Posted on by Margo Gladding
Do you have a headache or migraine? What's the difference? A migraine is a severe, painful headache that can last anywhere from several hours to several days. Migraines differ from traditional headaches in that they are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or flashes of light. Migraines can affect adults and children, but are most often reported by adults. Women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men. To better understand headaches and to differentiate migraine headaches from other types, check the list of common signs, symptoms and frequencies of headaches below. Our certified wellness counselors recommend keeping a headache diary—noting when your headaches occur, what your headache signs and symptoms are, and any diet or lifestyle triggers you can identify. These details can help a professional assess your situation and make recommendations for natural relief of your headache or migraine. Are the headaches dull and achy? Tension-type headaches, the most common variety of headaches:
- Often feel like a tight band around your head
- Cause mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head
- May be triggered by stress, neck strain, missed meals, depression, anxiety or lack of sleep
- May occur occasionally or more than 15 days a month (chronic)
- Can last from 30 minutes to an entire week.
- Often are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or increased sensitivity to light or sound
- May affect only one side of your head
- May include head pain that worsens with routine activity
- May be triggered by stress, weather changes, environmental factors (like strong perfumes and other smells), certain foods and menstrual cycles or fluctuating estrogen levels
- Untreated, typically can last from 4 to 72 hours.
- Low serotonin levels
- Food allergies/food sensitivities
- Chemicals (MSG, nitrates)
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Stress/emotional changes
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of sleep
- Poor posture
- Muscle tension
- Weather changes
- Eye strain
Humanized Health - NEW!
Learn about personalized health from top experts! Check out our fascinating new shows every week, available as videos, podcasts and transcripts.:
Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
Dr. Rav Ivker
Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
Dr. Rob Brown
Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.