body cannot perform all of its necessary functions due to lack of water. It is so easy to overlook drinking water as a necessary component to a healthier lifestyle because after all water is just water. No one truly understands just how important water to us is and are often baffled by the severity of symptoms they face after dehydration. This article will go into depth on how water dehydration can cause a myriad of horrible symptoms such as headaches as well as the proper way to hydrate oneself to avoid these nightmares on a busy day.
The Facts About It

There hasn’t been crazy amount of extensive research on the facts behind if headaches can be caused by dehydration or not, but the overall medical consensus is that headaches can be a symptom of lack of hydration. One medical theory points out that dehydration is a state in which the body loses more water than it takes in. When this happens the blood vessels inside the head may actually try to narrow in an attempt to regulate body fluid levels. This would make it increasingly difficult for the oxygen and blood to reach the brain, and this is what could be causing the headache. Other medical theories for dehydration headaches are that the brain temporarily shrinks due to fluid loss and pulls back from the skull. The process of the brain pulling back from the skull could be reason behind why we feel pain in our head. Dehydration is also considered a factor behind why people have hangover headaches. It is partly due to dehydration from too much consumption of alcohol (and not enough water to cushion the amount of ethanol in the body) that causes hangover headaches. The evidence could be found in why people who drink a lot of water with their alcohol, don’t experience serious hangover headaches and also the evidence behind why drinking lots and lots of water seems to cure hangover headaches a lot quicker. Other evidence of dehydration and its link to headaches can be found in the fact that so many people have reported that when experiencing really bad headaches, they increased their water intake during that time and noticed that the pain lessened to the point that the headache eventually stopped. These experiences when it comes to water dehydration are another bit of evidence to support the idea that indeed loss of water beyond what the body can take in, leads to these painful sensations in the head. Doctors conducted research that included 18 migraine patients. A group of patients were given a placebo while the second group of patients received 1.5 liters of water to drink daily. Those who drank the 1.5 liters of water, talked about experiencing less frequent migraine pain than those who received the placebo. After about two weeks, the group who received water overall reported about 21 hours less of migraine pain than the placebo group, therefore providing more evidence for the claim that dehydration and headaches are indeed linked.Despite, not havinga myriad of research to back the claim up, many professionals and doctors agree that headaches can definitely be a cause of lack of hydration so one should take that into serious consideration when they ever experience one.
How to Differentiate if Your Headache is Water Related

Although the medical community has reached the general consensus that headaches are a strong tell-tale sign of dehydration, headaches are not always related to dehydration. There are many factors that can contribute to headaches. These factors being poor posture, skipped meals, stress,foods that are high in nitrates, ear infections, high blood pressure, panic attacks, stroke and more. Headaches can be the result of a lifestyle factor or a factor related to a disease such as brain tumors or aneurysms. It appears that headaches are a strong symptom for a wide range of serious diseases, and if experienced frequently, is best to understand exactly where the headache is coming from so that you can seek medical help if you realize the headaches are not due to lifestyle habits or changes. If you are experiencing a headache, but are not exactly sure if such headache is related to dehydration or something serious than heed this advice. One major flag for knowing your headache is related to dehydration, is based on the fact that your headache is accompanied by other symptoms of dehydration. These symptoms can be thirst, dry skin, muscle cramps, extreme fatigue, infrequent urination, dizziness, and changes in reaction or thinking. If you are experiencing these types of symptoms, in addition to your headache, then that is a very strong sign that you are dehydrated and should drink a whole lot more than what you are currently drinking. The rule of thumb is that a person should drink around 60-80 ounces of water in a 24 hour period. If you play sports or live in an area that is dry or hot, then you should aim for 80-100 ounces of water a day. If that is not the case for you then 60 ounces of water should be good enough to aid your body in doing its normal functions as well as curb those horrible symptoms that you may feel throughout the day. To keep yourself on track with drinking water try to dress up your water with fruit or veggies, put them in pretty, fancy glasses, or consume your water through other important electrolyte drinks such as coconut water.
Why Staying Hydrated is Important

Water is so important to your body, that you could literally write pages and pages on the health benefits that water can provide for your body, both internally and externally.
Consumption of Water Aids in Weight Loss
If you are looking to shed a few pounds than water consumption can actually help you out. Many studies have been shown that those who drink water before a meal actually lose more weight than those who don´t.
It Helps with Digestion
Drinking water helps relieve the burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste. Water helps to dissolve fats and fiber that we consume through food and this helps everything in the digestive system move along. When you do not drink enough water or fluids, than your body begins to pull water from the stool and this increases your risk of constipation.
It May Protect Against Some Types of Cancer
Their has been research done which apparently shows a correlation between drinking water and the diagnosis of bladder cancer. This could be due to the fact that drinking water causes more frequent urination which prevents the buildup of bladder carcinogen that causes bladder cancer. Some studies have also linked high water consumption to the prevention of breast and colon cancer as well.
Protects Our Joints and Cartilage
The cartilage around our joints can actually stay hydrated and supple with the consumption of water. It also works to protect our spinal cord and tissues that can keep us healthy from the inside out. The cartilage is known to be the rubbery material that covers our bone. It is made up of about 85% water. This protective material can only stay healthy with continuous consumption of water.
Helps with Cognitive Processing
Many studies have shown that dehydration causes shrinkage in brain tissue and this has a serious impact on your reaction time and thinking when it comes to studying or work. Lack of water causes our brain to work even harder to work at the same level and this has serious issues on our performance when it comes to tests or assignments. Studies have shown that students who brought water with them to tests did a lot better than those who did not.
Overall Balances Our Body
Our body is made up of 60% water. This means that when our body actually has this amount of water, it can carry out extremely potent functions for our body such as regulating temperature, transporting nutrients, aiding in digestion (as stated before) and so on.
It Helps Immensely with Your Skin
Although quite a weird concept to grasp, your skin is actually an organ, and like all organs it needs protection. Water can provide that. Your skin is made up of cells which are made up of water and without the right amount of water, your skin cells do not perform well at all. It can affect hydration in the skin and make your skin more supple, smooth, and even acne free. Those who don´t drink enough water report that their skin is often dry, irritated, peeling and even has a lot of acne marks. Their skin can also appear dull and sometimes sickly looking. Increased water consumption over a period of a couple of weeks can do wonders for your skin, and most people won´t realize that until they actually start to see the benefits work for themselves.
Headaches, Headaches, Headaches
I´ve only been highlighting this point for a quite a bit in this article, but I am going to highlight this again. Dehydration is a very common cause for serious headaches and pain. Headaches are a serious trouble for all people. It is painful and disrupts us from our day to day activity. No one wants to experience such pain and have it affect them when it comes down to doing important work or school related things. Drink water, and you will definitely notice how it diminishes the frequency of headaches and the severity at which they are felt.
Conclusion

Overall this article has definitely done the job of dispelling the rumor or notion that headaches cannot be caused by dehydration. Dehydration, in fact, produces a myriad of miserable symptoms that is your body´s way of communicating with you that you have not had a sufficient amount of water. Water poses numerous benefits for your body and it truly is the most important and integral component to a truly healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle cannot be truly healthy and beneficial for you if you aren´t thinking about how much water you are consuming. People often spend copious amounts of time on how to make better lifestyle changes so that they can experience a better mood, productivity, energy, and utilize their cognitive skills a lot more efficiently. They make all these changes including fitness, diet, sleep schedule, and organizing their time more wisely yet they don´t see the changes that they want to see and often find themselves tired and grudgingly going about their day to day life. This is due to the fact that many people tend to overlook the importance of drinking lots of water and the tremendous benefits that you can reap from it. Water helps to improve your mood, wellbeing, energy, and as stated before also brings many internal benefits with it as well. Next time if you are experiencing another one of those painful headaches, make sure to assess other symptoms you have with your headache and grab some water! It can only help you in the end!

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